GOP Blocks Cordray, Limits CFPB
July 19, 2011
Drucker, David M.
On July 18, U.S. Senate Republicans rejected President Barack
Obama's nomination of former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray as
the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and their
efforts to block the nomination could hamper the authority of the new
agency. Some had hoped that Cordray would have received a warmer
reception from Republicans that White House Advisor Elizabeth Warren
would have, but Republicans continue to insist that any nominee will be
blocked until changes are made to the structure of the agency. U.S.
Senate Banking Committee Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said,
"For months he has ignored Republican concerns about the lack of
accountability at the [CFPB] and its potential adverse effect on the
economy. Until President Obama addresses our concerns by supporting a
few reasonable structural changes, we will not confirm anyone to lead
it. No accountability, no confirmation." Republicans contend that the
agency has too much "unchecked" power, and blocking nominees to lead the
agency effectively ties the hands of the agency, ensuring it is unable
to regulate non-banking firms like payday lenders and student loan
providers. The Obama Administration has not reached out to Shelby or
other Republicans blocking the nomination, and it is unclear if the
administration is considering a recess appointment to sidestep the
Senate confirmation process. Democrats and the administration could try
to break through the Republican blockade on the nomination by pushing
U.S. Sen. Rob Portman to support confirmation for his fellow Ohioan
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