Senate GOP vows to block consumer bureau chief

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau logo.

STEVE CHIOTAKIS: The future is a little murkier for the nation's Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. That's the new agency set up as a part of Wall Street reform. But we're learning today Republicans are trying to restructure the agency before it's even built.

Marketplace's Nancy Marshall Genzer reports.


NANCY MARSHALL GENZER: Forty-four of the 47 Republicans in the Senate signed the letter. Sixty votes are needed to end a filibuster and start a vote on a nominee. So the Republicans have guaranteed there won't be a vote. They want major changes first. They say, right now, the head of the bureau would be too powerful. And they want to make the bureau submit its budget to Congress for approval. Right now, the budget comes from the Federal Reserve.

American University political science professor James Thurber says the president can make a temporary, recess appointment. But that would leave the bureau in a weak position.

JAMES THURBER: It weakens the agency because the person does not have the authority of a permanent appointment and the authority of the Senate behind that.

There are already three bills pending in the House that would take away some of the bureau's authority. One would make it easier for the bureau's rules to be overturned.

In Washington, I'm Nancy Marshall Genzer for Marketplace.

About the author

Nancy Marshall-Genzer is a senior reporter for Marketplace based in Washington, D.C. covering daily news.

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