WASHINGTON — Sen. Elizabeth Warren reiterated her call Thursday for an up-or-down vote on Richard Cordray to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, arguing that Republican opposition to his nomination is meant to undercut the agency's work.
"Blocking Rich Cordray is about weakening the agency," Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, said in prepared remarks for a Washington meeting of the Consumer Federation of America. "Blocking Rich Cordray is about keeping the game rigged, keeping the game rigged so that consumers remain in the dark—and a few bad actors can rake in big profits."
Republicans are vowing to filibuster any CFPB nominee unless structural changes are made to the agency. But Warren, who led the creation and development of the new agency before running for Senate, has made it clear she has no intention to compromise on the issue. Cordray, who was recess appointed by President Obama last year, was renominated for the job in January.
"He deserves an up or down vote. It's time for an up or down vote," Warren told the CFA group. "This will be a hard fight, but I believe in what we can do together."
GOP lawmakers are seeking to replace the agency's single director with a five-member commission as well as subject the CFPB to the congressional appropriations process. But Warren said Cordray has shown he deserves backing from the Senate without any changes.
"The agency has proven itself and so has its director, Rich Cordray," she said. "Both consumer and industry groups have applauded the balanced rulemaking and measured approach. The agency is doing a great job using data and smarter disclosure to help consumers and make our market work better.
"This agency is about making consumer credit clear and no more hiding tricks and traps in a thicket of fine print. It is about letting consumers see the deal and not worrying about the things they can't see."
In the background of the confirmation battle are legal questions over Cordray's current recess appointment. Earlier this year, an appeals court said that different recess appointments President Obama made to fill seats on the National Labor Relations Board were invalid.