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Legal News: The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times
CFPB Nominee Cordray Passes Out of Committee, Faces Tough Senate Floor Fight
By Jenna Greene
The Senate Banking Committee today voted along partisan lines to approve the nomination of Richard Cordray to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, but he still faces an uphill battle for confirmation.
The former attorney general of Ohio, Cordray was nominated by President Obama in July to head the agency, which was created by the Dodd-Frank financial reform law and is charged with policing consumer financial markets for unfair, deceptive or abusive practices.
Today?s 12 to 10 vote doesn?t bring Cordray, who currently serves as the CFPB?s head of enforcement, much closer to the top job. He?ll need a filibuster-proof 60 votes to win confirmation in the full Senate, but in May, 44 Republican senators signed a letter vowing to oppose any nominee unless the bureau is restructured with a board of directors akin to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and is funded via the congressional appropriations process.
As Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said at Cordray?s confirmation hearing last month, "The director will have unprecedented authority over the lives of American people without any real check.?
Democrats oppose restructuring the agency, but without a confirmed director in place, the CFPB?s authority is limited by statute.
?Without a director, the CFPB will be unable to ensure that banks, debt collectors, private student loan providers and payday loan providers are properly supervised and that consumers are not put at risk of falling prey to the same kinds of abusive practices that helped cause the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression,? Stephanie Cutter, one of Obama?s top advisors, wrote in the White House blog today.
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