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Banking Law

Senate Blocks Cordray to Head New Consumer Bureau in Spat over Its Powers

Posted Dec 9, 2011 7:31 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Democrats failed to get enough votes on Thursday to stop a filibuster of President Obama’s nominee to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Republicans say they won’t approve anyone to head the bureau until the law is changed to subject the agency to more accountability, report the New York Times and the Associated Press. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said the nominee, Richard Cordray, “appears to be a decent person and may very well be qualified,” according to the AP story. “It’s about a process that is running out of control.”

Cordray currently heads enforcement at the consumer bureau. He is a former attorney general of Ohio and a five-time Jeopardy champion.

One change proposed by Republicans would abolish the post of director and create a board to oversee the bureau, the Times says. Other changes would allow Congress to control appropriations for the bureau and give other financial regulatory agencies the power to act as a check on its rules.

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