After Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray announced Wednesday that he would step down at the end of November, it sparked a flurry of speculation about who President Trump would pick to succeed the agency chief.
The White House said that it would announce an acting director and a permanent successor "at the appropriate time." It seems likely that it will want to at least install an interim head as soon as Cordray leaves. If not, David Silberman, the agency's acting No. 2, would take over, a prospect that the Trump administration would probably like to avoid.
That could lead to some interesting choices. Under the Federal Vacancies Act, it appears that an acting director must come from the ranks of those already confirmed by the Senate for a different position. That limits who the Trump administration could tap, though there's some leeway there for an appointee to pick his or her own designate to handle agency responsibilities.
The issue of a permanent director, meanwhile, is liable to be a hot topic going forward. The Trump administration has been slow to nominate banking regulators. It only recently got Randal Quarles confirmed to the Federal Reserve Board, and its second regulator, Joseph Otting, is set to be confirmed as early as Wednesday as comptroller of the currency. As a result, it could take some time before the White House settles on a CFPB nominee.
One thing is clear. Whomever is chosen, Democrats will be looking to grill them hard. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., warned Wednesday that the CFPB is "no place for another Trump-appointed industry hack." To be sure, Democrats can do little to stop the ultimate choice. Given recent Senate changes, the minority party can no longer filibuster nominees. Still, Democrats will likely scrutinize the choice.
Following is a guide to the top names being discussed: