A Confirmed Director at Last

CordrayAmericans for Financial Reform released this statement after the Senate voted 66 to 34 to approve Richard Cordray’s nomination to a full five-year term:

After a long campaign of obstruction, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finally has a confirmed director.

“The creation of this agency was a big step forward in the effort to bring basic standards of fairness and transparency to the lending and banking world,” AFR Executive Director Lisa Donner said. “Under Rich Cordray’s leadership, the Bureau has begun to make a difference for consumers. Now it’s here to stay. It can continue its important work, with its authority and independence intact. That’s terrific news for American families, and for the American economy.”

Two polls released on the eve of today’s vote showed heavy voter support, across party lines, for both the Consumer Bureau and tougher regulation of Wall Street. (See Summary of AFR/CRL survey and Statement from Consumers Union.) In the first poll – a telephone survey of 1,004 likely voters conducted July 8-11 – Lake Research Partners found that:

  • Eight in ten (80%) voters liked the Consumer Financial Protection after hearing arguments pro and con. Only 13% opposed the agency. Support for the CFPB cut across party lines, encompasisng 91% of Democrats, 79% of independents, and 71% of Republicans.
  • 83% of voters said Wall Street should be held accountable with tougher rules and enforcement, compared to only 9% who believe that bank practices have already changed sufficiently. Support for tougher rules was up 10 points over July 2012, when 73% of voters in a similar survey took the same position.
  • In the new poll, tougher rules and enforcement were favored by 89% of Democrats, 82% of independents, and 75% of Republicans.

Similar findings emerged from a survey released by Consumers Union, the policy arm of Consumer Reports. In that poll, 74 percent of the respondents said that they supported approval of a CFPB director to ensure that the bureau’s work is not interrupted. And 55 percent of the CU respondents believed that interrupting the CFPB’s work would harm consumers.

In recent months, more than 160,000 people have signed petitions calling on the Senate to confirm Director Cordray unconditionally. (View or download first AFR petition. View or download additional petitions organized by AFR, AFL, NCLR. A separate petition organized by Consumers Union attracted more than 60,000 signers AFR and allied groups have delivered petitions physically to the offices of 13 Senators, and electronically to the entire Senate. In the days leading up to the final vote, Consumers Union generated more than 180,00 emails and phone calls to Senators. Other groups sent out appeals that led to tens of thousands more calls and messages.

View or download first AFR petition. View or download additional petitions organized by AFR, AFL, NCLR.