Senators Wrangle Over Consumer Protection
December 6, 2011
U.S. Senate Democrats are pushing for the confirmation of Richard Cordray as the
first director of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) as they
build campaign momentum to demonstrate they are "guardians of the middle class."
One Democratic aide said, "We think this is a bellwether vote to determine if
you are on the side of consumers." GOP aides suggest that the push is merely to
score political points and not obtain confirmation for Cordray given that
Democrats have not reached out to address Republican concerns about the CFPB.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) could cut off debate on the
nomination on Dec. 6, which could push for a vote on Dec. 8. It is unclear if
Democrats will have enough Republican votes to reach the required 60 votes
necessary to overcome the filibuster. A recent White House National Economic
Council report said, "Without a director, the CFPB cannot fully supervise
non-bank financial institutions such as independent payday lenders, non-bank
mortgage lenders, non-bank mortgage servicers, debt collectors, credit reporting
agencies, and private student lenders." Republicans say that the CFPB should be
set up like other agencies with a board, of which no more than three
commissioners could belong to the same political party. They also would prefer
the funding for the agency go through the congressional appropriations
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