Mayors urge Richard Cordray’s appointment as head of CFPB (with related video)
The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) is urging the U.S. Senate to confirm Richard Cordray, a former Ohio attorney general, as director of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The push by USCM comes as Senate Republicans are vowing to block Cordray’s nomination in tomorrow’s scheduled vote.
In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., USCM President Antonio Villaraigosa and Vice President Michael Nutter lauded Cordray as “an honorable, committed and highly-qualified public servant” and added that Cordray “has demonstrated that he has the necessary expertise and sound judgment to lead the CFPB to affect real change in our communities – change that is urgently needed.”
Villaraigosa and Nutter are the mayors of Los Angeles and Philadelphia, respectively.
Cordray is currently the director of enforcement at CFPB, which was created by last year’s Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to regulate consumer financial products such as mortgages and credit cards. However, the bureau has been without a director, and Villaraigosa and Nutter wrote that “without a director, the new CFPB is hamstrung in its ability to hold [financial] firms accountable and to rein in some of the financial practices that contributed to the economic downturn, hurting communities across America.”
According to Bloomberg Businessweek, “House and Senate Republicans say the agency wouldn’t have enough accountability and have pushed for legislative changes that would place the bureau under the congressional appropriations process and replace the director position with a five-member board. Senate Republicans have vowed to block any nominee without the structural changes.”
As of this afternoon, it does not appear that Senate Democrats have the 60 votes required to block a Republican-led filibuster of Cordray’s confirmation vote. A White House spokesman refused to comment on whether President Obama would “use his recess appointment authority to put Cordray in place if no Senate vote takes place,” Bloomberg Businessweek also reports.
Cordray has served as treasurer for the state of Ohio and as treasurer for Franklin County, Ohio. He also is a five-time winner on “Jeopardy” and was American City & County’s 2005 County Leader of the Year.