Forty-three Republican senators have sent a letter to President Obama stating that there will be no confirmation of any nominee to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) unless the agency's structure is changed.
TheHill.com reports that only two Republican senators – Tennessee's Bob Corker and Ohio's Rob Portman – did not sign the letter, which seeks to replace the office of CFPB director with a five-member commission and to realign the CFPB's funding source from the Federal Reserve to congressional appropriators.
The legal status of Richard Cordray, the CFPB director, has been cast in doubt following a Jan. 18 court ruling state that the president acted illegally when he made a series of recess appointments on Jan. 4, 2012. Cordray, who was nominated to run the CFPB three days before the agency officially opened for business in July 2011, received a recess appointment after GOP senators refused to advance his nomination to a confirmation vote. The president has already re-nominated Cordray for the position; Cordray's recess appointment is set to expire at the end of this year.
‘The CFPB as created by the deeply flawed Dodd-Frank Act is one of the least accountable in Washington,’ says Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the Senate minority leader. ‘Today's letter reaffirms a commitment by 43 Senators to fix the poorly thought structure of this agency that has unprecedented reach and control over individual consumer decisions – but an unprecedented lack of oversight and accountability."
Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, has called for Cordray's nomination and dismissed the GOP letter as ‘just politics at play.’
‘The CFPB enjoys overwhelming public support, and there is no evidence that the bureau is unaccountable and that structural changes are necessary,’ Johnson says. ‘The market needs certainty, and blocking Richard Cordray's nomination is a disservice to consumers and industry alike.’