The Dodd-Frank financial reform act, which barely got passed thanks to GOP obstruction, calls for a director. Because Senate Republicans threatened to filibuster anyone put forward for that position, President Obama was forced to make a recess appointment of Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray. Now that it’s time to renew that appointment, the usual suspects are promising to
hold their breath until they turn blue block the nomination. Unless they get to make some changes – changes that will weaken the bureau and give them a chance to control it. Tell me you’re not surprised…
According to a letter sent to the President Thursday, 43 Republican Senators will refuse to budge on approving the director. Mitchie “the Turtle” McConnell and Mike “DUI” Crapo signed the letter which reads, in part:
“The CFPB as created by the deeply flawed Dodd-Frank Act is one of the least accountable in Washington. Today’s letter reaffirms a commitment by 43 Senators to fix the poorly thought structure of this agency that has unprecedented reach and control over individual consumer decisions — but an unprecedented lack of oversight and accountability.” (source)
Allow me to translate: “We hate this new agency because we can’t control it.” They would like to switch the director for a 5-person commission (bi-partisan, so they say) and make the CFPB fall under congressional appropriations. As it stands now, the bureau is funded via the Federal Reserve. They basically want to starve the bureau of funds so that it cannot fulfill its mission. A mission, says Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), that…
“… enjoys overwhelming public support, and there is no evidence that the bureau is unaccountable and that structural changes are necessary. The market needs certainty, and blocking Richard Cordray’s nomination is a disservice to consumers and industry alike.” (source)
The House GOP has already stymied the The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by denying them the funds to implement the Dodd-Frank provisions. Less than half of the rules that are supposed to protect the market have been put into place thanks to the House GOP. And there is still much that needs to be done to ensure the regulatory protections that were laid out in the bill.
But, as usual, the Republicans in Congress seem to think that this is some kind of game, where they only score by blocking any progress at all. Political chicken and their mandate of protecting their wealthy constituency trump the actual job they are supposed to be doing. The CFPB is an important guardian of the consumer, the people like you and I who actually drive the economy. The big financial companies, the banks – the ones who got us into this mess in the first place – don’t need protection. But, by god, they bought it and the GOP is making sure that they get their money’s worth. And to hell with the rest of us.
T. Steelman is a life-long Liberal. She has been writing online about politics since 2007. She lives in Western Washington with her husband, daughter, 2 cats and a small herd of alpacas. How can anybody be enlightened? Truth is, after all, so poorly lit…