House Republicans Block Recess Appointments by Obama

August 4, 2011
Los Angeles Times 
consumer financial protection bureau news

The Senate adjourned for more than a month without going into a formal recess, after congressional Republicans used procedural moves to block President Barack Obama from temporarily appointing heads to the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and other agencies through so-called recess appointments. The Senate cannot go on a formal recess without approval from the House, and the GOP majority there again has blocked one. In addition to the vacant director slot at the consumer agency, Obama would like to install nominees to head the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and numerous department and federal judicial posts. The most high-profile position Obama would like to fill is director of the CFPB -- the position for which he nominated former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray, who faces strong resistance from nearly all Senate Republicans. They vowed to block any nominee to head the agency unless Obama agrees to dilute its power. Until the consumer agency has a Senate-confirmed director or one put in place by a recess appointment, it cannot use some of the authority granted to it by last year's financial reform law. Those delayed powers include regulation of mortgage brokers, payday lenders, and other financial institutions outside the banking system. The Treasury Department is running the agency until it has a director.
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