Senate Dems hold the line on consumer bureau

ADVERTISEMENT
The letter was signed by all Democratic senators except Sen. Mark PryorMark Lunsford PryorMedicaid rollback looms for GOP senators in 2020 Cotton pitches anti-Democrat message to SC delegation Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm MORE (D-Ark.). The Senate's two independents, Sens. Angus KingAngus Stanley KingMcConnell to Dems: Don't hold government 'hostage' over DACA Overnight Regulation: Regulators kill Perry plan to help coal, nuke plants | Senate Dems to force net neutrality vote | Maine senators oppose offshore drilling plan | SEC halts trading in digital currency firm Maine senators oppose Trump's offshore drilling plans MORE (Maine) and Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersMellman: On Political Authenticity (Part 2) Former Sanders campaign manager: Don't expect email list to be shared with DNC Adult film star: Trump and Stormy Daniels invited me to 'hang out' MORE (Vt.) also signed.

The letter marks the latest stage of an entrenched standoff over Cordray's bid to stay on as director of the CFPB. Republicans vowed in January that they would block a vote on Cordray or any CFPB director until there were several structural changes to the agency, which they claim is unaccountable. They want to see the director position turned into a multi-member board, its budget brought under the control of appropriators, and to give other regulators more veto power over its rules.

But Democrats behind the letter argued that these demands are simply efforts to weaken the agency, and are vowing not to cave.

"They want to hold up his nomination for the sole purpose of trying to weaken the consumer agency, and we're pushing back," said Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWarren: Trump is a 'racist bully' Poll: Oprah would outperform Warren, Harris against Trump in California Democrats continue to dismiss positive impacts of tax reform MORE (D-Mass.), who actually came up with the idea for the bureau and helped create it as a special adviser to the president.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim JohnsonTimothy (Tim) Peter JohnsonCourt ruling could be game changer for Dems in Nevada Bank lobbyists counting down to Shelby’s exit Former GOP senator endorses Clinton after Orlando shooting MORE (D-S.D.) spearheaded the effort, and demanded an up or down vote on Cordray's nomination, arguing the bureau has proven its worth since opening its doors in July 2011.

"Opponents of the consumer bureau continue to use the same old talking points even though they no longer hold water," he said. "They try and claim that the bureau is unaccountable, but the facts prove them wrong."

Democrats indicated that they would be making a public push to increase pressure on Republicans for holding up Cordray's nomination, arguing that the consumer bureau's work is so publicly popular it could break the logjam.

"Part of this is making sure the American people know what's at stake," said Sen. Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Raymond ReedLawmakers, political figures share their New Year's resolutions for 2018 Congress must provide flexible funding for owners of repeatedly flooded properties Senate panel moves forward with bill to roll back Dodd-Frank MORE (D-R.I.). "You're going to have a growing chorus of Americans saying, 'What are you trying to do?'…That is the message that has to come through loud and clear."

Obama actually had to place Cordray in his current position via a recess appointment after Republicans made the same promise before he was first nominated in 2010. That appointment is currently facing a legal challenge, and could be ruled invalid since a court has ruled on a separate case that three other recess appointments made the same day were unconstitutional.

Obama has re-nominated Cordray to continue working at the bureau, as his recess appointment expires at the end of 2013.