Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images
US President Barack Obama announces the nomination of Richard Cordray (R) to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in the Rose Garden at the White House on July 18, 2011 in Washington, DC.
Unsurprisingly, Republican senators recently blocked a vote on whether to approve President Obama’s nominee, former Attorney General of Ohio Richard Cordray, to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The primary reason given by Republicans for the block is that they want the law that created the regulatory agency to be re-written, making the bureau more accountable, before leadership is appointed.
The establishment of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has become a major point of contention in Washington in the wake of one of the worst economic recessions in U.S. history, which is widely thought to have originated from predatory lending practices conducted by banks and financial firms that the new watchdog agency is charged with monitoring. Reportedly, Obama may try to install Cordray as director of the bureau in a recess appointment in January as a counter tactic to the recent Republican block. Round one in the battle over the direction of the bureau appears to have been won by Republicans, but apparently the White House is primed for round two.
Who stands to gain the most from the delayed appointment of the future director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau? How urgently do consumers need protection from financial companies?
Pedro Morillas, legislative director, California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG)
Mark Calabria, director of Financial Regulatory Studies, CATO Institute