The architects of the Dodd-Frank Act, including former Senator Dodd, former Representative Frank, and former Treasury official Michael Barr, held a press conference on Thursday to make the point that Congress did not want the Vacancies Act to apply to the CFPB. The American Banker has a report here. Excerpt:
They said a federal judge erred when he ruled this week that the 2010 financial reform law did not take precedence over the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, which broadly allows a president to appoint any Senate-confirmed appointee as interim head of an independent agency.
"This was a choice we made very deliberately and the notion that that was just a suggestion on our part and that the president can pick or choose [a CFPB successor] makes no sense," Frank said on a conference call with reporters.
Dodd said that under the law, "the president cannot just create a director."
"We had the choice of keeping the Vacancies Act, but rejected that choice and wrote the language that was in the bill. We did not just call the CFPB an independent agency, we created an independent agency," Dodd said.
And for more on Frank's view on this as well as related matters, see his score-settling essay in The Daily Beast, Here’s the Truth About That Vacancy at the Consumer Bureau. Here's the first paragraph:
I take some pride in the fact that I upset Wall Street Journal editorial board members so much that they lose whatever cool they generally have when I am their subject. My favorite example is still their November 6, 2007 attack on me for sponsoring the bill to restrict banks from issuing subprime mortgages to people unlikely to be able to pay them back—the root cause of the 2008 crash. Oddly celebrating the fact that 80 percent of the mortgages were paying on time so far—not generally considered a sign of good lending practices—they denounced me for barring low-income minority group members from homeownership. (They have impressively obliterated that from their memory so that they now regularly blame liberals for being the enablers of the lending practices we prohibited over their objection.)