Obama glad Cordray 'finally confirmed' by Senate
July 17th, 2013
12:48 PM ET
9 months ago

Obama glad Cordray 'finally confirmed' by Senate

Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama was "finally" able Wednesday morning to welcome the newly sworn-in consumer protection chief he first nominated two years ago.

The U.S. Senate confirmed Richard Cordray Tuesday night as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in a 66-34 vote that was the culmination of a bitter fight over presidential nominations.

Cordray was formally sworn in Wednesday morning by Vice President Joe Biden.

In comments marking the occasion, Obama steered away from the larger Senate nomination fight but firmly blamed chamber Republicans for holding up the process specifically for Cordray.

"He was eminently qualified. He had the support of Democrats and Republicans from across the country," Obama said of Cordray's nomination.

"For two years Republicans in the Senate refused to give Rich a simple yes or no vote," Obama said. "Not because they didn't think he was the right person for the job but because they didn't like the law that set up the consumer watchdog in the first place."

Cordray was the first of several presidential nominations likely to get up or down confirmation votes in the coming days, nominations that have been held up for months and in at least one case, years.

Much of the fight has been over nominations to the National Labor Relations Board, which congressional Republicans have targeted for its makeup and authority, which they say has been at the expense of business in favor of unions.

Senate Republicans have repeatedly invoked the threat of a filibuster to block Obama's nominees, a move Democrats simply didn't have the 60 votes they would have needed to counter.

Senate Democrats spent the last week attempting to end the holdup, with Majority Leader Harry Reid threatening to invoke the "nuclear option" that would have eliminated filibuster power over nominations. Republicans said that such a move would have completely ended any pretense at bipartisan comity in the upper chamber.

A deal was finally struck Tuesday that included Democrats dropping two nominees to the National Labor Relations Board. Obama quickly responded with two new nominees: Nancy Schiffer and Kent Hirozawa.

Senate averts 'nuclear option,' confirms presidential nominee

Part of the holdup leading to the Senate fight came from Republican ire at Obama naming recess appointees, including Cordray, during what Republicans said was an active session of the Senate. Republicans brought a legal challenge that they threatened to take all the way to the Supreme Court.

Obama said that Senate resistance prevented the consumer bureau from doing its job of protecting ordinary Americans. "As a consequence, last year I took steps on my own to temporarily appoint Richard so he could get to work on their behalf," Obama said. "And Americans everywhere are better off because he did."

Obama thanked Senate Republicans, including John McCain of Arizona and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky for finally striking a deal.

Even before Cordray's confirmation, the bureau has managed to ensure Americans get $400 million in refunds, Obama said, in addition to addressing 175,000 consumer complaints against financial institutions. "We've made real strides even despite the fact that the agency was hampered because of the confirmation process," he said.

CNN's Ted Barrett, Dana Bash, Ashley Killough, Lisa Desjardins and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.


Filed under: President Obama • Richard Cordray • Senate
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    "Not because they didn't think he was the right person for the job but because they didn't like the law that set up the consumer watchdog in the first place."
    ----------------------------------------------–
    Enough said! They didn't like the law because it will crackdown on their rich financial donors who want to continue to rip the taxpayer off with their crazy off the wall investments & payday loan schemes. There's a new sheriff in town and his name Richard Cordray.

    July 17, 2013 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  2. anonymous

    Democrats just slam things through, their way or nothing, and try to stick it to the Republicans every chance they get and then wonder why the Republicans push back? Maybe if they tried to work with them instead of screwing them over, they would get something done?

    July 17, 2013 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  3. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Dear Anony...

    An almost two to one margin to confirm is slamming things through? Hard to argue with such logic...

    July 17, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  4. Vader

    The vote of 66-34 was clearly a validation that the hold up in confirmation was not based on the merits of the individual, but political obstructionism by the minority party.

    July 17, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    ""Not because they didn't think he was the right person for the job but because they didn't like the law that set up the consumer watchdog in the first place.""

    It's called nullification. The South tried it via their own state legislatures and caused the Civil War, losing that battle in terrific fashion. Now they just send their Senators to DC to accomplish the exact same thing via the filibuster, simply refusing to allow agencies and laws they don't like to actually function properly, refusing to confirm and fill appropriate leadership positions, eviscerating their funding, oversight and enforcement mechanisms, etc. Then they run around with their hair on fire yelling "gov't is broken" as if they weren't material contributors to the dysfunction. It's quite transparent and the only people who refuse to acknowledge it are those who know that it's exactly what's going on, but they like it, they want the gov't broken in such a manner, so they refuse to admit that's the strategy.

    July 17, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  6. anonymous

    They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...
    Dear Anony...
    An almost two to one margin to confirm is slamming things through? Hard to argue with such logic...
    -–

    I am not referrin gto this vot in particualr. I am referring to Obama and the Democrat's approach to just about every topic. Agree to everything they want or you are a women hater, or a child hater, or want to kill granda and throw her off a cliff. The Democrats rhetoric has just gone way too far and piosoned the water. It makes it very difficult to get others to agree with anything you want after you have labelled them like that.

    July 17, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  7. California Gary

    Gosh, it only took them two years to confirm him......what's the rush? And @anonymous........if that's what you call "slamming things through" then you have a pretty skewed view of what constitutes slamming. And fyi.......Obama tried time and again to work with the GOP and bent over backwards a number of times, only to be slapped down and obstructed by a party determined to make his presidency fail.

    July 17, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  8. Gunderson

    Upset,
    Gunderson no understand? Putin want to Re-invent Soviet Union where Socalisim big failure. Obama trying to Re-invent Soviet Union? Professer Hoffa said let's take out those Sob's. Now Obama Care killing Jobs Welcome to the 29 hour work week. Putin, Obama, Hoffa all forgot Famous words of POGO. We have met the enemy and it is us. Gunderson no understand? Putin Care big failure?

    July 17, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  9. just sayin

    Sniffit
    It's called nullification.
    -–
    it's called politics. demorcats did it all the time when they were in the minority. of course, the republicans worked with them and included them so the level of filibustering was less. but the democrats of today have taken the mmy way or the highway approach and the republicans have instead elected the filibuster approach. you reap what you sow.

    Then they run around with their hair on fire yelling "gov't is broken" as if they weren't material contributors to the dysfunction. It's quite transparent and the only people who refuse to acknowledge it are those who know that it's exactly what's going on, but they like it, they want the gov't broken in such a manner, so they refuse to admit that's the strategy.
    -–
    obama and the democrats have a federal government that is over 20% of the gdp of this country. all of that is money that is taken from people who earned it. the government's dysfunction comes from its enormous size. hundreds of billions in waste, fraud and abuse every year. agencies out of control where nobody seems to know what is going on or who is in charge. 50 agencies dealing with the same problem, none of them effective. all run by union members that can't be fired even when they break the law. in other words, a disaster masquerading as government.

    July 17, 2013 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  10. Jerry in Canada

    The world, and especially Americans need to know what their government is doing. If Americans ignore their government and that government causes chaos the world over, it's American citizens who face the wrath from others, wrongfully. The government decision makers walk away without any legal responsibility. The problem is, average Americans lack the proper reason and insight to look deeply and hold their government equally accountable as we would demand from terrorists. Threats are never 1 dimensional. What the US government did with the Ecuador aircraft carrying it's president was dangerous, reckless, outrageous and arrogant. Imagine if a rogue nation like North Korea followed around the US president. That would be grounds for immediate aerial strikes.
    Let's not sugar coat this, the US is NOT a beacon for global freedom. It supported a dictator in Mubarak, then ousted him in favour of democracy, and now continues to fund and support the military government that orchestrated a coup. Americans don't see it, others do.
    Snowden himself is a headache for Russia. They want him to make a decision quickly. If the US does not send athletes to the Sochi Olympics, us Canadians will be thrilled because that's more medals for us :). People do not care about winter olympics anyways.

    July 17, 2013 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  11. Jerry in Canada

    My apologies, i meant to say the Bolivian Aircraft, not Ecuador

    July 17, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  12. Rudy NYC

    just sayin wrote:

    ...it's called politics. demorcats did it all the time when they were in the minority. of course, the republicans worked with them and included them so the level of filibustering was less.....
    -----------------
    It is politics. Democrats filibustered GWB when he tried to appoint his current White House counsel to the Supreme Court, which what they should have done. As for Republicans working with Democrats goes, it's a two way street. I also recall how it is totally forbidden on the right wing to work with the other side. You get primaried and then excommunicated if you work with the other side. Case in point, Charlie Crist.

    July 17, 2013 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  13. tom l.

    @Sniffit,
    Is it kinda like a president passing a monstrosity of a bill and then picking and choosing which part of the law to uphold. The cool part is that he took care of big business while sticking it to the average American and making us comply with the mandate. Awesomeness.

    July 17, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  14. The Real Tom Paine

    Yes, just sayin, taxes are money taken from people who have earned it, to pay for services they government provides. Why do we have the rampant waste, fraud and abuse? In no small part due to the lack of oversight that your side seems to feel is a positive thing. And since when are government employess exempt from porsecution when they break the law? Your rants are nothing more than the ravings of frightened sheep hiding a bubble of their own design.

    July 17, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  15. Fair is Fair

    The Real Tom Paine

    Yes, just sayin, taxes are money taken from people who have earned it, to pay for services they government provides. Why do we have the rampant waste, fraud and abuse? In no small part due to the lack of oversight that your side seems to feel is a positive thing.
    -----–
    There we go... more federal oversight of federal operations. The rats are guarding the cheese again.

    July 17, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  16. California Gary

    @Tom Paine......."frightened sheep hiding in a bubble of their own design".........you really have a way with words my friend. I love it!

    July 17, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  17. just sayin

    The Real Tom Paine
    Yes, just sayin, taxes are money taken from people who have earned it, to pay for services they government provides.
    ----

    taking money out of my pocket in order to put it into the pocket of others is not providing me a service, it is theft and the government is the thief and the tax code is the weapon. and when it starts to pervade every as[pect of our society, it is organized crime. i am tired of being mugged every week by a government that provides me little or no service.

    July 17, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  18. Name Uche Agonsi

    Two whole years?.....there should have been no confirmation if Obama did not win a 2nd term. What then is the difference between having a right man for a job & not allowing him to handle the job, & what happens in third world countries where the ruler can appoint any madman to any position for relationship reasons. How can problems be solved then & people benefit from democracy. Do Americans need to be told where their actual problems are from.......... It does not look good either for Democrats to wait that long to come with a solution.

    July 17, 2013 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  19. The Real Tom Paine

    -anonymous

    They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...
    Dear Anony...
    An almost two to one margin to confirm is slamming things through? Hard to argue with such logic...
    -–

    I am not referrin gto this vot in particualr. I am referring to Obama and the Democrat's approach to just about every topic. Agree to everything they want or you are a women hater, or a child hater, or want to kill granda and throw her off a cliff. The Democrats rhetoric has just gone way too far and piosoned the water. It makes it very difficult to get others to agree with anything you want after you have labelled them like that.*******

    I seem to remember not too long ago when the GOP was branding anyone who did not support their policies as anti-American, a Muslim sympathizer, and giving aid and comfort to the enemy. If you want to talk about poisoning the well, the GOP poisoned the wellwater and tried to waterboard you with it.

    July 17, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  20. Snifthis Libiturd

    The Real Tom Paine
    Yes, just sayin, taxes are money taken from people who have earned it, to pay for services they government provides.

    I work for a company that does work for over 300 govt. agencies (municipal to federal) and I am utterly shocked at the complete incompetence that I encounter at every level. I can take a function that they utilze 15 people to operate and do a better job with 3. Yes there are services that our taxes need to be used to run, but it is being run so inefficiently that it amounts to fraud, waste and abuse of our hard earned tax $$.

    July 17, 2013 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  21. The Real Tom Paine

    -Fair is Fair

    The Real Tom Paine

    Yes, just sayin, taxes are money taken from people who have earned it, to pay for services they government provides. Why do we have the rampant waste, fraud and abuse? In no small part due to the lack of oversight that your side seems to feel is a positive thing.
    -––
    There we go... more federal oversight of federal operations. The rats are guarding the cheese again.
    **********
    The GOP has no problem when its Darrel Issa, only when its the regulation of an industry. Either have the oversight, or admit you are against any form of it, and bear the responsibility for the cesspit that would result.

    July 17, 2013 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |