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Thursday
Dec082011

Senate GOP Blocks Obama‚Äôs Choice to Head CFPB

Office of the Attorney General of Ohio(WASHINGTON) -- The Senate voted Thursday against advancing President Obama’s nominee, Richard Cordray, to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

The vote, 53-45-1, was a party line vote with the exception of Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., who voted with the Democrats. Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine voted present, and Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass did not vote.

Senate Republicans argued that they are blocking Cordray’s nomination not because of his qualifications but because they are trying to force structural changes to the bureau -- changes they’ve called for the White House to make sine the bureau’s proposal.

Republicans have been consistently concerned with the bureau’s “lack of transparency or accountability,” and feel they have not had their concerns adequately addressed by the White House.

Republicans want the potential director replaced with a board of directors that would oversee the bureau -- because they don’t believe a single person should wield so much power.  Additionally they believe the bureau should be subject to the congressional appropriations process, which without, they say, gives the bureau a “funding stream” without a check from the American people.

Following Thursday’s vote, Senate Democrats blasted Republicans for standing in the way of the nomination to get an up-or-down vote, while not addressing the GOP's concerns over the CFPB's potential power.

“This is Republican never-never land,” Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY said. “They speak to the GOP’s true motives, to deprive the critical agency of any power to protect middle class consumers….This is not over, we will never sign on any attempt to permanently gut this agency.”

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