BREAKING: Richard Cordray Approved

RichardCordray BREAKING: Richard Cordray ApprovedRichard Cordray has been approved as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) by a vote of 71 to 29. This after Democrats threatened a filibuster. However, according to the Huffington Post, a deal has been struck.

The Senate began stepping back from the “nuclear” brink Tuesday as leaders were said to be close to cutting a deal to approve seven of President Barack Obama’s long-blocked nominees.

The deal, which was negotiated primarily between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), was described by a Senate Democratic aide as one in which the Republican Party will allow votes to confirm the seven executive nominees, provided that Obama replaces his two nominees to the National Labor Relations Board with two other names. Those nominees would have a commitment “in writing” from GOP leadership to get a vote, the Democratic aide said.

Here is the background from the Washington Post.

Harry Reid could go nuclear this summer.

Reid is looking to take dramatic action to get Richard Cordray confirmed as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). And according to reports this week, he’s likely to push for a major battle over the filibuster this summer once immigration reform is finished, but before the fall budget battle heats up. Although the massive increase in the use of the filibuster in recent years is a general problem, it’s of particular concern for financial reform. Instead of just disapproving of a candidate, Senate Republicans are explicitly blocking Cordray in order to rewrite important parts of Dodd-Frank they don’t like.
The GOP has been quite frank for several years now: their problem isn’t with Cordray, or with any specific candidate. They just don’t want anybody in the office with the CFPB structured the way it currently is under Dodd-Frank. Just look at the arguments conservatives put forward in early February, when 43 Republican senators signed a letter explaining why they would block any candidate for the position. (It’s very similar to a letter Republican senators signed in 2011.) The senators state, “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.]”

Cordray will make a fine leader of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).