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Senators urge CFPB reforms, vow to block Cordray’s re-nomination

Richard Cordray

Richard Cordray

In a letter last week to President Obama, several senators said that they would continue to block the nomination of any individual to the position of CFPB director until key reforms were made to the agency.

“As presently organized, the CFPB is insulated from congressional oversight of its actions and its budget,” the senators said in the letter. “Far too much power is vested in the sole CFPB director without any meaningful checks and balances.”

The senators urged the adoption of three reforms, including the establishment of a five-member Senate-confirmed bipartisan committee to oversee the agency, the inclusion of the CFPB budget under the congressional appropriations process, and the establishment of a safety and soundness check for regulators.

“We believe these are commonsense reforms that Congress can promptly adopt on a bipartisan basis,” the letter said. “It is essential that we address these reforms prior to confirming any nominee to be the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.”

Under the Dodd-Frank Act, the CFPB director is authorized to draw the agency’s annual budget from the Federal Reserve and the Fed has no authority to deny or adjust the director’s budget request.

President Obama has re-nominated Richard Cordray to the position of CFPB director, but Senate Republicans have vowed to block his nomination until the administration makes changes to the agency.

The letter was signed by Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and 42 of his Republican colleagues — enough votes to filibuster a vote on Cordray’s nomination as director.

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