News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

NOCHE

Knight Foundation

Metro RTA


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Government and Politics


Ohio's Cordray makes another run at Senate confirmation
Head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau appears before the Senate Banking Committee
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
 
GOP resistance to Senate confirmation of Richard Cordray as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau continues.
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:
Correction: Richard Cordray was a five-time, undefeated Jeopardy champion.

Once again, Republican senators are praising the work of former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray as interim head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. And once again, they’re indicating they’ll keep blocking his permanent appointment to head that agency.  WKSU' M.L. Schultze has more on this morning' confirmation hearing.

SCHULTZE: On Cordray and the Senate Banking Committee

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (4:12)


Richard Cordray was sharing the witness table at the Senate Banking Committee with Mary Jo White, President Obama’s nominee to head the SEC. It was her first appearance, and she got most of the questions.

Cordray’s been here before -- a year  and a half ago,  when Obama first nominated him to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Praise with a significant 'but' for the nominee
Now, as then, senators praised his intellect, cooperation and thoughtful approach to government.  Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee even extended the compliments to Cordray’s 14-year-old twins.

Mr. Cordray, once again your family has been a great asset to you today. Your son and daughter are acting perfectly in the back and even sometimes act like the questioners are asking intelligent questions. So I do want to say if you can get people dealing with consumers in the financial world to act like they are, you’ll do a very good thing for our country.”

But Corker and the other Republicans continue to raise  questions about the whole structure of the new agency, which they want to be run by a board and answerable to Congress for its budget, not the Federal Reserve.  That’s why Senate Republicans blocked his appointment last year and are threatening to do it again.

Reassuring taxpayers
Republicans are raising some new questions. Sen. Mike Johanns of Nebraska wanted to know why more than half the consumer bureau’s budget last year went to contracted services. Cordray said those were start-up costs, and the contracts were largely with the Treasury Department.

Which led to this exchange.

“I think we have a right, as U.S. senators to probe into this kind of information because it’s important that we be able to tell our taxpayers, our constituents, ‘Don’t worry this money is being spent wisely and thoughtfully and carefully and we dug into it and we can say that.”

“We are quite welcoming of that, and we understand.  As I said in the beginning. I served in the Legislature in Ohio. I appreciate and understand the importance of congressional oversight . I think it is a meaningful check on our agency. … We try to be as transparent as we can and as we’ve grown as an agency, we are able to do that more. We are completely committed to doing that.”

Regulating the regulators
During the two-hour hearing, Cordray — a one-time Jeopardy champion -- responded with specific answers to specific questions or with promises to find the answers. But  Democrat Jeff Merkley of Oregon  stymied him. Merkley noted that, in some ways, Cordray’s agency faces more limits on its budget and regulations than other federal agencies.

“These are extraordinary, then, measures related to the CFPB, and yet all we hear about is the CFPB actually has fewer restrictions than other banking agencies. Why is there so much confusion among some of my colleagues on this point?”

“I don’t know, Senator.”

Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown introduced Cordray and condemned Republicans for blocking a qualified nominee because they don’t like the agency he’d head.

The strongest defense of Cordray came from Elizabeth Warren.

She’s now a Massachusetts senator. But she was the advisor to President Obama who first hired Cordray. And she had originally been expected to be the one to head the consumer bureau  -- until Republicans made it clear they would never confirm her.

“I see nothing here but a filibuster threat against Director Cordray as an attempt to weaken the consumer agency. I think the delay in getting him confirmed is bad for consumers. It’s bad for small banks; it’s bad for credit unions; it’s bad for anyone trying to offer an honest product in an honest market. I hope you get confirmed. You have earned it Director Cordray.”

Compromise coming?
There was a hint of a thaw from Tennessee Sen. Corker.

“Mr. Cordray, … I do appreciate the way that you’ve dealt with our office and I would say most people here. And I do hope that over the course of the next short period of time we’re able to figure out a way for the entity to function in a way that makes everyone on both sides of the isle feel comfortable.”  

Cordray told the Banking Committee his agency has handled 130,000 complaints from every state, including ones related to credit cards, mortgages and student and veteran loans.

Cordray is one of the Ohio Democrats whose name has been tossed around for a potential run for governor next year. That’s considered a lot less likely if he’s confirmed by the Senate for the consumer protection job.

 

(Click image for larger view.)

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

From warehouse to writer: Terry Pluto's Thanksgiving thank-you
Dear Terry: On my 8th cup of coffee trying to get Thanksgiving "Brunch" done ahead of time because I work nights. However, I just had to stop to contact yo...

The first big private gift comes in for the pro football HOF project
The HOF has needed a shot in the arm for many years and this project will go a long way to getting the attraction the attention it deserves (next: upgrad...

Environmental study nears completion in East Liverpool
Twenty years ago my twin sister and I protested the building and operation of the WTI facility citing several studies that indicated the risk of cancer due to ...

HOF's Canton expansion could take an island and make it a village
I live in the block from Broad St to the Hall of Fame and will be impacted by the expansion. I am in the process of selling my home and planned to long before i...

Cleveland redeploys police to replace rejected red-light traffic cameras
Periodic rotational enforcement without warning does NOT change behavior and the city officials know that. This is the basis of all officer-run enforcement trap...

New enrollment period offers more insurance options
The removal of federal funding for healthcare CO-OPs may limit the growth of the CO-OP movement. http://www.healthcaretownhall.com/?p=6381

The family of Boardman vet killed in Vietnam receives his medals
My name is Mike Eisenbraun. I am Larry's brother. I was 14 years old when Larry was killed in Vietnam. He has been gone for 46 years but it seems like yester...

Cleveland seniors are creating new wealth -- and facing new challenges
Why is anyone surprised that we people over 65 are not retiring? If you have been paying attention, defined company funded pensions were phasing out in the eigh...

Ohio company cuts off a dairy supplier after allegations of animal abuse
these people should be held accountable for their actions. i would be more than pleased to see a year or more behind bars. i will NEVER eat anything that comes ...

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University