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Procedural Vote on CFPB Nominee Fails in Senate

Posted on 12/8/2011

The Senate last week rejected a procedural motion on the nomination of Richard Cordray to serve as Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director, by a vote of 53-45. The motion needed 60 votes in order to pass and move the nomination to a final vote. Had the motion received the necessary 60 votes, the Senate then would have proceeded to formal consideration of the nomination. Senator Conrad voted for the motion while Senator Hoeven opposed it.

Forty-four Republican senators said in a May 2 letter to President Obama that they wouldn't support a nominee for CFPB director unless the director is replaced by a five-member board; the agency is subjected to the congressional appropriations process; and banking regulators are given the authority to override CFPB regulations that could cause bank failures. The Senate Banking Committee approved Cordray's nomination on October 6 by a 12-10 party-line vote. He currently serves as the head of the CFPB's enforcement division.

In related news: The Obama Administration signaled during a recent Senate Banking Committee hearing that it does not intend to engage Congress on structural or procedural changes to the CFPB in order to resolve the nomination of a CFPB Director. Asked by Committee Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-AL) whether the Administration is "seriously interested" in negotiation with Republicans on the issue, Treasury Deputy Secretary Neal Wolin replied that what the Administration is "very interested in is the Senate considering Richard Cordray."

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