Mr. Omarova, the former assistant secretary for financial institutions at the Treasury Department who was tapped to become the top financial policing agency for the other half of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, said he would not accept the role.
“I had the opportunity to serve my country as a U.S. attorney in Virginia, serve for nearly a decade as a chief of staff to my homeland security chief, and most recently, serve as deputy director of the Treasury Department’s Office of Financial Research as I fulfilled the mission of a public servant. That is an experience I am very proud of,” Mr. Omarova said in a statement. “However, today, I am not willing to accept a role within the Trump administration that undermines the independence of the agency that represents the best interests of every American.”
Mr. Omarova’s statement made no mention of the position he’d been offered, or why he was no longer interested in the position. Asked if his stance meant that he would not accept the position, Mr. Omarova said he would not comment on personnel matters.
Mr. Omarova’s position as CFBP chief of enforcement was once seen as the linchpin to congressional efforts to untangle the bureau’s independence from the CFPB.
The move was being seen as the latest attempt by the Trump administration to hamstring a major government agency created under Barack Obama.
Without an assistant to the director, the CFPB lacks the ability to replace that person on an acting basis. Without an assistant to the director, the consumer agency may no longer be able to carry out the functions that Mr. Omarova was to oversee.