The U.S. Senate has shot down the approval of President Barack Obama's nomination of Richard Corday as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) by a vote of 53-45 on Thursday. Republican opposition led to Cordray's rejection as the majority of Republicans contend that the leadership of the CFPB should be comprised of a five-member board and not that of a sole individual.
"I am disappointed that Senate Republicans continue to hold strong consumer protections hostage," said Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-SD). "By voting against Mr. Cordray’s nomination, Senate Republicans demonstrated that they care more about Wall Street than helping American consumers."
The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Development voted in early October to confirm former Ohio Attorney General Cordray as director of the CFPB. The committee approved the nomination by a vote of 12-10, with all Republican members voting against the nomination.
“American families paid a steep price for the financial crisis, battered by layoffs and foreclosures," said Sen. Johnson. "Congress created the CFPB to protect consumers and clean up the marketplace, but it needs a director. Richard Cordray has proven himself capable for the job, and there is no legitimate reason to block his confirmation."
President Obama nominated Cordray last July to replace Elizabeth Warren, the architect of the CFPB. As Attorney General of Ohio, Cordray recovered more than $2 billion for Ohio’s retirees, investors and business owners, and took major steps to help protect Ohio's consumers from fraudulent foreclosures. Cordray also fought against fraudulent loan modification and foreclosure rescue companies in Ohio, and has also gone after the nation's rating agencies for misleading consumers.
"Republicans made our position clear more than seven months ago, when 44 of us signed a letter saying we won’t support a nominee for this bureau—regardless of who the President is—until three common sense conditions are met that would bring some transparency and accountability to the CFPB. That letter now has 45 signatories," said U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. "The President knew about these concerns months ago and he chose to dismiss them. And now he’s suddenly making a push to confirm his nominee—because it fits into some picture he wants to paint about who the good guys and the bad guys are in Washington.
Until a director is named and confirmed, the CFPB cannot regulate mortgage originators and mortgage servicers, in addition to student loan providers, debt collectors, payday lenders and check cashers.
“Americans deserve the full protections signed into law under Wall Street reform," said U.S. Department of the Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. "The longer the Senate fails to confirm Richard Cordray to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the longer they will be denied that protection.”