The U.S. Senate on July 16 confirmed Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), ending two years of political debate over the agency's leadership. He was confirmed by a 66-to-34 vote, paving the way for more aggressive regulation of the financial services industry. In satisfying the Dodd-Frank requirement that the agency have a confirmed director in order to oversee payday lenders, debt collectors, and other non-bank entities, the CFPB can now exercise full authority over such companies. In the last year, meanwhile, the watchdog handed down enforcement actions against big banks for abusive lending practices and issued a series of rules to govern mortgage lending. With Cordray's confirmation, it will be more difficult to challenge the agency's efforts to regulate financial services. “There is now no doubt that the American people will have a watchdog that’s holding financial institutions accountable when they break the rules,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who had championed creation of the CFPB, said on a conference call with the press.