WASHINGTON — Mick Mulvaney once called the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau “a sad, sick joke.” Now, he may get to oversee Elizabeth Warren’s favorite regulator.
Mulvaney, President Donald Trump’s Office of Management and Budget director, is being considered for a temporary role as interim director of the consumer watchdog after Richard Cordray steps down later this month, according to two people familiar with the matter. Mulvaney would be expected to name someone else or a team of people to run the CFPB on a day-to-day-basis so he could keep his focus on OMB, said one of the people.
The goal is to hit the ground running in overhauling an agency that some Republicans have called corrupt, and that GOP lawmakers widely blame for burdening lenders with unnecessary red tape. It could be months before Trump nominates a permanent CFPB director and his selection is confirmed by the Senate.
Under a federal vacancies law, Trump can replace an outgoing director temporarily with someone from another agency who has already won Senate approval. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has also been considered to run the CFPB on a temporary basis, said one of the people who asked not to be named because the deliberations are private.
A call to OMB’s press office wasn’t immediately returned.
Congress’ compliance watchdog: Settlement payouts highest in 10 years
WASHINGTON — U.S. taxpayers paid out more than $900,000 in the most recent fiscal year to settle claims on Capitol Hill, the highest amount in 10 years.
That’s according to statistics released Thursday by the Office of Compliance, the independent congressional agency established under the 1995 Congressional Accountability Act.
The agency reported that eight cases were settled for nearly $935,000 in fiscal 2017, which ended on Sept. 30.
The OOC released 21 years worth of figures on Thursday “based on the volume of recent inquiries regarding payment of awards and settlements reached,” said Susan Tsui Grundmann, OOC executive director, in a statement.
Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., on Wednesday made headlines when she said that the House had settled $15 million in cases in the last 10 to 15 years. Speier has shared her own sexual harassment story from her time as a Hill aide. She introduced a bill with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., to address sexual harassment in the Capitol, including a requirement for mandatory training.
Roll Call analyzed the OOC data and found that settlements from fiscal 2003 through fiscal 2017 total $12.9 million.
The OOC administers and enforces workplace and employment laws on the Hill, educates members and offices on their rights and obligations and investigates violations.
—CQ Roll Call
Baltimore police detective dies day after shooting; department seeks killer
BALTIMORE — The Baltimore homicide detective who was shot in the head Wednesday has died, police said.
Police on Thursday identified the officer as Detective Sean Suiter, an 18-year veteran of the city police force and a husband and father of two. In an email to the department, Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said Suiter died surrounded by his family.
“His tragic death will forever impact the BPD,” Davis wrote in the email, obtained by The Baltimore Sun. “Each of you go out there and put your lives on the line every single day. The importance of your sacrifice, and Sean’s, can’t be overstated.”
Baltimore police and their federal partners continued a massive manhunt Thursday for the suspect. Authorities offered a $69,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
Police say Suiter was shot in a notoriously violent section of the Harlem Park neighborhood of West Baltimore while investigating another killing. An entire city block remained cordoned off Thursday morning as police scoured the area and cadets began canvassing door to door for information.
Officials said they were still engaged in a “tactical” operation in the neighborhood. They would not provide any additional information about the operation or whether they believed the gunmen could still be in the vicinity.
—The Baltimore Sun
Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge in critical condition at Texas hospital
HARRISBURG, Pa. — Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge is in critical condition at a Texas hospital following a medical procedure Thursday morning, according to a statement from a spokesman.
Ridge, a former governor of Pennsylvania, had been attending the Republican Governors Association conference at the JW Marriott in Austin when he called hotel staff about 7 a.m. for assistance, spokesman Steve Aaron said. The former governor was transported to Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas, where he underwent cardiac catheterization, Aaron said.
Ridge was responsive to his physicians, his spokesman said.
Ridge, 72, a onetime U.S. House member from Erie, was elected governor in 1995 and served two terms. In 2001, President George W. Bush named him be the first head of the new Homeland Security department.
The news stunned the state Capitol.
“Prayers going to former Gov Ridge for a quick, full recovery,” Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman, R-Centre, tweeted.
—The Philadelphia Inquirer
Zimbabwe’s Mugabe meets military chief who led takeover
HARARE, Zimbabwe — President Robert Mugabe met Thursday with the head of the country’s defense forces who led the military takeover in Zimbabwe, with state and local media publishing a photo of the two men sitting together.
Mugabe’s meeting with army chief Constantino Chiwenga took place in State House in Harare. The 93-year-old leader was seen seated in an armchair in a circle of people including Chiwenga, who was wearing military fatigues.
There has so far been no information on the content of the meeting.
The Herald newspaper, a government mouthpiece, posted photographs of the two men, along with South African Defense Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, her Zimbabwean counterpart Sydney Sekeramayi and State Security Minister Kembo Mohadi.
Zimbabwe’s military on Wednesday placed Mugabe under house arrest and detained some of his allies.
Many analysts say that the army wants to install ousted vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was fired by Mugabe last week, as interim leader.
Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai — who just returned to Zimbabwe after a hospital stay in South Africa — called for Mugabe’s immediate resignation.
A frail and sickly looking Tsvangirai said a transitional government should be set up and free and fair elections subsequently held.
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