US Senate Blocks Confirmation of Richard Cordray, President Obama’s Nominee to Head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; Obama Recess Appoints Cordray January 4, 2012.
December 8, 2011: US Senate Blocks Confirmation of Richard Cordray, President Obama’s Nominee to Head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
In a partisan vote of 53 to 45, the U.S. Senate blocked the confirmation of Richard Cordray, President Obama’s nominee to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). All 45 no votes were from Republican Senators who disagree with the underlying legislation of Dodd-Frank and how the CFPB is formulated. (This was a cloture vote to end debate on the nomination/prevent a filibuster, thus 60 votes were required to stop debate to allow the nomination vote to proceed.)
Republican Senator Scott Brown, who faces a challenge from Elizabeth Warren, the Harvard Law Professor who was tasked with setting up the Bureau, and then bypassed by Obama to run it, voted for Cordray, and Republican Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine voted “present.” Otherwise, it was a party line vote that leaves the fledgling new agency without a head, and unable to undertake large swaths of its mandate to protect consumers, including work on fair contracts in certain fields.
For a history of the nomination and the unfolding of the CFPB, see the front page blog at Citizenworks.org.
On January 4, 2012, Obama recess appointed Cordray to lead the CFPB.