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December 08, 2011

Senate Refuses To Approve "Financial Services Czar" Nominee, Richard Cordray

A big problem with this nomination is the position itself-- an ill-defined grab-bag of apparently limitless power. Republicans insisted on some checks and balances on the position; Obama refused. So Cordray was blocked, 45-53 (less than the 60 needed for cloture), and hopefully so will every other nominee.

Some background here. And more here.

Senate Republicans say they wonít confirm Cordray, or any other nominee, unless they get three reforms to the CFPB. Until the Obama Administration sits down with them to work out the details of reform, donít expect anyone to get confirmed to the post for at least 12 months.

The senatorsí main beef is that the CFPB was established as an independent agency with vast regulatory and no exposure to Congressional oversight. Conservatives view that as akin to giving a loaded gun to a child and then walking away.

Diane Katz of the Heritage Foundation writes that, if confirmed, the little known Cordray would overnight become one of the most powerful figures in Washington and in the financial sector. He would wield unparalleled powers with virtually no accountability.

President Obama, of course, thinks such regulatory hegemony will benefit consumers, but those who embrace a balance of powers within government know better. All of which is to say that Cordray ought to occupy himself in some other way until Congress remedies the bureauís structural flaws.

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posted by Ace at 11:24 AM

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