Senate Republicans last week blocked the White House’s pick to lead a new agency tasked with regulating the nation’s credit market.
The White House pushed for a vote to confirm former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray as head of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Some political pundits say the president was positioning himself as a champion of consumers with the Cordray nomination.
Conservatives say their opposition to Cordray was not due to his qualifications, but their objections to the agency itself. Appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press” morning show Sunday, South Carolina U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham said the proposed position would have no oversight.
“This consumer bureau they want to pass is (put) under the Federal Reserve; no appropriation oversight, no board. It is something out of the Stalinist Era,” he said, “The reasons Republicans don’t want to vote for it is that we want a board not one person making all of the regulatory decisions. There is no oversight under this person. He gets a check from the Federal Reserve. We want him under the Congress so we can oversee the overseer. ”
Democrats are arguing that Republicans are standing in the way of an effort to beef up consumer protections against financial institutions.
They say they kept the agency separate from the normal appropriations and oversight process because they did not want it competing with other banking regulators for funding.