President Obama said yesterday that he will re-nominate Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Obama made Cordray the CFPB director in January 2012 through a controversial two-year recess appointment that expires at the end of 2013.
The president made the recess appointment after Senate Republicans threatened to block Cordray’s confirmation. In a May 2011 letter to Obama, 44 GOP senators said they would block any CFPB nomination until Congress replaced the bureau’s director with a board; subjected the agency to the congressional appropriations process; and gave banking regulators the authority to override CFPB regulations that could cause bank failures.
The reactions from key congressional republicans indicate that Cordray's nomination will reignite the republican push to reform the CFPB. House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling stated that he hopes Cordray's renomination "will open the debate about whether some common sense checks and balances will be placed on a massive bureaucracy that is now totally unaccountable to the American people."
Senate Banking Committee ranking member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) said yesterday that he would oppose Cordray’s re-nomination -- which would be for a five-year term -- and reiterated the demand for structural changes in the bureau.
“Until key structural changes are made to the bureau to ensure accountability and transparency, I will continue my opposition to any nominee for director,” Crapo said. “If the president is looking for a different outcome, the administration should use this as an opportunity to work with us on the critical reforms we have identified.”
Read the May 2011 letter.
Read Chairman Hensarling's statement.
Read Senator Crapo's statement.