Despite intense pressure for a recess appointment, President Obama announced that former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray and not Elizabeth Warren will be his pick to head up the fledgling Consumer Finance Protection Bureau.
Cordray was an aggressive advocate for Ohio homeowners and was at the forefront of states’ efforts to investigate and punish mortgage and foreclosure fraud.† Cordray already works as the agency’s head of enforcement and comes with a strong background in fighting for the middle-class.
The move leaves progressives in a bind.† Warren conceived of the agency and has arguably been the strongest advocate for the American middle class within the administration, so much so that it is rumored to have strained relations with some of the President’s top advisors.
On the other hand, the move frees Warren up for a possible Senate run, challenging Republican Scott Brown of Massachusetts.
Republicans have made it clear that no nominee is acceptable.† In May forty-four Republican Senators sent the President a letter and made it clear they planned to block any appointment and object to the very premise of the agency.† So while the Cordray nomination may reflect a political reality, there’s hardly a chance his nomination will make it through.
Warren would have been a fantastic lead for the CFPB, but Cordray is a nomination progressives can live with.† Unfortunately for the American people the Republicans have made it clear they plan to undermine the agency at every stop.† They oppose, on principle, the idea that anyone would have the power to hold Wall Street accountable for predatory practices so whoever ends up leading the agency will have a tough road ahead.† Unfortunately its the American public that will bear the true cost of that struggle.
Photo from davidshankbone2010 via flickr.