Filibuster Talk Begins of Obama's Safer Pick for Top Consumer Protection Post

Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Having passed on a Harvard professor who helped create the new agency, President Barack Obama has decided to go with a former state attorney general of Ohio to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. But it seems no matter who Obama selects, Senate Republicans intend to obstruct their confirmation.
Obama’s choice is Democrat Richard Cordray, undefeated five-time Jeopardy! champion who later garnered national attention for aggressively investigating mortgage foreclosure practices while serving as Ohio’s attorney general. Cordray already works for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, serving as leader of its enforcement division.
Liberals were hoping Obama would go with Elizabeth Warren, the Harvard law professor who was the driving force behind the agency’s creation. But her independent and outspoken behavior won her few friends within Obama’s inner circle of advisers, including Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.
The bureau was created by the Dodd-Frank financial regulation act last year for the express purpose of being the consumer’s main watchdog to protect against scams and rip-offs by financial companies. Warren likens it to the “cop on the beat.”
Republicans hate the law and the bureau.
But even with the safer choice of Cordray, Obama faces a tough time getting someone confirmed in the Senate to lead the agency. Republicans insist no one individual should head the office. Instead, they prefer a board of directors.
Forty-four Republican senators have already signed a pledge not to vote for any nominee, regardless of party affiliation, to head the bureau. Senate rules require only 41 votes to sustain a filibuster.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Former Ohio Attorney General to Head New Consumer Agency (by Binyamin Appelbaum, New York Times)
The Richard Cordray Filibuster Begins (by Matthew Yglesias, ThinkProgress)


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