July 16, 2013

Senate Agreement on Nomination Is a Win for Consumers

Senate Vote Will Proceed on Richard Cordray to Direct the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Senate delivered a win for consumers this morning when it cleared the way to consider the nomination of Richard Cordray to be the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Public Citizen said today.

The 71-29 vote to proceed on his nomination came after U.S. Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) threatened to change Senate rules to require just a simple 51-vote majority for nomination votes instead of a 60-vote supermajority. A vote on whether to confirm Cordray for the position is expected to be held later today.
 
“We applaud the senators who stepped forward and refused to follow through on the threat to obstruct the nomination of Richard Cordray and thereby hamstring a valuable consumer protection agency,” said Lisa Gilbert, director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division. “Upon Cordray’s confirmation, the CFPB’s authority to protect consumers from predatory products and services that are too often peddled by banks and non-bank financial institutions will be preserved. That’s a win for consumers.”
 
The CFPB was created in the aftermath of the financial crisis to protect Americans from the predatory practices of banks, lenders, securities firms, debt collectors and other institutions that have repeatedly abused their power when left unchecked. In just two years, the CFPB has made several important contributions to the lives of average Americans. It has:

• Returned nearly half a billion dollars to consumers cheated by credit card companies;
• Moved to end the era of mortgages designed to rake in up-front fees before they self-destruct;
• Stood up for students and families trapped in high-cost private education loans; and
• Protected military families against illegal foreclosures and deceptive lending practices.

Since President Barack Obama appointed Cordray during a congressional recess to direct the CFPB in January 2012, Cordray has won praise from both bankers and consumer advocates, and from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. He has been inclusive, transparent and effective at fulfilling the agency’s mission.

“The public clearly supports efforts to protect consumers from abusive practices by financial institutions, and by moving forward with Cordray’s nomination, the Senate will allow the CFPB to do so,” said Micah Hauptman, financial policy counsel for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division. “We are happy that members in the Senate have listened to, and followed the will of, their constituents.”


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