Those dastardly Republicans have done it again. First they blocked President Obama’s original choice, the esteemed Elizabeth Warren, to head up the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and now Senate Republicans have shot down another stellar candidate, Richard Cordray.
Cordray’s already part of the agency as its top enforcer; plus, he’s been tough on the foreclosure issue in ways Wall Street-friendly Republicans would not embrace. Fun facts: He also served as Ohio’s attorney general and is a five-time Jeopardy champ!
Thursday, Senate Democrats could muster only 53 of the required 60 votes to send Cordray’s nomination to a straight up-or-down vote. Only one Republican voted in favor of moving the nomination forward.
Senate Republicans say it’s not Cordray’s credentials they contest, but the whole idea of the bureau in the first place. Meanwhile, the Democrats are up for another round. —KA
The New York Times:
Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, said his party had made clear for months that it would not approve a leader for the watchdog consumer agency until the law that established it was amended.
Until three changes are made, he said, “We won’t support a nominee for this bureau—regardless of who the president is.”
One of those changes would put a board of directors in charge of overseeing the bureau instead of the director, abolishing the post. Others would subject the agency to the Congressional appropriations process—thereby giving lawmakers more sway over its policies—and give other financial regulatory agencies a check on its rules.
Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, a Democrat, said that opponents’ “first loyalty is to Wall Street banks.”
Flickr / Matti Mattila