President Barack Obama will nominate former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, rather than Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren, according to published reports.
Fifty-two-year-old Cordray currently serves as director of enforcement for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The Bureau was created by the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to regulate mortgages, credit cards and other financial goods and services. It will commence operation as an independent agency on July 21.
“Richard Cordray has spent his career advocating for middle-class families, from his tenure as Ohio’s Attorney General, to his most recent role as heading up the enforcement division at the [Bureau] and looking out for ordinary people in our financial system,” the president told the Dispatch.
By nominating Cordray, Obama hopes to avoid a confirmation battle with Senate Republicans, who have already expressed their displeasure with Warren. She first proposed the Bureau and helped set it up.
Congressional Republicans have opposed Warren’s appointment to the director’s post since last year. In September, the president selected her to oversee the agency’s development, a position that does not require Congressional confirmation.
In May, a group of 44 Republican Senators sent a letter to Obama saying they would not confirm any nominee for director unless the functions of the agency were significantly reduced. They complained at the time that the director would have “vast rulemaking, supervisory, investigative and enforcement powers and the authority to regulate any person or business that offers or sells a ‘financial product or service.’”
Although Obama selected Cordray rather than Warren, he acknowledge her important role in a statement announcing Cordray’s nomination.
“This agency was Elizabeth’s idea, and through sheer force of will, intelligence, and a bottomless well of energy, she has made, and will continue to make, a profound and positive difference for our country,” he said.
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