The Republican reshaping of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is set to take another step forward, as for the second time in a month, the Trump administration is installing a close aide of one of the CFPB’s chief critics to a top position at the agency.
House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, has never been shy about expressing his disdain for the CFPB.
Last month, the Trump administration chose Brian Johnson, a Republican congressional lawyer and a Hensarling ally to serve as senior advisor to Mick Mulvaney, the CFPB’s acting director.
Now, the Trump administration is appears to be set to appoint Kirsten Sutton Mork, who currently serves as the House Financial Services Committee’s staff director, to the position of chief of staff of the CFPB.
The news comes courtesy of an announcement from the House Financial Services Committee, which said that Mork will be leaving the committee’s staff “in the coming weeks.”
At the CFPB, Mork will be filling the role previously held by Leandra English, whose name is now well known to those that have followed the CFPB leadership saga since former director Richard Cordray stepped down in November.
As Cordray left, he promoted English to deputy director, which then positioned her to take over as acting director upon Cordray’s departure.
But the Trump administration fought back against Cordray’s chosen line of succession and installed Mulvaney, who also serves as director of the Office of Management and Budget, as acting director.
That set off a legal battle over who was really in charge of the CFPB, but a federal judge sided with Trump, handing control to Mulvaney until the Senate confirms a permanent CFPB director.
And now, Mulvaney, who is no fan of the CFPB himself, will have another of Hensarling’s top aides in a prominent position at the agency.
“As one of my longest-serving and most dedicated aides, Kirsten has been an indispensable advisor to me for the last nine years,” Hensarling said in a statement.
“Her leadership, deep understanding of financial policy and the legislative process, strength of character, and commitment to conservative principles have been vital to the great victories the committee has achieved for the American people during her tenure here,” Hensarling continued. “While I am sad to lose such exceptional talent, I know she will do an outstanding job as Chief of Staff for the CFPB and be a tireless advocate for American consumers.”
According to the announcement from the House Financial Services Committee, Mork served in Hensarling’s personal office as financial services policy advisor and then legislative director from 2009-2013, before being appointed as the Financial Services Committee’s deputy staff director in 2013.
Mork has been staff director for the committee since early 2017.
Mork took over for Shannon McGahn, who left the House Financial Services Committee in early 2017 to become a member of the senior staff of Department of the Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, advising Mnuchin on “matters relating to both legislative and public affairs.”
With Mork’s departure, McGahn is returning to the role she previously held.
Before leaving for the Treasury, McGahn served the House Financial Services Committee as staff director (2013-2017), deputy staff director for strategy and public affairs (2012-2013), and deputy chief of staff for communications (2010-2011).
McGahn is also the wife of White House Counsel Don McGahn.
Hensarling welcomed McGahn back to the House Financial Services Committee, saying that she will serve a key role as the committee pushes for housing finance reform and other measures.
“I am pleased to welcome Shannon back to the Financial Services Committee,” Hensarling said. “Her leadership will be invaluable this year as we work to put forth bold solutions to reform our broken housing finance system and continue our efforts to pass legislation that promotes a healthy economy that is working for all working Americans.”