At a press conference on Dec. 1, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner emphasized the need for a full vote in the Senate to confirm Rich Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
“The longer we wait to confirm a director, the more we’re leaving millions of Americans who aren’t doing business with banks vulnerable to the kind of predation and abuse that caused so much damage in this crisis,” Geithner said.
Geithner said he sees no need to change the system of checks and balances already put in place for the Bureau, in reference to the structural changes that Republican members of Congress have demanded.
“Our strategy is to make the case as compelling as we can” to overcome objections, Geithner said.
Critics continue to deride the Obama administration for not pushing for the confirmation of CFPB architect Elizabeth Warren to lead the agency. Warren, who is now running for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts, is credited with devising the idea that eventually led to the Bureau’s creation. She left last summer, and Raj Date took her place as special assistant to the Treasury secretary, serving as interim director.
Gary Weiss wrote this on Salon.com, in a piece on retiring Rep. Barney Frank:
[The] Dodd-Frank [Act] also failed to address another root cause of the financial crisis, which was the rollback since Reagan of consumer protection rules and the weakening of banking and securities regulators. … The solution was a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which originally was to be a separate agency but was folded into the Federal Reserve, thereby coming under the aegis of Wall Street’s tool, Timothy Geithner. And then, of course, President Obama, who also means well but is loath to go to the mat with Congress, made the CFPB toothless by failing to push for Elizabeth Warren as its first chief.
Democratic leaders in the Senate plan to hold a vote on Cordray’s nomination before the end of the year, the Wall Street Journal reported.