The Biden administration is undertaking an “aggressive” effort to overhaul the senior leadership ranks of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, seeking to replace individuals who were hired when President Trump was in office with those who are more likely to share the current administration’s views on enforcement and supervision, according to a published report.
The Bureau is using both the carrot and the stick to accomplish its objectives, offering some employees incentives like early retirement packages while going the other way with different employees and investigating their actions in the hopes of either finding grounds to fire them or inducing them to leave on their own.
“It was very clear that there was no respect for senior executives that worked at the agency,” said an unnamed employee at the CFPB, in the report. “The way they’re treating career executives is terrible.”
Career executives are employees who are meant to remain working at a federal agency even after a new administration takes office.
Since its inception, the CFPB has been a political ping-pong ball being batted about by Republicans and Democrats alike. When former President Obama was in office, the CFPB was helmed by Richard Cordray, whom many considered to be too aggressive in regulating and enforcing consumer protection laws. When former President Trump took office, Cordray was eventually replaced by former Acting Director Mick Mulvaney and former Director Kathleen Kraninger, who were accused of not being aggressive enough. Now that President Biden has taken office and nominated Rohit Chopra to be the next Director of the Bureau, the pendulum has swung back to where it was when Cordray ran the agency.
Federal law prohibits hiring someone or not hiring someone based on his or her political views.
The report includes comments from a spokesperson for the Republicans on the Senate Banking Committee encouraging people who are being impacted by these moves to contact the committee so they can confidentially share their stories.
One concern is the loss of experienced executives, especially at an agency that has only been around for 10 years.