Although the Senate thinks of itself as the more civilized of Congress' two chambers, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray cannot count on a warm welcome from everyone when he visits the Banking Committee next week.
Republican Senator Roger Wicker, of Mississippi, said he plans to boycott Cordray's hearing on Thursday to protest the CFPB director's recess appointment.
Wicker, a junior Republican on the committee, called the appointment a blatant abuse of power by President Obama and a violation of the Constitution.
"Let me be explicitly clear," Wicker said. "Richard Cordray is not the duly constituted director of the CFPB. His purported recess appointment does not comply with the Constitution and is, in fact, a nullity. I will not provide the administration with an appearance of legitimacy in this action, and I will therefore not be in attendance at next Tuesday's hearing."
Wicker said he hopes his action will start a debate in the Senate about the constitutional system of checks and balances.
"This matter will also go to the courts, and I pray that somewhere in the process the sanctity of our Constitution will be upheld," he said.