White House Pushes for Confirmation of Consumer Watchdog Nominee

December 4, 2011
Washington Post 
consumer financial protection bureau news

The White House issued a new report to pressure U.S. Senate Republicans to support the Obama Administration's nomination of Richard Cordray as the first director of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). GOP lawmakers continue to block any CFPB nominee unless significant changes are made to the agency, but the White House is pushing for support as the full Senate is expected to vote on Dec. 8 on Cordray's nomination. Along party lines, members of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee voted to approve Cordray's nomination in October, but 45 of the chamber's 47 Republicans have issued a letter vowing to block his nomination, which would ensure that the Senate falls short of the 60 votes necessary to confirm Cordray's appointment. The National Economic Council's recent report said that the CFPB is "hamstrung" because it cannot exercise its full powers until a director is confirmed, noting the CFPB "cannot provide the kind of oversight and transparency that consumers need." Raj Date, who succeeded Elizabeth Warren as special adviser to the treasury secretary in charge of setting up the bureau, has said, "Independent funding of the CFPB and other bank supervisors ensures that we are not at the mercy of outside influences when it comes to protecting consumers or ensuring the safety and soundness of our nation’s financial institutions." If the nomination of Cordray fails to pass, President Barack Obama could appoint him during the winter recess.
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