Yes he can: President Barack Obama gestures while speaking at Scranton High School in Pennsylvania on Nov. 30.
Because this is one of the things he can do from the Oval Office, President Obama pulled what his Republican opponents will no doubt characterize as a fast one by forcibly installing Richard Cordray on Wednesday as his chosen leader of the recently configured Consumer Financial Protection Bureau while Congress was on recess. Mitch McConnell is not pleased. —KA
“I am now the director and my work will be to protect American consumers,” Cordray said at the airport in Cleveland, where he was accompanying the president to a speech on the economy. “I’m going to be 100 percent focused on that.”
Obama nominated Cordray to be the bureau’s first director in July, almost one year after enactment of the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory law creating the agency. Republicans blocked Cordray’s confirmation by the Senate last month. Putting him in the job today may set up an election-year court fight between the White House and Congress.
The president’s decision drew quick criticism from Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who said in a statement that Obama “arrogantly circumvented” the American people and upended “long-standing” practices that limited recess appointments.