Confirm Richard Cordray to the CFPB

Media 12.7,11

Recipient: U.S. Senate

View PDF of this letter here

Dear Senator:

On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, we write to express  our strong support for Richard Cordray as Director of the Consumer Financial Protection  Bureau (CFPB). We urge you to vote “yes” on cloture and on his confirmation. We will  include your position in our voting records for the 113 th Congress.

Mr. Cordray’s qualifications are beyond any serious dispute. He possesses a stellar  background and a wealth of experience that make him extraordinarily well-suited to run the  CFPB. He earned a Master’s degree in economics from Oxford University and a J.D. from  the University of Chicago Law School, where he served as editor-in-chief of the school’s law  review. He went on to serve as a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court justices Byron White and  Anthony Kennedy. In addition to spending many years as a lawyer in private practice and  teaching as an adjunct law professor, he has devoted much of his career to public service at  many levels of government, including as the Attorney General of Ohio, before beginning his  tenure at the CFPB.

Since becoming the Chief of Enforcement and then Director of the CFPB, Mr. Cordray has  earned widespread acclaim for the way he has carried out his duties. Consumer & civil rights  advocates and financial service providers alike have praised Mr. Cordray for creating an  atmosphere in the CFPB in which their views are not only heard but are taken seriously. The  Leadership Conference itself has worked with Mr. Cordray and his colleagues at the CFPB on many of its efforts, and even in cases where we have been less than pleased with the  details of a specific policy, we have always been highly satisfied with the process.

Financial industry representatives have voiced similar sentiments. For example, Dave  Stevens, the President and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association commended Mr.  Cordray and his staff for the “deliberative, inclusive, transparent process they undertook” in  crafting one of their most significant policies to date. Camden Fine, CEO of the Independent  Community Bankers Association noted that “Not only are they open to discussions, but  they’re discussions that, whether or not they go anywhere, they’re handled in such a manner  that you really do believe they could go somewhere. In other words, somebody is listening. And Richard Hunt, President & CEO of the Consumer Bankers Association said that  compared to other regulatory agencies, the CFPB “has been the most accessible of any I’ve  ever dealt with in this town.”

In short, any concerns that may have initially been raised about the independent nature of the  CFPB have not only failed to materialize under Mr. Cordray’s leadership, they have been  debunked. Indeed, the Senate should be clamoring to confirm far more nominees like him to  serve the public interest.

We reject in the strongest terms the ongoing threat by a minority of the Senate to filibuster the  confirmation of Mr. Cordray (or any nominee) until laws are changed, in this case to drastically weaken  the CFPB. The Senators threatening to block cloture do not appear to have fully thought out the long-term  consequences of such a move – particularly how the precedent they are setting, if it stands, is likely to be  applied to other agencies and future presidential administrations.

Again, we strongly urge you to support the confirmation of Richard Cordray as Director of the CFPB.  Thank you for your consideration. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Rob Randhava,  Senior Counsel, at (202) 466-6058.


Wade Henderson, President and CEO
Nancy Zirkin, Executive Vice President