Breaking News: Senate Confirms CFPB Director Cordray (July 17, 2013)
July 17, 2013
The U.S. Senate yesterday confirmed Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) amid growing acrimony along party lines over several of President Barack Obama’s nominations. The vote was 66-34.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) late last week filed cloture motions to force votes on seven nominees in an effort to bypass what he called “blatant obstruction” by Senate Republicans, who have vehemently opposed Cordray’s confirmation out of concerns over the agency’s structure and reach. Reid also had threatened to change Senate rules, enabling nominees to be confirmed with 51 votes, instead of 60, if Republicans tried to block the nominations.
Still in play is the case of National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning, which the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear last month. The high court’s decision on the case could affect the legal validity of appointments made by President Obama, including the appointment of Cordray.
“If Noel Canning is upheld, there are hundreds of decisions and administrative actions that would be invalidated,” Steven Suflas, a labor and employment partner with Ballard Spahr LLP, tells Paybefore. “The new appointees might be able to reassemble Humpty Dumpty and reaffirm the challenged actions, but there still is much uncertainty.”