Consumer Financial Protection Bureau still in limbo

Cordray-CFPB

Remember back in January of this year when President Obama had to renominate Richard Cordray to the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau position? The same CFPB that many hoped now Senator Elizabeth Warren would lead as a champion for the middle class but she was effectively derailed by Republican senators before she had an opportunity to get started. That’s right….you know, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that was created to protect us and, effectively, the nation’s economy in the wake of the banking and mortgage collapse that drove our nation to the edge of an economic cliff and and even dragged on the global economy?

And do you recall that the President had to renominate Mr. Cordray because right-wing senators threw a characteristic hissy fit? They stalled, and meandered and dragged on to the point that  that the POTUS ended up nominating Cordray during a congressional recess — that those same senators later claimed wasn’t officially a recess?

Yeah. That outstanding issue. Unfortunately, this mess is still going on which leaves the CFPB without an official director and, consequently, the watchdog agency with all gums and no teeth.

As of today, the Obama administration on pressed the Supreme Court to overturn a lower court decision that found the president’s recess appointments to a labor agency unconstitutional. The government is asking that the Court “remove the resulting constitutional cloud over the acts of past and present recess appointments and to restore the president’s capacity to fill vacant offices temporarily when the Senate is unavailable to give its advice and consent.” While the questions are being directed toward a particular agency, other appointments would be held up for question, such as Cordray’s — but appointments made during Republican administrations would also be found invalid.

Currently, a minority of senators are holding Cordray’s confirmation hostage in order to significantly weaken the CFPB’s given authority to protect the public. If this minority succeeds the CFPB will most likely have extremely limited power; they will not be able to effectively rein in payday lenders, credit reporting bureaus and debt collectors.

So much for working for the will of the people. Once again, it’s a protect the corporations thing.

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