Sen. Sherrod Brown says Republicans’ refusal to confirm Richard Cordray to head consumer protection bureau was unprecedented

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Sen. Sherrod Brown says Republicans’ refusal to confirm Richard Cordray to head consumer protection bureau was unprecedented

Politifact Ohio – The U.S. Senate on Dec. 8 failed to confirm Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, with Republicans successfully blocking confirmation by using a procedural measure. It wasn’t that the GOP disliked Cordray, Ohio’s attorney general until his election defeat in 2010.

Rather, Republican senators said they would not support any nominee to the new agency unless its very structure was changed. They wanted, among other things, a five-member board to oversee the agency rather than a single director. And they wanted Congress to approve the agency’s budget rather than have it set by the Federal Reserve.

This would have required changing the 2010 financial reform law, known as Dodd-Frank, that created the agency — or as U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown put it, it would require a change to the construction of the agency Cordray was nominated to direct.

As a date for a vote approached, Brown, an Ohio Democrat, said several times that the Republicans’ refusal was unprecedented. In a Senate Banking subcommittee hearing on Dec. 7, the day before the vote, Brown said, “I probably know Richard Cordray better than any member of the Senate. I knew him when he was a state representative and county treasurer and state treasurer and attorney general and have continued to work with him. And there’s no question of his qualification. And some time ago I asked the Senate historian has this ever happened, that a political party has blocked a nomination of someone because they didn’t like the construction of the agency? And he said, no, it’s never happened.”

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