A House committee chairman said Monday that he will not accept testimony from Richard Cordray, the chairman of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, because he was one of the recess appointments that a federal appeals court ruled were made in violation of the Constitution.
House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling said that his committee is only allowed to hear testimony from the chairman of the bureau, and since a court has called Mr. Cordray’s appointment into question, he cannot be considered the legal chairman.
“Absent contrary guidance from the United States Supreme Court, you do not meet the statutory requirements of a validly-serving director of the CFPB, and cannot be recognized as such,” Mr. Hensarling wrote in a letter to Mr. Cordray.
Mr. Cordray is slated to appear Tuesday before a Senate panel. The Senate is controlled by Democrats, who argue the recess appointments are valid.
Republicans, though, control the House and have made clear they reject the recess appointments as invalid.
The federal court ruling actually applied to three nominees to the National Labor Relations Board. The appeals court ruled that the Senate was not in a recess as defined by the Constitution, nor did the vacancy arise during a Senate recess, so Mr. Obama was not able to use his appointment powers.
Mr. Cordray wasn’t part of that case, but Mr. Hensarling said since he was appointed the same day and in the same manner as the NLRB nominees, he, too, is in question.