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Cordray dismisses questions about the legality of his appointment

Richard CordrayLess than 24 hours after his controversial recess appointment to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Richard Cordray brushed aside questions about the legality of his appointment.
 
With a director in place, the CFPB now has the ability to begin supervising non-banks, many of which are the same as entities that engaged in predatory lending practices that sparked the financial crisis, the Huffington Post reports.
 
"I am honored to serve as the first director of the bureau," Cordray said, according to the Huffington Post. "Now, for the first time, we can exercise the full authorities granted to us under the new law. That is the specific difference that having a director makes."
 
The speech was Cordray's first public appearance since President Barack Obama used his executive authority to bypass the Senate.
 
"I have been appointed as director of the bureau," Cordray said, according to Huffington Post. "It's a valid appointment. This is a big job to protect consumers across this country and I'm going to be 100 percent focused on doing that job."
 
White House officials said the Republicans have been using "a gimmick" to prevent the president from making recess appointments and that GOP efforts to keep the Senate in non-stop pro forma sessions instead of recessing do not mean anything.
 
"We feel very comfortable, as a legal matter, that the Constitution trumps gimmicks," Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, said, according to the Huffington Post. "The fact is, it was simply a matter of the agency could not act and function without having the requisite number of board members. I think the president, I think with clear justification, believed that he had to do this in order to ensure that this independent agency could function."
 
Don Stewart, a spokesperson for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), countered by saying that even though Democrats' broadly support Cordray's appointment, none have defended the legality of Obama's move.
 
"Not a single Senate Democrat has come forward to back the White House's novel claim that the Senate is 'in recess,' despite the fact that both houses of Congress meet every three days," Stewart said, according to the Huffington Post. "And remember, the House and Senate passed the two-month extension of the payroll tax holiday on the 23rd — when the White House claims we were 'in recess,' and in a pro forma session that they call 'a gimmick.'"

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