GOP Blocks Cordray, Limits CFPB

July 19, 2011
Roll Call 
consumer financial protection bureau news

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 Richard Cordray.
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