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Democrats flip-flopped on CFPB commission

Elizabeth WarrenDemocrats who refuse to allow a bipartisan commission to oversee the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are being criticized for flip-flopping on the issue.

The CFPB’s authority is currently handicapped as Republicans refuse to nominate a director and instead want the position to be replaced by a bipartisan commission. Over the past several months, Democrats have revved up their arguments that a commission would be “anti-consumer,” according to the House Financial Services Committee.

Until recently, however, many of the Democrats opposed to the bipartisan commission supported the exact same concept. One of the Democrats originally in support for a commission was Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), the co-author of the Dodd-Frank Act that created the bureau.

The legislation originally introduced by Frank includes language to put the CFPB under the direction of a five member commission, according to the House Financial Services Committee.

Elizabeth Warren, known for her role in creating the bureau and fighting for Wall Street reform, also called for the creation of the Financial Product Safety Commission in an article in Democracy that ran in 2007.

In 2009, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) introduced the Financial Product Safety Commission Act. Co-sponsors for his bill included Democrats that are now opposed to Republican calls for a commission, including Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.).

The House Financial Services Committee also pointed to a proposal released by the Obama Administration in 2009 that directed the bureau to have both a director and a board.

Senate Republicans who rejected the nomination of Richard Cordray on Thursday  are accusing Democrats of simply playing politics with the CFPB.

“Now he’s [Obama] suddenly making a push to confirm his nominee — because it fits into some picture he wants to paint about who the good guys and the bad guys are in Washington,” Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Kent.) said on the Senate floor Tuesday, according to MSNBC.com. “So once again he's going to use the Senate floor this week to stage a little political theater. He’s setting up a vote he knows will fail so he can show up afterward and say he’s shocked.”

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