GOP: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Nomination Dead On Arrival

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WASHINGTON – Republicans on the Senate Banking Committee insisted this morning they will not vote to approve President Obama’s nomination of former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, even as the new agency is scheduled to open for business on Thursday.

“This nomination is dead on arrival,” said Sen. Jerry Moran, the Kansas Republican, during a hearing this morning on consumer financial protection after the financial crisis. Moran joined other Republican senators in calling for immediate changes to the fledgling agency, including expansion of its oversight from a single director to a multi-person board, direct congressional oversight of its spending and greater input by existing financial regulators in the operations of the new agency.

Alabama’s Richard Shelby, the ranking Republican on the panel, asserted that he and 43 other Republican senators will not vote to confirm the consumer director until the changes in the agency’s structure are made. “This huge new, entirely unaccountable bureaucracy,” said the GOP leader, “essentially answers to no one.”

The GOP’s intransigence comes a day after President Obama agreed to retreat on plans to nominate the controversial consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren as director of the new agency, in order to find a candidate more amendable to Republican opponents. But Shelby and the other Republican leaders insisted they will not confirm anyone to direct the new agency until their desired changes are made.

The director of the new consumer agency, created by last year’s Wall Street reform bill, must be confirmed by the Senate, meaning 60 votes will be needed to overcome an expected filibuster by the Republicans and the opposition of 44 Republicans will make that impossible.

 

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