Still, dismissing Cordray would be virtually unprecedented, even for a White House that prides itself on jettisoning tradition. No one has been fired by a president since the Supreme Court in 1935 set those standards of inefficiency, negligence or malfeasance for removal, according to an analysis by the left-leaning Americans for Financial Reform.
"The slipshod rationalizations thinly disguising an underlying desire to remove a strong enforcer surely do not justify making him the first official ever to be removed by a president for cause," wrote Brian Simmonds Marshall and Veronica Meffe.
Meanwhile, House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, is about to introduce a new version of his bill to undo Dodd-Frank that is also expected to take aim at the CFPB. In an interview on CNBC on Tuesday, he said he planned to work closely with the White House on that effort.
"Dodd-Frank broke all its promises," he said. "I certainly hope to do my part on Capitol Hill to return us to a healthy economy and unclog the arteries of lending."
Taking on the CFPB could prove politically precarious, however. Trump's campaign was fueled by populist anger against Wall Street — the same anger that helped lead to the creation of the agency in the aftermath of the financial crisis. The CFPB is the brainchild of Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, an outspoken critic of the banking industry who enjoys a 61 percent approval rating in her home state, according to Morning Consult.