Consumer Watchdog Nominee Advances; Cordray Faces GOP Blockade on Senate Floor

October 6, 2011
Washington Post 
consumer financial protection bureau news

The U.S. Senate Banking Committee approved former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray's nomination to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in a party line vote on Oct. 6. However, Republicans have stated that they will block his nomination on the Senate floor given previous pledges to block any candidate for the post until changes are made to the bureau's structure. Republicans have called for the replacement of the directorship with a five-member commission, tighter oversight of the bureau by other agencies, and ensuring funding is appropriated rather than given through the U.S. Federal Reserve. U.S. Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said following the committee's symbolic approval of Cordray, "We are simply asking that this enormously powerful new agency have checks and balances in place that protect the country from an overly zealous director." President Barack Obama has defended the agency, noting that it would provide accountability and transparency for financial products, and he urged the Senate to approve Cordray's nomination. Republicans could block a floor vote with a filibuster, but U.S. Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) is reaching out to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to schedule a floor vote on Cordray's nomination. Some consumer advocates have encouraged the administration to install Cordray through a recess appointment, but that would leave the post open until December 2012.
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