CFC supports nomination of Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

The Consumer Federation of California, along with numerous consumer and civil rights advocates, community groups, labor organizations, small businesses, and local government organizations, supports the nomination of Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Cordray currently serves as director at the CFPB, but his appointment will expire if the Senate does not confirm him by the end of this year.

Congress created the CFPB in 2010 to help ensure the financial products and services that Americans depend on every day—including credit cards, mortgages, and loans—work better for the people who use them.

Under Cordray’s leadership, the Bureau has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for consumers cheated by credit card companies, cracked down on illegal foreclosures of military families and investigated predatory lending by for-profit colleges.

Some Senate Republicans have vowed to block his confirmation unless there are significant changes made to the Bureau’s structure. They want to see a single directorship replaced by the more standard bipartisan commission structure seen in other agencies. Republicans also believe Congress should have authority over the CFPB budget, rather than the Federal Reserve.

Democrats and consumer advocates have maintained that these changes would only serve to weaken the agency in a time when strong, authoritative oversight of this nation’s financial institutions is crucial.

Under current law, the Bureau is fully accountable to the American people, to Congress, the judiciary, and the President. It has sufficient freedom of action to operate successfully, but it is also already more constrained by oversight from other regulators and by special review by small business representatives than any other financial agency. It is important that the Bureau must have a clear, uncompromised and independent focus on protecting consumers.

Director Cordray’s confirmation is needed to eliminate any uncertainty about the CFPB’s authority and to enable the agency to deliver on its promise to make markets for consumer financial products and services work for Americans.

Blocking his nomination will create an un-level playing field to the benefit of payday lenders, debt collectors, credit-reporting agencies, mortgage companies, and others. The blocking strategy of the 43 Senators stands in the way of establishing fair rules of the road for all players, which ultimately will undermines good practices at community banks and larger depository institutions as well.

It is time for the Senate to put consumers, members of the armed forces, and seniors first and confirm Richard Cordray.

Supporters of Richard Cordray’s confirmation include (partial list):

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
Americans for Financial Reform
Consumer Action
Consumer Federation of America
Consumer Federation of California
Consumers Union
Empire Justice Center
Greenlining Institute
International Brotherhood of Teamsters
National Association of Consumer Advocates
National Community Reinvestment Coalition
National Fair Housing Alliance
National People’s Action
Public Citizen
The Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Initiative at the Insight Center
The Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS)
The International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW)
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Woodstock Institute