U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., a member of the Senate Banking Committee, today said President Obama’s decision to bypass the Senate confirmation process and install Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau through a recess appointment undermines any attempt to bring accountability and balance to the bureau. In December, Corker voted against a procedural motion on the nomination citing the need for significant changes at the bureau until he could support confirmation of a director. Cordray’s nomination failed to receive enough votes to advance.
“Instead of working in a productive way with Congress, the administration has chosen to undermine any attempt at bringing accountability and balance to the bureau. I strongly support consumer protections and am not opposed to eventually confirming a director, but not before putting in place a board-like structure and checks on rulemaking abilities to ensure the director is accountable and does not have unfettered power.”
Corker opposed the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory bill which created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The CFPB has a budget of over $548 million in fiscal year 2012 ($598 million in fiscal year 2013), which is currently free from any congressional oversight, and would be controlled by one person with complete autonomy to regulate consumer and financial transactions. Community banks and credit unions could be hurt most by burdensome regulations from the bureau because these smaller entities cannot afford the compliance costs of the major national banks. Corker is among 45 Republican senators who are objecting to the confirmation a director of the CFPB until structural changes are made to make the bureau accountable to the American people.