- Obama military downsizing leaves U.S. too weak to counter global threats, panel finds
- Sen. Tom Coburn vows to slow down budget-busting bills ahead of recess
- Obama fantasizes about more executive power, signs new order on federal contractors
- Clintons call Klein, Halper, Kessler ‘a Hat Trick of despicable actors’: report
- Boehner accuses Obama of ‘legacy of lawlessness’
- Pro-marijuana group claims responsibility for Brooklyn Bridge flag swap
- Young adults shun Obamacare mostly due to cost: survey
- Stabbing attack on transgender girl, 15, was ‘bias motivated,’ police say
- LGBT adults still lean overwhelmingly toward Democratic Party
- Lawmakers rattled by Syria genocide horrors, call on Obama to act
GOP lawmakers grill consumer finance chief
Question of the Day
Senate Republicans used the confirmation hearing for the head of President Obama’s Consumer Financial Protection Board to signal their continued unhappiness with the agency’s funding and what they said was its lack of accountability.
Richard Cordray, who has led the fledgling CFPB thanks to a recess appointment by Mr. Obama after Republicans blocked his nomination in December 2011, went before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday seeking a full term as head of the agency that was a centerpiece of the administration’s financial regulatory reform law.
Members of both parties praised his work over the past year, but Republican senators revived criticisms of the board’s structure, which calls for a single leader, rather than a board of directors, and demanded more financial accountability from the consumer watchdog agency.
Republican senators warned they will again block Mr. Cordray’s nomination until these concerns are addressed.
“I believe that structural changes to the CFPB are essential,” Sen. Mike Crapo of Idaho, ranking Republican on the panel, said during the hearing. “Moving from a single director to a board format will bring about transparency and openness.”
But Democrats said it was time for CFPB critics to set aside these grievances and give the agency some certainty in its leadership.
“It’s critical that we put partisan politics aside and confirm Rich Cordray,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat and fellow Ohioan, who introduced Mr. Cordray at the Senate hearing. “Consumers deserve a bureau with a confirmed director who can serve as a counterbalance to the Wall Street lobby.”
Mr. Cordray, who was accompanied by his wife, Peggy, and twin children, Danny and Holly, told the Senate committee that his goal is to protect American consumers from corrupt banks and financial fraud.
“They deserve a fair shake, and they deserve to have this agency standing on their side to make sure they are treated fairly,” he testified.
If Mr. Cordray is not confirmed, his appointment will expire at the end of the year — or sooner if it is ruled invalid.
His appointment is under a constitutional cloud after a federal court recently tossed out Mr. Obama’s recess picks for the National Labor Relations Board — who were named the same day as Mr. Cordray. The judge, whose decision the NLRB appealed to the Supreme Court Tuesday, ruled Mr. Obama overstepped his recess appointment powers.
“I think you’ve done a wonderful job so far,” Mr. Coburn said. “I’m going to aggressively support your nomination. The more I find out about you, the more I like you.”
The banking committee also heard testimony from Mary Jo White, Mr. Obama’s choice to head the Securities and Exchange Commission.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Tim Devaney is a national reporter who covers business and international trade for The Washington Times. Previously, he worked for the Detroit News, Grand Rapids Press, Portland Press Herald and Bangor Daily News. Tim can be reached at email@example.com.
- Dysfunction, disarray at Homeland Security management cited in IG's report
- GM's Barra to be first woman to run top American carmaker
- Treasury sells last shares in 'Government Motors'
- U.S. businesses reach out quickly to partners in Iran
- General Motors ending Chevrolet sales in Europe to focus on Opel and Vauxhall
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Both parties recognize the Democrats' scam
- Inside the Ring: Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- Obama military strategy too weak for future security, panel reports
- Report: 40% of weapons sent to Afghanistan are unaccounted for
- Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- CIA admits improperly hacking Senate computers in search of Bush-era information
- Islamic militants seize Benghazi as U.S. evacuates Libya
- 'Big Bang' star Mayim Bialik helps send bulletproof vests to IDF
- 3 African leaders cancel trip to U.S. over Ebola outbreak; Obama still plans summit
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world