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Richard Cordray and Barack Obama meet with victims of mortgage fraud, in other words, the people Republicans want to protect Wall Street from.
The Senate Banking Committee hearing on the nomination of Richard Cordray to head the CFPB was held Tuesday. The hearing was extremely cordial but all in all probably futile, since Republican opposition to the existence of his agency. The ranking member of the committee, Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) laid it out clearly.
At today's hearing, Sen. Mike Crapo, Republican of Idaho, questioned what he said is a lack of oversight of Cordray's budget, a problem he says could be fixed by changing the agency's structure. Crapo, the ranking Republican on the committee, said that the CFPB spent more than $150 million on contracts and support services last year, "which is more than the agency spent on employees. . . . There is no public accounting of how these monies on contracts and support services are being spent."
Republicans don't have a problem with Cordray. In fact one, Tom Coburn (one of the 43 Republicans who signed a letter to President Obama promising a filibuster of any nominee) told Cordray "I think you've done a wonderful done so far in carrying out your duties." It's not personal, you see, it's just that Republicans want to see the CFPB utterly neutered, brought under the fiscal thumb of Congress where it can be better controlled. And where Congress can better protect Wall Street from it.
"What I want to know is why, since the 1800s, have there been agencies all over Washington with a single director, including the [Office of the Comptroller of the Currency]," she began, "but unlike the consumer agency, no one in the U.S. Senate has held up confirmation of their directors demanding that the agency be redesigned.
"What I want to know," she continued, "is why every banking regulator since the Civil War has been funded outside the appropriations process—but unlike the consumer agency, no one in the U.S. Senate has held up confirmation of their directors demanding that that agency or those agencies be redesigned. [...]"
Rhetorical questions, but masterfully delivered. Everyone knows this is all about Republicans continuing to protect Wall Street over Main Street, and to do by taking Richard Cordray's nomination hostage.