President Obama pushes to get CFPB head approved

Gregory Warner Dec 5, 2011

Steve Chiotakis: Here at home this week, President Obama’s expected to put the pressure on Congress to approve his nominee to head the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. Richard Cordray was Ohio’s attorney general. But Republicans vow to hold up any nominee until the bureau itself gets overhauled.

Marketplace’s Gregory Warner reports.

Gregory Warner: If Richard Cordray were to become director of the CFPB, he’d be independent of the White House and Congress.

That scares Republican Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama, who said this to the Heritage Foundation:

Richard Shelby :You’ve got so much power vested in one person. Unaccountable to Congress, acccountable to no one, someone hard to remove.

GOP Senators have vowed to block any nominee until funding for the bureau is under Congressional control.

Chris Kukwell from the Center for Responsible Lending says the bureau’s independence is the whole point.

Chris Kukwell: It’s intentional in that it allows the bureau to be able to make decisions and sometimes I think what may be tough decisions without having to worry about their funding being cut off.

The CFPB is open for business now. They’re hearing complaints about credit card companies. Later this month they want to hear about problems with your mortgage lender. But the bureau needs Congress to approve a director before it can take on its policing role as Wall Street watchdog.

In Philadelphia, I’m Gregory Warner for Marketplace.

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