The Senate voted 66-34 Tuesday to confirm President Obama’s nominee to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
Richard Cordray was one of several controversial nominees that Republicans will allow to get an up-or-down vote after Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidGOP eager to see Harry Reid go Democratic efforts to cling to power at FCC are doomed to fail Lawmakers haggle over funding bill as shutdown nears MORE (D-Nev.) threatened to use the “nuclear option” to change the Senate rules by eliminating the ability of the minority to filibuster an executive branch nominee.
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Earlier Tuesday, 17 Republicans joined Democrats in a 71-29 vote to end debate on Cordray’s nomination.
Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck Grassley10 no-brainer ways to cut healthcare costs without hurting quality Senate GOP: National museum should include Clarence Thomas Drug pricing debate going into hibernation MORE (R-Iowa) and other Republicans have complained that the bureau lacks congressional accountability and oversight.
Sen. Mike CrapoMike CrapoRyan lights Capitol Christmas tree Ex-Im faces new problems with Trump GOP debates going big on tax reform MORE (R-Idaho), ranking member on the Senate Banking Committee, also pointed out that Republicans want to replace Cordray's director position with a bipartisan “board of directors with staggered terms.” He also expressed concern over recent reports that the bureau is conducting “unprecedented data collection.”
“The CFPB is collecting credit card data, bank account data, mortgage data and student loan data,” Crapo said ahead of the vote. “This ultimately allows the CFPB to monitor a consumer’s monthly spending habits.”
The D.C. District Court recently ruled Cordray’s recess appointment was unconstitutional, but now with Senate backing he will be able to serve a full five-year term as head of the agency.
Earlier Tuesday, Reid announced lawmakers had a deal to avoid the “nuclear option” and hold votes on several of President Obama’s controversial nominees, in addition to Cordray.
Democrats are hoping to vote in the next two weeks on Fred Hochberg to be president of the Export-Import Bank, Thomas PerezThomas E. PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s 'wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE to be secretary of Labor, and Gina McCarthyGina McCarthyWhy Trump needs a strong Agriculture secretary EPA chief: Pipeline rejections are not a ‘policy signal’ Five potential Trump EPA picks MORE to be administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, in addition to several National Labor Relations Board nominees.
Democrats said Cordray’s confirmation was needed to give banks and consumers certainty. Republicans argued that his nomination was delayed — nearly two years — because they were exercising the right to “advise and consent” on executive branch nominees granted under the Constitution.