Obama to Name Cordray CFPB Chief in “Defiant” Power Move

President Obama will name Richard Cordray to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau despite Congress holding pro-forma sessions in an effort to block any recess appointment, The White House confirmed Wednesday.

The official announcement is expected today, after months and months of battling between Democrats in support of the consumer bureau and Republicans who have staunchly opposed its leadership structure. The nomination most recently failed a vote of the Senate on December 8.

Speculation surrounding the option of a recess appointment using “unorthodox” measures has spun in recent weeks as Republican members of Congress have continually held pro-forma sessions to prevent an actual “recess” from taking place.


However, in reinterpreting the terms of a recess, the president has the ability to bypass Congress and make the appointment.

Early Wednesday, a White House spokesman tweeted that the announcement was forthcoming.

“We Can’t Wait: Today in Ohio, President Obama will announce the recess appointment of Consumer Watchdog Richard Cordray,” said Dan Pfeiffer via an official White House Twitter account. The White House later confirmed the news.

The Associated Press had reported earlier based on confirmation by unnamed sources that the president would “buck” GPO opposition “In a defiant display of executive power.”

Once the CFPB has its director, it can fully wield the power intended for it under Dodd-Frank. Republicans have long opposed a single director for the bureau, instead arguing for a bi-partisan five-member commission to lead it.

“The move is likely to infuriate Senate Republicans,” The Hill reported today. “…It could even lead to a court challenge regarding the legality of the move.”

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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  • This is NOT defiance!!  That is what Lincoln and FDR did when they went outside the Constitution to stack the Supreme Court.  Recess appointment is a long accepted form of putting politically flawed puppets and pawns into office.
    Congress has been defying the President by not permitting a recess appointment of either Mr. Cordray or Ms. Warren.  This is the third January 3rd mandated Congressional recess the President has overseen.  The last one, Ms. Warren was the nominee.  The President must not have wanted her on the record as his eventual appointee.
    Mr. Cordray is not a choice of defiance.  Ms. Warren would have been.  While only the left seemed in love with the choice of Ms. Warren, no one has opposed Mr. Cordray the way Ms. Warren was.
    The Republicans would have gone to the Supreme Court to oppose the Bureau if Ms. Warren was the recess appointee.  It is less certain with Mr. Cordray although they will probably go through the initial motions.

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