CFPB director confirmation will be an uphill battle

U.S. President Barack Obama announces the nomination of Richard Cordray (R) to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in the Rose Garden at the White House on July 18, 2011 in Washington, D.C.

Steve Chiotakis: Tomorrow, the Senate Banking Committee
will consider the nomination of Richard Cordray as director of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Cordray faces an uphill battle, though. Some Republicans are opposed to having a director in the first place.

From Washington, here's Marketplace's Nancy Marshall Genzer.


Nancy Marshall Genzer: Richard Cordray is used to challenges and tough questions. Before he became a lawyer and attorney general of Ohio, he was a five-time Jeopardy champ. He answered this tough question on potholes in a 1987 show.

Alex Trebek: This city's street contain 927,000 potholes. Richard.

Richard Cordray: What is New York City?

Trebek: You are correct.

The road to the job Cordray's been nominated for is full of potholes -- and a major detour from Congressman Sean Duffy. The Wisconsin Republican sponsored legislation eliminating the bureau director. Instead, the bureau would be run by a five-member commission. Congressman Duffy says a single director would be too powerful, adding to over-regulation by federal agencies.

Sean Duffy: The rules that come from these agencies can have really dramatic impacts on especially small community banks and credit unions.

But consumer advocates say Duffy wants to weaken the bureau. Susanna Montezemolo is with the Center for Responsible Lending.

Susanna Montezemolo: By having a five-member commission, we will have a situation in which no one person is taking responsibility.

The debate leaves the consumer bureau in limbo. It can't write many new rules without a confirmed director.

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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