American Banker: Time is Short For CFPB Chief Nomination

American Banker is reporting on the status of President Obama’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director nomination, and says the decision is up against a ticking clock.

If President Obama were to nominate a director on Tuesday, the article states, it would leave just 10 legislative weeks for Senate confirmation before the bureau’s July 21 launch date. The short time frame allows for two potential options, according to the article: President Obama could either nominate a candidate who “sparks little debate,” or could make a recess appointment—a move which would not be well received by Republican opponents.

Bloomberg reported last week that White House Special Advisor Elizabeth Warren, who is tasked with setting up the bureau, is still in the running for the director position, along with a short list of other candidates.

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If the director position is not filled in advance of the July 21 CFPB start date, the American Banker article says, “the CFPB will begin its existence under a cloud, operating under ambiguous legal authority that my limit the scope of its actions.”

The process, including nomination, research and confirmation hearings, takes time, even without the possibility of a recess appointment or block by Republicans.

Some say Warren is the only candidate worth a recess appointment, while others say if she was to be nominated, the time would have been much earlier. She has received both praise and criticism since being charged with setting up the bureau.

Regardless, the process has been slow and not without its bumps.

“It’s going to be resolved at some point, whether it’s this month, next month, October, it’s going to get resolved,” Wayne Abernathy, an executive director at the American Bankers Association, and a former Treasury Department assistant secretary during the Bush administration, told American Banker. “The problem is that it has really started the agency off on a very sloppy footing at best, and they’re squandering a lot of time that I think everyone had hoped could have been used to get the agency started in a very clear way, so that things are done with due process, so that you have a lot more transparency with how the entity operates.”

Read the American Banker article.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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  • Forget all the hype. The Bureau has been built in the image of Ms. Warren. It seems the only thing that will stop the recess appointment of Ms. Warren is her demise or her rejection of the appointment. As always anticipated the President is playing his cards close to the vest because he wants Ms. Warren to be the first occupant of the Bureau she created; he just knows the only way to get that done is a recess appointment.

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