The Wall Street Journal: Republicans ask Trump to oust head of financial watchdog agency

WASHINGTON — Two Republican senators asked the incoming Trump administration to remove the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau promptly after the Jan. 20 inauguration, calling the action the “first marker” in the process of rolling back the federal agency.

Escalating the confrontation over the watchdog agency created by the Obama administration after the financial crisis, Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Mike Lee of Utah said in a letter sent Monday to Vice President-elect Mike Pence that CFPB Director Richard Cordray has pursued a regulatory agenda that is “harmful to the American people.” The senators said President-elect Donald Trump will have the “constitutional authority” to remove Cordray because the bureau’s single-director structure was declared unconstitutional in a continuing court case.

A CFPB spokesman declined to comment Monday. Jen Howard, a CFPB spokeswoman, said in a statement late last year that Cordray “was confirmed by a bipartisan group of 66 senators to serve a term until July 2018 and has no plans to step down.”

Since Trump’s victory, critics of the CFPB, including the financial industry and Republican lawmakers, have called for drastic steps to constrain the agency, including ousting Cordray and appointing someone more friendly to industry.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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