Critics Look for Opening to Fire Head of the CFPB

Richard Cordray is disliked by many for helping build the agency into an aggressive financial regulator

 .. A battle is intensifying over the future of Richard Cordray, the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, as Republicans search for any past transgressions that would allow President-elect Donald Trump to fire him.

Mr. Cordray, a former Ohio attorney general, is admired by consumer groups and disliked by many GOP lawmakers and financial-industry players for helping build the five-year-old agency into an aggressive financial regulator.

.. Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R., Texas), who has led the attack on the CFPB at the House Financial Services Committee, said Mr. Trump’s transition team would study Mr. Cordray’s performance.

.. Mr. Neugebauer, who is seen as a candidate to succeed Mr. Cordray as the next CFPB chief, citing issues such as the alleged pay discrimination and the costs of renovating the agency’s Washington headquarters.

.. Republican lawmakers have a long list of steps aimed at overhauling the CFPB, including turning it into a commission, giving Congress control over its budget and reducing employee compensation by changing its pay scale. Such steps are included in a broad deregulation bill introduced this year by Rep. Jeb Hensarling

.. They added that any attempt to weaken the bureau and undermine its leadership would “risk severe impacts on our communities—including communities of color and low-income families who are most vulnerable to financial abuse.”