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Government and Politics




Obama sidesteps Senate, names Ohio's Cordray new consumer protection head
The announcement is expected in Shaker Heights this afternoon; Republicans are challenging Mr. Obama's contention that it is in recess
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE
This story is part of a special series.


Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
 
In The Region:

President Obama is appointing former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray as the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – over the objection of Republicans in Congress.

The president is announcing the recess appointment this afternoon while he’s in Shaker Heights. Senate Republicans had blocked the appointment, not because they objected to Cordray, but because they objected to the overall power of the agency.

Northeast Ohio Congressman Jim Renacci says Republicans in the House, too, are working on revising the agency.

“We don’t’ believe one person should harness that much power but we do believe that the agency set up with the right board above it would be workable and we’re still working toward that.”

But even naming Cordray as a recess appointment has raised Republican objections.

Such appointments can only happen when the Senate is in recess. The president maintains that the sporadic Senate sessions over the holidays are a ruse, just to block Cordray and other appointments.

Ohio Senator Rob Portman was among those blocking Cordray. But Ohio’s other senator, Sherrod Brown, is praising Mr. Obama’s move.

In a statement he accused Republicans of siding with Wall Street  to block needed consumer protections. Until a director is in place, the new bureau cannot extend consumer protections to payday lenders, debt collectors and other financial companies.

U.S. Rep. Renacci wants to reshape the new agency

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Mr. Obama announcing Cordray recess appointment

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“We don’t believe one person should harness that much power, but we do believe that the agency set up with the right board above it would be workable and we’re still working toward that.”

But even naming Cordray as a recess appointment has raised Republican objections.

Such appointments can only happen when the Senate is in recess. The president maintains that the sporadic Senate sessions over the holidays are a ruse, just to block Cordray and other appointments.

Ohio Senator Rob Portman was among those blocking Cordray. But Ohio’s other senator, Sherrod Brown, is praising Mr. Obama’s move.

In a statement he accused Republicans of siding with Wall Street  to block needed consumer protections. Until a director is in place, the new bureau cannot extend consumer protections to payday lenders, debt collectors and other financial companies.


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