Entries in Richard Cordray (5)


Senate GOP Blocks Obama’s 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.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


White House Pushes Cordray Nomination Ahead of Senate Vote

Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesUPDATE: President Obama’s choice to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was blocked Thursday in the Senate.

(WASHINGTON) -- The White House is publicly ramping up pressure on Senate Republicans to back Richard Cordray’s nomination for director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

The Senate is set to vote on Cordray’s nomination on Thursday, but Republicans have said they will block the former Ohio Attorney General from leading the agency unless it undergoes structural changes.

“We want accountability for this agency, which has none today as it’s structured,” Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., said on Tuesday. “This is not about him.  It’s about the structure of this, a powerful -- I think a monster, as far as future regulation, to over-regulate our economy, create more regulations and fewer jobs.”

The White House said on Wednesday the CFPB has, “an unprecedented set of accountability provisions” and warned Senate Republicans that blocking Cordray’s nomination will leave “the door wide open” for the same kinds of abuses that led to the financial crisis.

Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin told reporters on Wednesday, "Until a director is confirmed, these institutions will operate without supervision and oversight, just like before the crisis. That means that millions of American people who will remain vulnerable to some of the same regulatory gaps that helped create the financial crisis, and they will lack basic commonsense protections."

President Obama has also publicly pushed lawmakers to support his nominee.

“Nobody claims he’s not qualified. But the Republicans in the Senate refuse to confirm him for the job; they refuse to let him do his job. Why? Does anybody here think that the problem that led to our financial crisis was too much oversight of mortgage lenders or debt collectors?” the president said Tuesday.

As part of its campaign, the White House on Wednesday enlisted bipartisan state attorneys general to call for Cordray’s confirmation.  The administration is also making an aggressive case in seven targeted states -- Alaska, Tennessee, Maine, Iowa, Indiana, Nevada, and Utah -- for Cordray to be confirmed.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Stalemate over New Consumer Watchdog Group

Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- At his news conference Thursday, President Obama weighed in on a potential deadlock in Congress over his nominee to head a consumer financial watchdog group.

“We’re going to have a hearing on Richard Cordray, who is my nominee to head up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. He would be America’s chief consumer watchdog when it comes to financial products. This is a guy who is well-regarded in his home state of Ohio, has been the treasurer of Ohio, the attorney general of Ohio. Republicans and Democrats in Ohio all say that he is a serious person who looks out for consumers. He has a good reputation.  And Republicans have threatened not to confirm him not because of anything he’s done, but because they want to roll back the whole notion of having a consumer watchdog,” said Obama.

The vote took place shortly after 10 a.m. Thursday morning, before the full Senate Banking Committee. Along a party line vote of 12-10 it approved Cordray’s nomination. Although the nomination was sent to the full Senate, Republicans, including the Banking Committee’s ranking Republican Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, have vowed to block the nomination unless the president agrees to changes in the structure of the bureau.

Shelby wants a board to lead the agency instead of a single director. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who testified before the committee Thursday, urged Republicans to meet with Cordray. But Shelby indicated it’s not the nominee that is the problem, it’s the president’s unwillingness to have a dialogue on changing the bureau.

Geithner called Cordray an exceptionally thoughtful leader. “If the Senate fails to confirm a director for the CFPB, then what will happen is we will leave a vast array of nonbank financial institutions, consumer finance companies, outside the scope of consumer protection,” Geithner told the committee. “Which was exactly the same mistake that left us so vulnerable to the financial crisis we went through.”

But Shelby warned that Cordray’s nomination is dead until he hears from Obama. “We’re waiting for that dialogue, and I hope we hear from you,” Shelby told Geithner. “But short of that I think the nominee’s not going anywhere.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Rep. Barney Frank: ‘Gender Bias’ Contributed to Warren Downfall

House [dot] gov(WASHINGTON) -- Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., blames an unconscious culture of sexism for the failed appointment of Elizabeth Warren to the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

“Part of it I have to say was gender bias,” Frank said on the House floor Wednesday.

Warren, a former Harvard professor, was tapped as a White House adviser and helped set up the newly formed CFPB, but she was ultimately passed over by the Obama administration.  Instead, they nominated former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to lead the start-up government agency.

The CFPB is a new federal agency that will put regulators in charge of policing the financial services industry.  It was widely assumed that Warren would not have obtained the necessary 60 votes to overcome a filibuster of her nomination.

Warren was the subject of harsh questioning from Republican members of Congress during her numerous appearances before the House Financial Services Committee when she was working to create CFPB.

But she is also known for asking tough questions herself -- grilling Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner back in 2009 when she chaired the Congressional Oversight Panel, created by Congress to oversee the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).

Frank did not say who he blames for gender bias -- the White House for not nominating her or Republicans in the Senate for promising to block her nomination.

“Ms. Warren encountered from some people, maybe unconscious on their part, the notion that very strong-willed women with strong opinions might have a place but not in the financial sector,” said Frank.

Jeff Emerson, a spokesman for Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee, pointed out that Warren could easily have been nominated by the White House over Cordray.

“Mr. Frank obviously ignores the fact that President Obama could nominate whomever he wanted for this position and it is President Obama who chose not to nominate Elizabeth Warren,” said Emerson.

Warren will return to Harvard on Aug. 1, according to the Treasury Department, but there has been wide speculation that Warren might run for Senate in Massachusetts.  The consumer advocate is considered to be a potential Democratic challenger to Massachusetts Republican Sen. Scott Brown.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Sen. Shelby Not Budging on Filibuster Threat of CFPB Nominee

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- One day after the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) opened its doors, Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., doubled down on his resolve to block the appointment of the agency’s first leader.

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

“This puts so much power, too much power, in one person, and we should never have done that,” he said of the Dodd-Frank law, which created the agency and its directorship last year.

“This is about accountability, and what we’re asking for is...not to change the mission, but of governance,” he said.  “And the president can do this.  If he doesn’t do it, I believe we’re not going to budge and we shouldn’t.”

This week, Obama nominated Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to head the new agency, but his appointment must be confirmed by the Senate.

Shelby said he doesn't oppose Cordray personally, but opposes any single person to head the agency.

He and 42 Republican colleagues have written to President Obama demanding a “structural change” to the bureau that would replace the director with a board of managers and subject it to the Congressional appropriations process.  The White House opposes the changes.

On the debt and deficit debate, Shelby took an equally firm stand against the prospect of a U.S. default, which has been raised by some House Republicans.

“I don’t believe we will default.  We should never think about defaulting,” he said, predicting there will be a temporary resolution before Aug. 2.

“If we don’t do something serious -- and I don’t believe we can do it in the next two weeks, in the next few months about spending -- we’re going to have a bigger can to kick down the road,” he said.

Shelby responded warmly to the $3.7 trillion deficit reduction framework drafted by the bipartisan "Gang of Six" Senators, but he suggested it’s too early to offer a full-fledged endorsement.

“We are looking at the details,” he said.  “I hope it is more than smoke and mirrors.  I hope it is no smoke and no mirrors.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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