White House Presses for Consumer Watchdog Confirmation

Playing off the testimony today by Holly Petreaus before the Senate Banking Committee, the White House made a vigorous new argument to attempt to persuade the Senate to confirm Richard Cordray to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Cordray’s nomination is stalled by opposition from 44 Republicans senators who insist on structural changes in the agency.

In a conference call with reporters, White House officials argued that the consumer watchdog agency has no authority to enforce consumer protections until a director is confirmed, and they made their appeal on behalf of military families whom they described as particularly susceptible to fraud by pay-day lenders, mortgage deals and private student loan operations that have aggressively targeted military families.

Petraeus, wife of retired general and now CIA Director David Petraeus, heads the agency’s office to help military families. The White House says there is “documented harm” being inflicted on military personnel.

White House officials reject suggestions that the president might wait and make a recess appointment when Congress adjourns for the year.

More on Holly Petraeus’ testimony from ABC News’ Amy Bingham and Tom Shine.

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