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Sacramento, CA - In July, the landmark Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) took over as the nation’s first federal financial agency with only one job, protecting consumers. But until it gets a Senate-confirmed director, its powers, especially over payday lenders and other non-banks, are limited.
In July, President Obama nominated former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray, the current enforcement chief of the Bureau, as the CFPB’s first director. He’s already received strong support from Ohio papers and praise from the current Republican Attorney General of Ohio, Mike DeWine, who had defeated him. Yet, the Bureau will not have its full authority to protect consumers in the financial marketplace until a director is confirmed by the U.S. Senate. The Senate Banking Committee held a hearing on the nomination September 6 and is expected to send the nomination to the floor soon.
However, in May, 44 U.S. Senators had signed a letter to President Obama opposing any nominee to head the bureau until the bureau’s powers and funding are first weakened. Thankfully, California’s Senators Feinstein and Boxer were not among them.
“Our Senators have a clear choice, protect consumers by voting for Cordray or protect Wall Street,” said Jon Fox, Consumer Advocate at CALPIRG. “The bank-backed opposition to the nomination is shooting consumers in the foot because until CFPB gets a director, it has little power over payday lenders and other bank competitors” noted Jon Fox.
According to a recent poll, 77% of Americans—Republican, Democratic, and Independent—favor strong, sensible oversight of the financial services industry, including a strong and independent CFPB.
”Senators can either protect consumers or protect powerful special interests,” said Jon Fox, adding “For the consumers struggling to make ends meet after Wall Street caused the collapse of the economy, the choice is clear—confirm Rich Cordray to direct the CFPB.”
CALPIRG (www.calpirg.org) is a non-profit, non-partisan public interest advocacy organization that takes on powerful special interests on behalf of its members. CALPIRG is a founding member of Americans for Financial Reform (www.ourfinancialsecurity.org), the coalition of consumer, civil rights, worker and other organizations that campaigned for the CFPB.
Your donation supports CALPIRG’s work to stand up for consumers on the issues that matter, especially when powerful interests are blocking progress.