Obama talks 'consumer watchdog agency,' GOP touts energy project
December 10th, 2011
06:00 AM ET
2 years ago

Obama talks 'consumer watchdog agency,' GOP touts energy project

Washington (CNN) - Congressional Republicans threw a monkey wrench in President Barack Obama's plans to nominate an individual to head the "first-ever consumer watchdog" agency.

Obama, in his weekly White House address, spoke Saturday of his nominating former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to lead the forming agency "whose job it is to protect American families from being taken advantage of by mortgage lenders, payday lenders and debt collectors."

"Tens of millions of Americans use these services. Protecting them from unscrupulous practices is an important job. And that's why I nominated Richard Cordray," Obama explained.

Obama said Cordray has the support of "most attorney generals across the country" on both sides of the aisle and expressed dismay Republican members of Congress blocked his nomination.

"On Thursday, Republicans blocked his nomination," Obama said. "They refused to even allow it to come up for a vote."

Senate Republicans had vowed since May to block confirmation of any Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director unless they get structural changes to the agency, which was formed as part of the Wall Street reform law passed last year.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that President Obama ignored his party's call for more accountability and transparency in the bureau's structure.

Obama vowed to persist with his efforts to counter the "high-powered lawyers and lobbyists" that work in the interest of financial institutions.

He condemned the "irresponsible behavior" on Wall Street that "contributed to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression."

House Speaker John Boehner, in the GOP weekly address, voiced disapproval of the president postponing a decision to support an energy measure included in a jobs bill Republican members of Congress will act on next week.

"The Keystone (XL) energy project is a bipartisan proposal the president ought to support," Boehner explained, saying the initiative would be a job creator and "reduce our dependence on oil from the Middle East."

"Unfortunately, the president wants to put off a decision on the Keystone project until after next year's election. Not only that - he now says he will reject the House's jobs bill if it includes support for the project," Boehner, R-Ohio, lamented.

Earlier this week, Obama warned that he would reject any bill that coupled approval of the Keystone XL project to a bill renewing payroll tax cuts.

Boehner says Republican members of the House will see that the jobs bill "extends payroll tax relief, extends and reforms unemployment benefits, and cuts government spending."

"There will be no tax hikes on America's job creators," he said.

The speaker spoke of "27 bipartisan House-passed jobs bill" that are in the queue for approval by the "Democratic-run Senate." He drew particular attention to one, the REINS Act, that would "require Congress to review any new regulation that has a major impact on the economy."

Also see:

Romney jabs Gingrich over space ideas

Santorum predicts last-minute surge

Gingrich, Romney joust via surrogates

Gingrich: Palestinians are an 'invented people'


Filed under: President Obama • Republicans • Senate
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. chuck weidemann

    Blah,blah blah...more of the same!! The American people know whose is to blame,who has done what,who has tried and who has blocked... Save your breath and posturing Boehner. We as a people elected a president to lead and from day one he has been fought tooth and nail . It's amazing we still have an economy with the inept members of congress ,of which YOU lead ...still in office!!! When a new president is sworn in ,whoever it my be,why won't every member of congress sign a public pledge to resolve every issue put before them for the good of the American people and to except no pay into they do!! Also sign a pledge to resign if you block a resolution to an issue. Put your money where your mouths are!!!

    December 10, 2011 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  2. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    The federal government has no Constitutional power "to protect American families from being taken advantage of by mortgage lenders, payday lenders and debt collectors." Those things are entirely up to the individual states.

    December 10, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  3. chuck weidemann

    A chain is only as strong as it's weakest link.. congress!!

    December 10, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
1 2