President Obama on Thursday re-nominated Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, all but assuring a fight with Senate Republicans who oppose the agency’s sweeping powers to regulate the financial services industry.
Cordray, 53, took the helm of the consumer agency in late 2011 through a recess appointment. His term expires at the end of the year unless he wins approval. But Senate staffers say Obama’s end run has poisoned the waters for Cordray.
“Until key structural changes are made to the bureau to ensure accountability and transparency, I will continue my opposition to any nominee for director,” said Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee. “If the president is looking for a different outcome, the administration should use this as an opportunity to work with us on the critical reforms we have identified.”
There are at least three bills and one ongoing court case aimed at turning the bureau into a five-member commission, subject to the congressional appropriations process.