Bloomberg News
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Winner: Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney
Like it or not, Mulvaney is now legally the acting director of the CFPB.

That was the position taken by Judge Kelly, one that is going to be extremely difficult for English to overturn.

Mulvaney has wasted no time in taking charge. In a press conference on his first day on the job, he pledged a dramatic shift in direction. He instituted a 30-day hiring and policy freeze, and stopped payouts from the CFPB's civil penalties fund while undertaking a review of its operations. He pledged to keep the agency operating, but many employees privately fear he will begin shrinking staff and cutting back on enforcement.

"The CFPB is certainly not getting larger and people are concerned about the uncertainty or direction of it, so it might get smaller voluntarily," said Allison Schoenthal, a partner at Hogan Lovells.

Some former CFPB officials expect a purging of the ranks of senior managers, many of whom are not in the bureau's union.

One thing is clear: Mulvaney has no intention of being a seat-warmer while a permanent director is named.

President Trump "wants me to fix it," Mulvaney said of the agency. "He wants me to get it back to the point that it can protect people without trampling on capitalism, without choking off the access to financial services that are so critical to so many folks, and so many folks in the lower and middle classes."