Early recess for the Senate has caused a delay in advancing the nomination of former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
A confirmation hearing with the Senate Banking committee was scheduled for Thursday but Tuesday’s vote to approve an increase in the nation’s debt ceiling prompted the Senate to begin its August break early, according to LATimes.com. The hearing has been rescheduled for Sept. 6.
In order to prevent President Obama from temporarily appointing Corday as the agency's director during the break, Republicans have blocked the Senate from going into formal recess and remain adamant that they will block any nominee to lead the agency unless Obama agrees to weaken its powers.
Much of the agency’s authority afforded by last year’s financial reform law remains on hold until it has a Senate-confirmed director. This authority includes regulation of mortgage brokers, payday lenders and other financial institutions outside the banking system, according to LATimes.com.
The agency’s special advisor, Raj Date, was selected by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to run the agency until a director has been put in place.
Cordray was selected over Elizabeth Warren, the champion of the agency who was viewed as too controversial for the role. Republicans are vowing to block any nomination for director and want the agency to be restructured with a board of directors instead of a single director.
Republicans are also demanding provisions that will make it easier for the Financial Stability Oversight Council to overturn rules made by the CFPB.
"As it's designed today, CFPB effectively writes its own rules, sets its own budget, and has unprecedented power to restrict consumer choices," Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) said, according to Cleveland.com. "I believe it needs reasonable checks to ensure it does not lead to job loss and harm to the consumers it was created to protect."
Portman added that he looks forward to hearing Cordray's views on how the bureau can be made more accountable.