Biden Names Former CFPB Deputy Director Leandra English to Lead Bureau’s Review Team During Transition
Last week, just days after it was determined that Joe Biden would serve as the 46th President of the United States, the President-Elect named former deputy director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Leandra English to lead his CFPB agency review team during the transition. The decision was praised by progressives and advocates for firmer financial rules, and is expected to prepare the administration to overhaul the CFPB’s power after Biden takes office in January.
English served as the CFPB’s No. 2 for almost a year before an unsuccessful legal battle to serve as the Director during the Trump administration. Her legal battle with the administration became a point of contention between Democrats advocating for tougher regulations in the financial sector and Republicans that wanted to install a conservative lead in the Bureau.
Before his resignation, former CFPB Director Richard Cordray promoted English to become the next Director, which would have caused the Bureau to continue Cordray’s leadership of strict financial regulations and oversight on lenders and banks. However, President Trump overruled the line of succession and appointed Mick Mulvaney, then the White House budget director, as CFPB chief.
English then sued the Trump administration for control over the Bureau, but a U.S. District Court judge ruled in favor of Mulvaney’s appointment to Director. Mulvaney eased the CFPB’s oversight of lenders and banks and reworked the Bureau’s role on payday lending.
In April 2019, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia heard arguments for English’s case, but she dropped the suit in July when she resigned from the CFPB. English is currently a policy advisor to the New York Department of Financial Services. The move to the CFPB’s review team has caused many to expect that Biden will replace current Director Kathy Kraninger upon taking office.