Sen. Warren: Opponents of the CFPB tried to ‘suffocate the baby in the crib’

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, chief architect of the two-year-old Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, claimed victory Wednesday in the grueling battle against congressional Republicans who, she said, sought to undermine the agency.

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The Massachusetts Democrat hailed the Senate’s confirmation Tuesday of Richard Cordray to serve as the CFPB’s director.

“This is the week we can say loudly, clearly and with confidence that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is here to stay,” Warren said during remarks at a Capitol Hill event hosted by the Corporation for Enterprise Development, a pro-consumer nonprofit.

The Senate’s approval of Cordray by a 66-34 vote had been held up for months, with Republicans refusing to allow a vote and demanding changes in the way the CFPB is structured and funded.

So bitter was the dispute over the confirmation of Cordray and other presidential nominees that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) threatened to use the so-called “nuclear option” to change the chamber’s voting rules to allow a vote.

Throughout the fight, Warren said, the financial sector pressed relentlessly against the agency, which was created by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform bill in response to the 2008 economic crisis.

“Every day, Wall Street lobbyists plotted against the agency, with congressional Republicans, to kill the consumer agency before it could do its work,” Warren said.

“They wanted to destroy its independence and cut off its funding,” she continued. “They wanted to suffocate the baby in the crib.”