It looks like the wounded Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is not dead yet, despite Republican efforts. Today President Obama announced he will name Richard Cordray as director of the CFPB in a high profile recess appointment that is sure to draw fire from both the right and the left.
Republicans unanimously oppose Cordray, though not for any specific reason other than they oppose the consumer protection agency on principle. Republicans blocked Cordray’s appointment after successfully blocking an Elizabeth Warren nomination as well.
Once Cordray is named the agency can move forward in establishing new regulations over financial institutions and finally put into effect the financial services reform passed by Congress in the last term.
Mr. Cordray is accompanying President Obama to Ohio where the president will deliver remarks on the economy. When asked about the nomination, Cordray made it clear the agency will not cower to Wall Street. “We’re going to begin working to expand our program to non-banks, which is an area we haven’t been able to touch before now,” he said. Those non-banking entities would include payday lenders and other institutions that offer credit to consumers well beyond the usual interest terms.
It’s a bold move by the president that will no doubt be criticized by both sides. The right will call it an excessive overreach while the left will insist the president did not act soon enough. And right there may be the clearest sign the president is leading after all– not a single entrenched constituency is happy.
Photo from ProgressOhio via flickr.