Senate Republicans Still Seeking Answers About Report That Administration Tried to Replace Employees at CFPB

Senate Republicans are continuing to try and get answers about whether the leadership of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau potentially violated civil service protections by trying to get career employees at the Bureau to resign so that they could be replaced by “handpicked loyalists.” After not getting any answers from Rohit Chopra, who has been nominated to be the next Director of the CFPB, Republicans — led by Sen. Pat Toomey [R-Pa.], the Ranking Member of the Senate Banking Committee — have now reached out to Leandra English — a name that might sound familiar — who was on the transition team overseeing the CFPB, asking her what involvement she may have had in the effort to “replace CFPB civil servants with individuals perceived as more loyal to the current administration.”

English, who is now the Chief of Staff at the National Economic Council, not only served on the CFPB’s transition team, but sued the Trump administration back in 2017 alleging that she, not Mick Mulvaney, should have been the rightful Acting Director of the CFPB following the resignation of former Director Richard Cordray.

Sen. Toomey has been waiting for Chopra and the CFPB to respond to his questions after a published report alleged that the Biden Administration was undertaking an “aggressive” effort to overhaul the senior leadership ranks of the CFPB. The Bureau was accused of 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.

“As a member of then-President-elect Biden’s transition team, you were charged with reviewing operations at the CFPB, and according to recent press reports, many of the Biden administration’s reversals of CFPB policies advanced during the Trump administration were carried out by Acting Director Uejio under your recommendation,” Toomey wrote in his letter to English. “Accordingly, in order to understand what, if any, knowledge or involvement you may have had regarding any effort to replace CFPB civil servants with individuals perceived as more loyal to the current administration, I request that you provide answers to the following questions by no later than August 5, 2021.”

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