According to reports out of Washington today, President Barack Obama is planning to bypass the Senate and appoint Richard Cordray to new Consumer Financial Protection Agency.
Many Republicans not only do not want to see Mr. Cordray appointed–especially during a recess appointment–they do even think that the agency should exist at all.
Count among those Staten Island Congressman Michael Grimm.
“President Obama’s announcement to make a sham recess appointment for Richard Cordray to head the controversial CFPB shows his complete disregard for the checks and balances established by the U.S. Constitution,” the freshman lawmaker said in a statement. “Knowing he lacks the support from Senate Republicans to confirm Corday, he has changed the rules in his favor and sets a dangerous precedent that will give him carte blanche to appoint whomever he pleases, whenever he pleases.”
Republican leaders have vowed to block the appointment through the courts. Democrats have said that President Obama was forced to go this route after Republicans had blocked the appointment during the regular course of the legislative session. The agency was created in the wake of the financial collapse and as part of the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory reforms. Republicans also blocked Mr. Obama’s original choice for the job, Elizabeth Warren, who gave up fighting for her appointment and decided to run for the Senate against Scott Brown.
“This maneuver once again demonstrates his outright refusal to work with the Congress and his complete disrespect for the law of the land,” added Mr. Grimm. “Circumventing well-established procedures certainly goes against the vision laid out by our founding fathers. This appointment is no doubt a product of his arrogance and indicative of his utter disregard for the traditions and values we hold dear as citizens of this great nation.”
The move though triggered high praise from Democrats, including Carolyn Maloney, who has been alternatively accused by some of being soft on Wall Street (by the Working Families Party) and too hard on the financial industry (by 2010 primary opponent Reshma Saujani.
“The President made the right call by refusing to give in to Republicans who were holding Mr. Cordray’s nomination hostage in an attempt to defang America’s consumer watchdog agency. With Mr. Cordray at the helm, the CFPB can fully begin making financial transactions fairer, more honest, and more transparent for the American consumer — and helping prevent the kind of financial crisis that caused the Great Recession. Only in the most polarized political environment could those goals be considered controversial.
“The CFPB has been up and running for months, but without a director, it hasn’t been able to exercise the full range of authority granted to it under the Dodd-Frank law. I wish Mr. Cordray, an eminently well-qualified nominee, the very best in his new position.”