The White House today is publicly ramping up pressure on Senate Republicans to back Richard Cordray's nomination for director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
The Senate is set to vote on Cordray's nomination tomorrow, but Republicans have said they will block the former Ohio Attorney General from leading the agency unless it undergoes structural changes.
"We want accountability for this agency, which has none today as it's structured," Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., said Tuesday. "This is not about him. It's about the structure of this, a powerful - I think a monster, as far as future regulation, to over- regulate our economy, create more regulations and fewer jobs."
The White House today said the CFPB has "an unprecedented set of accountability provisions" and warned Senate Republicans that blocking Cordray's nomination will leave "the door wide open" for the same kinds of abuses that led to the financial crisis.
"Until a director is confirmed, these institutions will operate without supervision and oversight, just like before the crisis. That means that millions of American people who will remain vulnerable to some of the same regulatory gaps that helped create the financial crisis, and they will lack basic commonsense protections," Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin told reporters today.
President Obama has also publicly pushed lawmakers to support his nominee. "Nobody claims he's not qualified. But the Republicans in the Senate refuse to confirm him for the job; they refuse to let him do his job. Why? Does anybody here think that the problem that led to our financial crisis was too much oversight of mortgage lenders or debt collectors?" the president said Tuesday.
As part of its campaign, the White House today has enlisted bipartisan state attorneys general to call for Cordray's confirmation. The administration is also making an aggressive case in seven targeted states - Alaska, Tennessee, Maine, Iowa, Indiana, Nevada and Utah - for Cordray to be confirmed.