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Republicans to Block CFPB Nominee Unless Changes Made

Posted on 5/10/2011

Last Thursday, 44 senators wrote to President Obama and told him they will not support anyone he nominates to become the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau unless - and until - action is taken to restructure the Bureau itself, including replacing the director with a board.

"The present structure of the [CFPB] ... violates basic principles of accountability and our democratic values. No person should have the unfettered authority presently granted to the [bureau's] director ... ," the senators said in their letter.

In addition to a demand that a board be created, the senators also insisted that the Bureau be subjected to the Congressional appropriations process, and that federal banking regulators be given authority to override certain regulations imposed by the Bureau that could cause bank failures.

Any major vote in the Senate today requires 60 votes, which means that this group of 44 can effectively block confirmation of any nominee. Their action leaves few options available to the president, one of which is an "interim" or "recess" appointment of the Bureau's director before the transfer date of July 21, 2011, when regulatory power and authority is transferred to the new Bureau.

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