Senate Republicans today blocked President Obama's nomination of former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray as the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Without a director, the watchdog agency's powers are limited.
According to the Washington Post, Republicans relied on a procedural vote to keep the Senate from considering Cordray, and with a vote of 53 to 45, Senate Democrats were unable to close the debate, which would have allowed the confirmation to proceed. Sixty votes would have been needed to end the filibuster.
Pamela Banks, senior counsel for Consumers Union, the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, states that: "Richard Cordray's nomination is being held hostage by lawmakers who seem intent on undermining this vital new watchdog for consumers."
The CFPB was created by the Wall Street reform law passed by Congress last year, and is tasked with identifying and stopping unfair, deceptive, and abusive financial practices, and keeping the rules governing financial service products up-to-date. Without a director, the CFPB is not able to exercise its full authority.
Banks states that:
Americans spent billions of dollars to bail out the big banks and now the agency that was created to protect consumers from unfair financial practices is under attack by some lawmakers in Congress.
Senate blocks Richard Cordray confirmation to head consumer watchdog agency [The Washington Post]