In July, I blogged about the nomination of Bill Cordray as the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the new federal agency created in the wake of the financial debacle on Wall Street that was responsible, in part, for the contraction of the U.S. economy. The CFPB is a government watchdog agency, overseeing consumer protection for all things related to lending, including credit cards, private student loan, pay day loans, and mortgages.
Since July, Republicans have continued to fight against the CFPB, vowing not to approve a Director until the agency is restructured. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has also expressed its opposition to the CFPB, arguing that it would be too powerful as it currently stands.
Without a Director, the CFPB is prevented from performing some of its intended tasks, including overseeing some financial sectors that currently have no agency watching over them (like mortgage brokers and payday lenders).
Several days ago, the Senate Banking Committee approved Cordray as the Director of the CFPB. This is definitely a welcome move by consumer advocates. But Senate Republicans continue to promise to block the nomination of any director to the CFPB until the agency’s powers are diluted.