Thursday, December 08, 2011 11:42:00 AM
WASHINGTON – During a U.S. Senate vote on the nomination of Richard Cordray to become CFPB director this morning, Senate Republicans blocked the confirmation of President Obama’s nominee to lead his signature consumer watchdog agency, a move that prevents it from exercising many of its broad new powers.
By a vote of 53 to 45, Senate Democrats were unable to close off debate to allow the confirmation to proceed; 60 votes were needed to end a filibuster and proceed.
The nomination has proven controversial, with legislators for or against the appointment lining up mostly along party lines.
A group of 44 Senate Republicans earlier this year signed a letter saying they would block any CFPB nominee if certain structural changes were not made to the CFPB, including replacing the director's position with a five-member panel. Some supporters argue this would make the agency actions more transparent. A bill that would impose the changes passed the House by a 241-173 vote in late July, but has not been brought up in the Senate Banking Committee.