NEW YORK (
was appointed as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Wednesday, nearly six months after
by President Barack Obama.
Much has been made about the fight to confirm a director for the CFPB, with the
GOP blocking Cordray's appointment
in early December despite the fact he had overarching approval from both sides of the aisle.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will finally get a director due to a recess appointment of Richard Cordray.
"The majority of attorney generals Republican and Democrat have said ... Cordray is ready to go," Obama said in a press conference after the December block. "There is no reason Mr. Cordray should not be nominated ... We are not giving up on this, we are going to keep going at it."
And that is exactly what the Obama administration has done, finally giving Cordray the directorship in a recess appointment, which requires no Senate confirmation.
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But why the big fight? Ira Rheingold, executive director of the National Association of Consumer Advocates, says the major change that will occur with Cordray's appointment is a broadening of oversight powers for the agency that was provided for in the Dodd-Frank Act. Rheingold says the CFPB now has the power to implement its rule-making and oversight on non-mortgage bank lenders (i.e., payday lenders, check cashers, etc.) in addition to financial institutions it was already allowed to regulate.
When it comes to day-to-day operations, however, Rheingold says that most of the work the agency is already conducting won't change.
"It won't have an enormous impact because they already have a lot of paths they're going down," he says.
Instead, Rheingold says the appointment of a director could mean a larger psychological change for the agency, he says.
"In many ways, they were sitting there with their heads down," he says. "They may feel now like they have the ability to put their heads up and have a leader who will protect them."
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