White House Bypasses Congress to Appoint Cordray as CFPB Director

Wednesday, January 04, 2012 11:01:00 AM

WASHINGTON – The White House today said it would claim use of its executive powers to install Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) after the U.S. Congress failed to take action on Cordray's nomination before the current work break.

Cordray's nomination to be CFPB director was approved by the Senate Banking Committee in October, but had stalled since then. Cordray is a former Ohio Attorney General who currently serves as Enforcement Chief at the CFPB. The bureau was created in 2010 by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

Opponents to the CFPB director nomination have argued that the CFPB will lack transparency if run by a single director and they have been pushing for a five-member board to head the new agency, among other changes. Earlier this year 44 GOP lawmakers vowed to block confirmation of a director unless those changes were made.

However, others have argued that the CFPB's work is being held hostage in a fight that amounts to nothing more than political wrangling. As early as last summer, before President Obama's first choice for the directorship, Elizabeth Warren, left Washington to return to Harvard University and subsequently launch a U.S. Senate race—a letter signed by 89 House Democrats urged the president to name Warren director of the CFPB by recess appointment, if necessary.

The consumer agency has been run since August by Raj Date in the role of special adviser to U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, the post Warren filled previously.

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