Richard Cordray’s Nomination to Head CFPB Advances

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 12-10 today to send Richard Cordray’s nomination to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to the full Senate for consideration.

“The senators who voted in Cordray’s favor sent a message to the greediest and most unscrupulous elements on Wall Street that the CFPB should be led by an experienced and tactical advocate,” said Nancy Zirkin, executive vice president of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

President Obama nominated Richard Cordray on July 18 to run the bureau, which was created by the financial reform law passed last year to protect consumers from predatory and abusive lending practices like the ones that led to the collapse of the financial industry in 2008. 

Cordray served as Ohio’s attorney general from 2009 to 2011 and previously served as a member of the state’s House of Representatives, as the state’s treasurer, and as the state’s first solicitor general, where he earned a reputation for a strong commitment to protecting consumers.

Despite Cordray’s qualifications and support, his nomination will face a difficulty in the Senate, where some senators have vowed to block any nominee unless the CFPB is restructured so that it has less autonomy to enforce consumer protection laws.

“We call on all Senators to stand up for families and confirm Richard Cordray as CFPB director,” said Lisa Donner, executive director of Americans for Financial Reform. “With millions of Americans out of work because of a financial crisis with abusive lending at its root and more and more demanding action in the streets, the choice is clear.  Will you implement the law and make sure the CFPB can do its job helping people defend themselves from loan sharks big and small? Or will you block consumer protection and instead protect wrongdoing by companies that caused the financial crisis?”