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Senator Jeff Merkley (D. OR) is telling the Senate GOP to leave Richard Cordray alone:


“The GOP effort to undermine the work of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is an attack on America’s families. Predatory mortgages and other tricks and traps of the financial system have devastated too many working families. The CFPB was created, with the support of a supermajority of senators, to take on these egregious abuses and ensure that all Americans are protected from unfair and deceptive practices.

“The senators blocking Cordray must ask themselves a fundamental question. Does financial fairness for working families matter? I think it does.  Financial fairness is essential for successful families. Financial fairness is a family value.

“Richard Cordray is, by Republicans’ own admission, extremely well qualified. He has run the agency superbly.  He should be confirmed without delay.” - TPM, 2/6/13

43 Republican Senators have vowed to block Richard Cordray's nomination in exchange to weaken the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's authority:


Experts interviewed by National Journal said the White House may be forced to give ground on changes to the agency this time around. Cordray can serve until the end of 2013 without being confirmed. His nomination now suggests the White House is prepared for a long fight. The prospect that Obama might once again use a recess appointment to install a director without addressing GOP concerns was dismissed as remote, at least at this point in the process. “I’ve never heard of anybody being recess-appointed twice,” said Oliver Ireland, a partner at Morrison & Foerster who specializes in retail financial services and bank regulatory issues.

“I don’t think he’ll be confirmed easily unless there’s some kind of agreement between Hill Republicans and the White House on the structure of the CFPB and its funding,” said Brian Gardner, senior vice president of research at investment bank Keefe, Bruyette & Woods. “I don’t think the politics of this have changed all that much. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the White House give on the structure, the management structure, changing it from a directorship to a commission.”

Appropriations were another issue raised during Cordray’s previous confirmation, but Morrison & Foerster's Ireland says that would be a tougher fight. It’s more common to be a self-funded agency (the Federal Reserve is one prominent example). And the policy implications are different. “Somebody can legitimately argue, I think, ‘Well, we think this ought to be an independent agency and it won’t be truly independent unless it’s self-funded,’” he said. - The National Journal, 2/6/13

Senate Banking Committee Chairman, Senator Tim Johnson (D. SD), has been arguing that the CFPB does not need to be changed and that Cordray should be confirmed without any problems:


“The CFPB enjoys overwhelming public support, and there is no evidence that the bureau is unaccountable and that structural changes are necessary,” said Senate Banking Chairman Tim Johnson, D-S.D. “Calls for changes to the CFPB are just politics at play. The market needs certainty, and blocking Richard Cordray’s nomination is a disservice to consumers and industry alike.” - Roll Call, 2/1/13
Cordray had threatened to run for Governor of Ohio, his home state, against vulnerable incumbent Governor John Kasich (R. OH) if he was not confirmed.  

I bet you Merkley is probably giving Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D. NV) an "I told you so" thrashing right now for cutting a deal with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R. KY) on filibuster reform.  The GOP blocking Cordray in order to weaken the CFPB is just one of many reasons why we must continue to fight for filibuster reform and why we need Senator Merkley in the Senate.  Donate to his re-election campaign so he can keep fighting:


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Originally posted to pdc on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 02:00 PM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions, The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party, South Dakota Kos, PDX Metro, Koscadia, and Daily Kos Oregon.

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