The Senate Banking Committee on Thursday narrowly approved Richard Cordray to be the first ever Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, but his nomination is expected to be halted by Republicans in the full Senate.

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.

The committee voted 12 to 10 along party lines.

The consumer bureau was supposed to commence operation as an independent agency on July 21, but without a director its power is severely limited.

"He would be America’s chief consumer watchdog when it comes to financial products," President Barack Obama said at a news conference before the vote took place.

"This is a guy who is well regarded in his home state of Ohio, has been the treasurer of Ohio, the attorney general of Ohio. Republicans and Democrats in Ohio all say that he is a serious person who looks out for consumers. He has a good reputation."

"And Republicans have threatened not to confirm him not because of anything he’s done, but because they want to roll back the whole notion of having a consumer watchdog,” Obama said.

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