Dems' Push for Cordray Vote is ‘Political Theater’ (Feb. 14, 2013)
Feb. 14, 2013
Three members of the Senate Banking Committee yesterday demanded that Republicans “end unprecedented obstruction” of former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray’s nomination as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) assert that several Senate Republicans have stalled Cordray’s confirmation in an effort to limit the consumer watchdog’s effectiveness. “After two years, it is time for the Senate to give Rich Cordray a vote—up or down—and remove the uncertainty that is costly to families, to community banks and credit unions, and to everyone in financial services,” said Sen. Warren, who had been appointed interim head of the CFPB in 2010 and is known as the agency’s chief architect. “Political stalemates don’t end in more government or less government, but in bad government.”
Last month, President Barack Obama re-nominated Richard Cordray as director and a day later a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that the President violated the Constitution when he bypassed the senate to fill vacancies on the National Labor Relations Board. Although the ruling pertained to appointments to the NLRB, it also cast doubt on the recess appointment of Cordray, who was appointed the same day, Jan. 4, 2012, as the NLRB appointments.
Alan Kaplinsky, a partner with law firm Ballard Spahr LLP, tells Paybefore yesterday’s press conference held at the U.S. Capitol was little more than “political theater.” “[Sen. Warren] and her Democratic colleagues know that the Republican Senators will not act on Cordray’s nomination. Forty-three Republican Senators have told that to the Administration in a letter where they have demanded structural and funding reforms related to the CFPB,” he says. “All of this suggests to me that there will be no political solution unless and until the Administration has played out the string in court.”
Industry experts anticipate an appeal will be filed regarding the NLRB decision. Another case that specifically addresses Cordray’s position with the CFPB, State National Bank of Big Spring, Texas, et al. v. Geithner, et al., is pending in the D.C. district court.