The White House has officially sent CFPB Director Richard Cordray’s re-nomination to be considered by Congress, though nearly all Senate Republicans have vowed to block his appointment if structural changes to the agency are not made.
President Obama appointed Cordray to the position using his power of recess appointments last year, which has since been declared unconstitutional by a federal appeals court, raising questions as to whether rules issued by the CFPB will remain valid. The court also said that recess appointments made to the National Labor Relations Board were unconstitutional.
Many Senate Republicans have called for the restructuring of the CFPB to eliminate a single director in favor of a bipartisan, five-member board and have vowed to block Cordray’s nomination until the changes to the agency are made. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who is widely credited with creating the CFPB, however, called on Senate Republicans to end their attempt to block a vote on Cordray’s re-nomination.
“It’s time for the United States Senate to give Rich Cordray an up-or-a-down vote,” Warren said, according to Bloomberg. “If there are senators who want to vote no, let them vote no and explain that to the American people.”
Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) said that Senate Democrats would increase pressure on Republicans to allow a vote on the re-nomination by persuading voters that the CFPB is necessary to ensure consumer protections against deceptive and abusive financial products and practices that contributed to the 2008 financial crisis.
Though Cordary can be confirmed by a majority vote, only 40 votes are necessary to block the vote itself. Warren dismissed demands by Republicans that the agency director be replaced by a five-member board.
“Trying to get five appointments through is not somehow easier than getting one appointment through,” Warren said, Bloomberg reports. “I did the math.”