Despite the various signs suggesting Director Cordray would resign before Labor Day, it now appears that he intends to remain as Director until at least a date in September.
One of those signs was the notice on the CFPB’s website of the Fall 2017 Credit Union Advisory Council Meeting in Washington, D.C. on September 7, 2017 that originally indicated that Acting Deputy Director Silberman would be giving remarks at the meeting rather than Director Cordray. The notice has since been revised to indicate that Director Cordray will welcome attendees.
While it is still widely believed that Director Cordray will resign this fall to run for Ohio Governor, the timing of his departure is now a question mark. Since it is also widely believed that he wants to issue a final payday loan rule before he departs, it is possible Director Cordray had expected to issue a final rule before Labor Day and is delaying his resignation until the final rule is issued. The final rule is now expected to be narrower in scope than the CFPB’s proposed rule and only cover short-term loans.
The possibility of a connection between the timing of a final rule and Director Corday’s departure prompted a letter to Director Cordray from Rep. Jeb Hensarling, who chairs the House Financial Services Committee. In his letter, Mr. Hensarling stated that reports which have not been rebutted by the CFPB “suggest that your personal political ambitions may be informing decisions you are making regarding what is supposed to be a nonpartisan and objective rulemaking process governed by the Administrative Procedure Act. Simply put, there is no valid legal basis for accelerating a federal rulemaking to satisfy an arbitrary deadline necessitated by election dates established under Ohio law.”
Mr. Hensarling also asked Director Cordray, to give the House committee by August 30, his written “categorical denial that political considerations have informed any aspect of [his actions relating to the payday loan rulemaking]” and written “confirmation that [he] intends to serve [his] full statutory term as Bureau Director” or, if Director Cordray intends to leave earlier, “confirmation of the date [he] intend[s] to resign from office.”