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Entries in Richard Cordray (5)

Thursday
Jan052012

Cordray Lays Out Vision for Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Office of Attorney General of Ohio(WASHINGTON) -- Richard Cordray made his first public appearance as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director Thursday, saying he was honored to serve as the bureau’s first director.

“Consumer financial products can make our lives better and create opportunities to make something of ourselves, but these same financial products can also make life harder,” Cordray said as he laid out his vision for the agency and his immediate priorities as director during a speech at the Brookings Institution.

Although Cordray has been working with the bureau since its inception last year, and was officially nominated as director last summer, his appointment became official only on Wednesday. President Obama used his executive authority to appoint Cordray while the Senate was in recess, bypassing Senate Republicans who had delayed Cordray’s appointment while demanding structural changes to the CFPB.

Opponents called Obama's appointment -- and his appointment of three new picks to head the National Labor Relations board -- an unprecedented "power grab." Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said of the maneuvering, "President Obama, in an unprecedented move, has arrogantly circumvented the American people.”

But Cordray now has full authority, and plans to make “it clear that there are real consequences for breaking the law,” he said.

“Consumers deserve to have someone who will stand on their side, who will protect them against fraud, and who will ensure that they are treated fairly in the financial marketplace,” he said. “The new consumer bureau was created to make sure these things are achieved for all Americans.”

Cordray emphasized why the CPFB should matter to people across the country; that losing a job or an unexpected injury can happen to anyone, “our mothers and fathers, our sisters and brothers, our sons and daughters.”

Referring to his time working as Ohio’s treasurer at both the state and local level, Cordray said he “saw good people with good intentions drowning in debts they could not afford” and that “consumer finance had become more complicated and more risky in recent years.

“Consumers need better information about the costs and risks of borrowing, and they need to be able to comparison shop for a good deal,” he said. “Consumers also need the peace of mind that comes from knowing the deal they were promised is the deal they are actually getting, not just tomorrow, but next month and next year as well.”

In the past six months, Cordray said that the CPFB had received thousands of calls and emails from people across the country, who recounted their own stories and experiences.

“They do not expect any special favors, they just want a fair shake,” Cordray said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan042012

Obama Appoints Cordray to Serve as Top Consumer Watchdog 

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images(SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio) -- In a defiant start to the election year, President Obama used his executive authority Wednesday to bypass Senate Republicans and appoint Richard Cordray to serve as the nation’s top consumer watchdog -- a move his opponents are calling an, unconstitutional "power grab."

“Without a director in place, the consumer watchdog agency that we’ve set up doesn’t have all the tools it needs to protect consumers against dishonest mortgage brokers or payday lenders and debt collectors who are taking advantage of consumers.  And that’s inexcusable.  It’s wrong,” Obama said in Ohio with Cordray at his side.

Obama nominated Cordray for the position last summer, but Senate Republicans have held up his appointment to force structural changes to the agency. On Wednesday the president said he refused to take “no” for an answer and appointed Cordray to serve as the first director of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) while the Senate is in brief recess.

“The only reason Republicans in the Senate have blocked Richard is because they don’t agree with the law setting up the consumer watchdog. They want to weaken it. Well that makes no sense at all.  Does anyone think the reason we got in such a financial mess was because of too much oversight?  Of course not,” Obama said.

The president cast his move to install Cordray as yet another step he is taking to protect the interests of the middle class. “When Congress refuses to act and as a result hurts our economy and puts people at risk, I have an obligation as President to do what I can without them,” Obama said. “I will not stand by while a minority in the Senate puts party ideology ahead of the people they were elected to serve.  Not when so much is at stake.  Not at this make-or-break moment for the middle class.”

To prevent Obama from making the appointment, the Senate has been in “pro forma” sessions -- gaveling in and out a few seconds later -- every few days in order to claim they are not in recess. Calling the move a “gimmick,” the White House determined the president had the legal authority to install Cordray because the Senate has effectively been in recess for weeks. The move infuriated Republicans who called it “unprecedented” and “arrogant.”

Before delivering his remarks at Shaker Heights High School, Obama visited the home of Endia and William Eason in Cleveland to illustrate why Americans need, “someone who will stand up for them” like Cordray.

The Easons almost lost their home and were left $80,000 in debt after falling victim to predatory lending by a mortgage broker. “It’s a good example of the kinds of trickery and abuse in the non-bank financial sector that we’re going to have to do something about,” Obama said as he sat around their dining room table. “And we’re so glad that we've got somebody like Rich Cordray who’s willing to take this on.”

Earlier in the day, Cordray told reporters that his first order of business will be to “begin working to expand our program to non-banks, which is an area we haven't been able to touch up until now.”

Obama's photo op notwithstanding, the Republican opposition to the CFPB is that it is a massive entity with virtually unchecked power -- which would all be in the hands of Cordray, who was personally appointed by the president. Opponents called Obama's appointment -- and his appointment of three new picks to head the National Labor Relations board -- an unprecedented "power grab." Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said of the maneuvering, "President Obama, in an unprecedented move, has arrogantly circumvented the American people.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan042012

Obama to Install New Consumer Watchdog Without Congressional Approval

Office of Attorney General of Ohio(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama will attempt to grant a recess appointment to Richard Cordray, his choice to run the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, ABC News has learned, using powers ordinarily only available when the Senate is in recess, which it is not.

Forty-four senators object to the appointment, not over Cordray’s credentials, but over what they consider exceptional powers given to the new agency.

The president on Wednesday is headed to Shaker Heights, Ohio, outside of Cleveland, for a speech on the economy. Cordray, who is from Ohio, will travel to Ohio with President Obama.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Sep022011

Barney Frank Chastises GOP for Blocking CFPB Director Confirmation

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Rep. Barney Frank is more than miffed about Senate Republicans blocking the confirmation of Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Board.

In a Friday Op-Ed the Massachusetts Democrat accused Republicans of “blatantly distorting the Constitution” because they have vowed to block any CFPB director nominee from being confirmed, regardless of the nominee’s merits.

“We’re going to see an extraordinarily qualified administrator of an important consumer protection agency be trashed by the Senate Republican minority because their primary goal is to ensure that financial institutions are not troubled by what they may see as an excessive concern for consumer fairness,” Frank wrote in the Washington Post op-ed.

“It is the legislative equivalent to an arsonist having set a fire and objecting to a building’s inhabitants using the fire exit,” he added.

The CFPB was created in response to the sub-prime mortgage crisis as a way to prevent unsound lending practices and avert another financial crisis. Frank was one of the authors of Dodd-Frank financial reform bill which created the CFPB.

Before the president named his nominee to lead the CFPB, 44 Senate Republicans sent a letter to Obama saying they will not confirm any nominee until the board’s structure is revamped.

Republicans have been staunchly opposed to the board and to many of the Dodd-Frank provisions. In the letter, they specified that they want to scrap the board’s director position altogether and instead diffuse power through a panel of directors. They also want any CFPB regulations to be approved by bank regulators before taking effect.

But the president has said he will veto any changes to Dodd-Frank or restructuring of the CFPB.

Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., who signed the letter, told ABC News in July that Senate Republicans are “not going to budge and we shouldn’t.”

“We fought it last year. We’re going to continue to fight it,” Shelby said.

Frank wrote that the Republicans were waging a “war on financial regulation” and that Cordray’s confirmation was “collateral damage.”

“Senate Republicans are not entitled to use the confirmation power as a bludgeon to get their way when they cannot do so through the normal legislative process,” Frank wrote.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jul182011

Obama Sidesteps Elizabeth Warren, Picks Cordray to Lead CFPB

Atty General's Office, State of Ohio(WASHINGTON) -- After a year of planning and defending the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Elizabeth Warren has been tossed out of the running to lead it. President Obama officially announced Monday that Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray will instead be his pick to run the agency, which begins operations this Thursday.

In a Sunday news release, Obama thanked Warren for her "extraordinary work" in standing up the agency that he said was her idea.

Now that she no longer has a shot to lead the CFPB, Warren may heed the cries for her to run for the U.S. Senate. Liberals have been pushing for Warren for months to run against Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown in a bid for the seat Ted Kennedy once held.

Warren, who served as interim director of the CFPB for the past year, has taken considerable heat for the bureau, which is designed to prevent another financial crisis by policing the predatory lending practices that led to the housing bubble and widespread foreclosures.

She weathered two fierce Senate Oversight Committee hearings where she and committee members sparred about everything from the bureau’s authority to ban financial products to when she could leave the hearing.

But it was unlikely that Warren could have drawn enough support to get beyond a filibuster for her nomination in the U.S. Senate.

“Professor Warren has done an outstanding job at standing up this agency and has been a tremendous asset to us all during the bureau’s first year,” Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said in a statement.

In 2010, just after passage of the Dodd-Frank financial regulation act, which officially created the CFPB, Obama named Warren as a special assistant to both the president and the Treasury Department. This type of appointment allowed Warren to bypass a Senate confirmation.

Soon after her appointment as interim director, Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., a member of the Senate Banking Committee, spoke out against the president’s choice.

“The individual who heads this bureau will be able to make rules, with ultimately no checks and balances, that could have broad reaching implications for the U.S. economy as it relates to accessing credit, social justice and the safety and soundness of the U.S. banking system,” Corker wrote in a letter to the president. “The job is disproportionately reliant on the decisions of one individual with access to large sums of taxpayer monies to carry out the agency agenda."

In May, 44 of the 47 GOP senators expressed similar concerns. The group sent a letter to the president saying the Senate would not confirm any nominee unless the director position was replaced by a board, in order to diffuse power to more Senate-confirmed positions.  

The 44 senators could now effectively prevent Cordray’s appointment, which they have vowed to do, because Democrats would not be able to overcome a filibuster.

"I remain hopeful that those who want to cripple this consumer bureau will think again and remember that the financial crisis -- and the recession and job losses that it sparked -- began one lousy mortgage at a time,” Warren said Sunday in a statement after the president’s announcement to appoint Cordray.

Warren said Cordray, whom she chose as the CFPB’s chief of enforcement in 2009, “will make a stellar director."

Cordray, 52,  “has spent his career advocating for middle class families” and “looking out for ordinary people in our financial system,” Obama said in his Sunday statement.

Cordray earned his master’s degree from Oxford University and his law degree from University of Chicago Law School, where he was the editor of the law review. He has argued seven cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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