By 71 to 29, the Senate has agreed to end debate and allow a vote on the nomination of Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
That vote “will remove the threat of legal challenges to the bureau’s rules and enforcement actions,” according to reporters Carter Dougherty and Cheyenne Hopkins (Bloomberg, July 16).
Cordray, a former Ohio attorney general, had been nominated for the post twice. As the Bloomberg article points out, he “waited more than 700 days for a Senate confirmation vote,” while Republicans pressed for changes that would have weakened the director’s authority and the agency’s independence.
“They don’t like the fact that this first-ever financial watchdog with the explicit mission of protecting consumers instead of bankers is doing exactly what it is supposed to,” AFR’s Lisa Donner told Bloomberg. With Cordray’s confirmation, the consumer bureau “will be able to exercise its full authority over large banks and a range of nonbank financial firms including payday lenders and mortgage originators without any legal threat to its authority.”