President Barack Obama announces the nomination of former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray, right, as the first director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) during a statement in the Rose Garden of the White House, July 18, 2011. At le
The first time President Obama nominated Richard Cordray to the CFPB, July 18, 2011.
President Obama has renominated Richard Cordray to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a nomination that Republicans again have vowed to block not because they have a problem with Cordray, but because they have a problem with the law the created the agency. They refuse to follow the normal legislative process for changing that law, so they're blowing up the Senate, instead. In return, Sens. Jack Reed (D-RI), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) held a press conference Wednesday, demanding a majority vote for Cordray.
“Every year, hard-working American families lose millions of dollars to deceptive financial practices like hidden fees and predatory lending. The CFPB is there to help keep families from getting scammed. They are shining a spotlight on predatory loan practices and products—bringing them into the light, where they can be seen and stopped.  We must not let opponents of Wall Street reform turn back the clock on consumer protection. [...]” said Senator Reed.

“The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau stands up for average Americans,” Senator Brown said. “And yet, Wall Street special interests and their allies in Congress have repeatedly refused to approve anyone to serve as the Director unless the agency’s authority is watered down. The American people are fed up with the obstructionism in Washington. We need to protect this agency that protects American families.”

“Under the leadership of Director Cordray, the CFPB has been making a real difference for hard working families everywhere. After two years, it is time for the Senate to give Rich Cordray a vote—up or down—and remove the uncertainty that is costly to families, to community banks and credit unions, and to everyone in financial services.” said Senator Warren. “Political stalemates don’t end in more government or less government, but in bad government—government that lacks the clarity and predictability that our businesses need to plan for the future, to serve their customers, and to create jobs.”

This comes with an announcement Wednesday from the CFPB that they were taking further efforts to work with financial institutions to make sure new mortage regulations are "understood, applied, and carried out evenly and effectively." That's what Republicans, on behalf of Wall Street, are fighting. They don't think consumers deserve an even playing field, particularly if it's going to eat into profits for the big banks. That's why they are stretching even their own limits of obstruction.

This is precisely the kind of action the filibuster reform agreement was supposed to put an end to. Senate Republicans are thumbing their noses at that agreement, at Harry Reid, and at the institution. The obvious response is for Reid to use his power to change the rules mid-session. Please sign our petition to Harry Reid, urging him to act on real filibuster reform.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 02:13 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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