GOP senator: Republicans will block Dodd-Frank agency director’s confirmation until agency is reformed

Republican Idaho Sen. Michael Crapo said on the Fox Business Network Thursday that Republicans “won’t move forward with any nominee” to chair the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) until the federal agency is “restructured and reformed.”

CFPB director Richard Cordray has been renominated by President Barack Obama to continue serving in his position in Obama’s second term. However, Crapo said Republicans plan to hold up Cordray’s confirmation until problems with the CFPB are addressed.

“This issue isn’t about Richard Cordray.  It is about the agency itself and how it was structured,” Crapo said.

“We are not prepared to move forward with any nominee. That hasn’t gotten anything to do with the individual person who is at issue right now, Richard Cordray.  I don’t think we’re ready to move forward with any nominee until the agency is restructured and reformed in a way that is proper,” Crapo said.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was designed by then-Harvard Law School professor Elizabeth Warren and created by the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. The agency, which began operation in 2011, has broad regulatory powers over the financial sector, including banks and credit unions. Warren was initially slated to head the bureau, but deep objections to Warren among Senate Republicans led to Cordray’s appointment.

“Our concerns are that the agency has given all of its power to one individual – the director. No board. No commission. And we think that needs to be corrected,” Crapo said.

“And then secondly, there is no congressional oversight once that director is put into place over the budget.  And in fact there is not even any kind of requirement that the financing for that committee or for that agency come from either private sector funding or from the government.   The requirement is simply that the director has the ability to tap into the Fed and take the necessary resources that he or she wants.  If we can correct those two things – and I think they should be correctable – then I think that you might see more willingness on the part of Republicans to move forward,” Crapo said.

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