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Why Are Republicans Trying to Cripple the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau?

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On July 21, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, to serve as the country’s chief consumer financial oversight agency.

The bureau is designed to help protect everyday Americans against the kind of predatory lending and other sleazy banking practices that in 2008, sent our country into one of our worst financial crises in history. Since we’re still very much recovering from that crisis, I think many of us can agree that we desperately need this kind of protection.

President Obama has nominated Richard Cordray, former Ohio State Attorney General and a prominent defender of consumer rights, to lead the agency’s enforcement division. While many of the agency’s supporters are disappointed he didn’t nominate Elizabeth Warren, the Harvard law professor who first conceived of it, Cordray stands to become a powerful force for consumer protection. Warren has endorsed Cordray, calling him a potentially “stellar director” for the agency.

There’s one small (actually huge) problem. Republican senators are saying that they will refuse to confirm Cordray or any nominee for bureau leader unless the bureau’s powers are totally gutted first. It is clear that these Republicans don’t want anyone interfering with the big banking interests that back them in Congress. In 2008 they didn’t hesitate to ask hardworking Americans to bail out the big banks. But now they are trying to block legislation that would keep this kind of crisis from happening again.

Bill Faith, executive director of the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio, who says he has known Cordray for 20 years…spoke of Cordray’s fair approach in dealings with the financial industry.

"I do think that everybody can be well served by this guy," Faith said. "People from the industry who think he’s just on a mission to attack them, they’re just wrong.

Unless they’re involved in bad acts, they have nothing to worry about."

"For those involved in bad acts," Faith said, "he’ll be their worst nightmare." –Huffington Post

For the future of the American economy and hardworking Americans, the Senate must confirm Richard Cordray as bureau leader without destroying the agency’s power to punish big banks for predatory lending practices. Please let your senators know how you feel about this: tell them that we need the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau up and running at full strength, with Richard Cordray as its leader.

3 Comments

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  1. Penny Lane says:
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    Of course the R’s want to gut this agency. Anything that helps consumers they oppose. Why doesn’t everyone get it? As a general rule: D’s for consumers, R’s for big business. Easy.

  2. William Museler says:
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    Why add yet another layer of bureaucracy? Why duplicate what the States already are empowered to do? Contrary to the statement on the site, this financial crisis was not caused by credit cards.

  3. Penny Lane says:
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    Cannot be done on a piecemeal basis state by state.