The Senate’s most senior Republican, Dick Lugar (R-Ind.), said his vote against the confirmation of Richard Cordray was in Indiana’s best interest.
Cordray, the former Ohio attorney general, was nominated by President Obama to serve as director of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Lugar, along with his party, has long opposed the bureau for its over-regulatory reach.
“Hoosiers want jobs,” Lugar said during a press conference after the vote on Thursday. “Hoosiers want lack of regulation and they see at least the enterprise in America that might bring us jobs hindered by overregulation.”
Lugar said his vote against Cordray was a vote against overregulation without any control by Congress.
Before Obama’s nomination, Republicans demanded that the bureau’s director position be replaced with a bipartisan commission and requested that Congress control the bureau’s funding as it does with any other federal agency.
Democrats and the president ignored the demands and tapped Cordray for the post despite it being clear Republicans had enough votes to block the motion to end debate.
“Even after we have expressed this to the president, to the administration for weeks and months there has been no response except to send forward another nominee,” Lugar said. “So I stand with my colleagues in voting against cloture so that we will not have a nominee until we have proper accountability.”
After the vote, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), the Senate's third-ranking Democrat, called on the president to use "all possible means" to get Cordray into the director post.
"He should do everything within his power to get Cordray on board," Schumer said, SFGate.com reports.