Nov 27, 2017

Mulvaney tells CFPB to "disregard" instruction from Leandra English

Monday was Mulvaney's first day at the CFPB. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin / AP

White House budget director Mick Mulvaney, named by President Trump as acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, sent a memo to the agency's staff Monday that read: "Please disregard any instructions you receive from Ms. English in her presumed capacity as Acting Director," Reuters reports. He also brought donuts.

The backdrop: The CFPB currently has two chiefs. Leandra English is former director Richard Cordray's pick to lead the agency, and she has sued the Trump administration over Mulvaney's appointment. Mulvaney told staffers to report any communications from English to the general counsel of the CFPB, who has said she believes Mulvaney has the authority of acting director.

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Public transit's death spiral

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Public transit systems across the country are experiencing a painful trifecta: Ridership has collapsed, funding streams are squeezed, and mass transit won't bounce back from the pandemic nearly as fast as other modes of transportation.

Why it matters: Transit agencies could see an annual shortfall of as much as $38 billion due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to TransitCenter. At the same time, they're more important than ever, with more than 36% of essential workers relying on public transportation to get to work.

World coronavirus updates: London mayor says U.K. nowhere near lockdown lifting

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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern offered hope in the fight against the novel coronavirus, saying she believes New Zealand has "turned a corner" after two weeks of strict lockdown measures. But London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said the U.K. is "nowhere near" lifting restrictions.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed over 82,000 people and infected 1.4 million others globally as of early Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data. Global recoveries have surpassed 301,000. Spain has reported the most cases outside the U.S. (more than 141,000) and Italy the most deaths (over 17,000). Half the planet's population is on lockdown.

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Wisconsin may be the start of the 2020 election wars

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Wisconsin voters braving lines in face masks — after a last-minute Supreme Court ruling against extending the absentee deadline — could foreshadow a nationwide legal struggle over how to conduct elections during the coronavirus outbreak, election experts say.

Why it matters: "It's a harbinger of what's to come in the next skirmishes in the voting wars" from now through November, Richard Hasen, a professor and national election law expert at the University of California, Irvine, told Axios.