The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Development has voted to confirm former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The committee approved the nomination by a party-line vote of 12-10, with all Republican members voting against, as the Republicans have repeatedly vowed to do until the CFPB is restructured.
The nomination must now come to a vote before the full Senate to complete Cordray’s confirmation. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has united the Republican caucus to block the nomination (until the CFPB is restructured), and it is unclear when the Senate will actually take up the nomination. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), formed by passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and launched by Elizabeth Warren, officially opened its doors on July 21, 2011, but its powers are limited until it has a Senate-confirmed director.
“Today’s Banking Committee vote on Richard Cordray is an important step forward for American consumers. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau needs a director, and Mr. Cordray has proven he is qualified for the job. He should be confirmed by the full Senate as soon as possible," said Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-SD). “Unfortunately Senate Republicans are blocking his confirmation, and in doing so they are blocking vital new protections for consumers, and putting community banks and credit unions at a disadvantage to their less-regulated competitors.”
The Senate Banking Committee also unanimously approved the nominations of Alan B. Krueger to be a Member of the Council of Economic Advisers; David A. Montoya to be Inspector General, U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD); Cyrus Amir-Mokri to be an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, U.S. Department of the Treasury; Patricia M. Loui to be a Member of the Board of Directors, Export-Import Bank of the United States; and Larry W. Walther to be a Member of the Board of Directors, Export-Import Bank of the United States.