The Senate Banking Committee announced it will hold a hearing on the nomination of Richard Cordray, as the first Director of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, this week on August 4.
The CFPB opened its doors as an independent agency on July 21. However, until it has a director, the agency said, it will “not be able to use its full powers to protect consumers and level the playing field for community banks and credit unions.”
The hearing will likely be a heated debate as a result of fierce opposition from Senate Republicans who have vowed to block any nomination until a board of directors is established for the new federal bureau. In response to the Senate Republicans demand for more oversight, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-SD) said its not necessary.
“The truth is this bureau is already subject to greater checks and balances than any other financial regulator and this is just another attempt by Republicans to delay and derail these critical new protections,” he said in a statement. “Republicans in Washington may want to use revisionist history, but Americans haven’t forgotten that the recession was caused in part by predatory lenders and bad actors on Wall Street.”
Earlier this month, President Obama nominated Cordray to become the director of the independent bureau. Cordray is a former Ohio attorney general who has been working for Elizabeth Warren, the Harvard law professor who first proposed the CFPB and was later brought on to build the bureau from scratch.
Despite being the top choice of many consumer advocates, Warren was passed over for the five-year post as the CFPB’s director. Warren announced last week she was returning to her position at Harvard Law School as a Law Professor.