Cordray Future In Doubt As GOP Looks To Block Confirmation


UPDATED: Friday February 1, 2013 4:11 PM

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and 42 of his Republican colleagues sent a letter to President Obama Friday vowing to block the confirmation of former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray.

"We will continue to oppose the consideration of any nominee, regardless of party affiliation, to be the CFPB director until key structural changes are made to ensure accountability and transparency at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau," the letter read.

Republicans argue the new agency lacks transparency and accountability.

Ohio Sen. Rob Portman did not sign the McConnell letter, but he did send one of his own to Cordray.

"As a nominee to lead an independent agency, you have an opportunity to stake out a reasonable position independent of the White House," the letter said.  "Now is the time to exercise that independence... so that the Senate can find a path forward on your nomination."

Former Democratic congressman, and onetime presidential candidate, Dennis Kucinich told 10TV that Republicans should end the partisan fight over Cordray's nomination and confirm him.

"Richard Cordray has served this state very well, in many capacities," Kucinich said.  "I'm hopeful the Senate will put aside any partisan differences and understand that he is someone that ought to be appointed to that position."

Cordray took the helm of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2012, by a recess appointment by President Obama.

His term expires at the end of the year, unless he wins Senate approval.  A court ruling earlier this year has also raised questions about the validity of Cordray's position.

Senate Republicans this week filed a bill that would defund any actions taken by the CFPB.  They are also pushing for legislation that will replace Cordray's position with a bipartisan board.

The White House said they will continue to fight for Cordray's confirmation, but will not support the Republican changes to the agency.

Two Democratic operatives close to Cordray told 10TV this week that if not confirmed, he will return to Ohio to run for governor in 2014.

Kucinich said that speculation should be put on hold until confirmation hearings are held.

"I think we need to focus on that appointment," Kucinich said. "I want to focus on positive energy for him to get that confirmation."

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