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Opinion, commentary and analysis on everything that makes the U.S. housing economy tick -- not to mention the ghosts in the machine, too. Written by HW's team of editors and reporters each business day.
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Can Corker, White House reach deal over Cordray confirmation?

February 25, 2013

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., believes he's finally found an opportunity to restructure parts of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, while still giving President Obama what he wants: a reconfirmation of CFPB Director Richard Cordray.

The senator suggested as much in a statement issued Monday. Corker apparently released the statement to clarify a report published by Politico, suggesting the Senator was "angling to broker a compromise" on the re-confirmation of Corker.

In fact, it seems Corker is merely playing his hand. Since an appellate court cast doubt in January on whether President Obama’s recess appointments to various agencies could withstand judicial scrutiny, the recess appointment of Richard Cordray has left some doubting Cordray's ability to hold a permanent position at the CFPB without an official Senate confirmation.

The president previously put Cordray in place through a recess appointment that is now being challenged in another court case.

For Corker and Republicans, a court’s controversial decision in another recess appointment case has created all of this new doubt. For Corker, the case presents itself as a Carol Galante-type of situation.

Corker says he had success getting Commissioner Carol Galante at the FHA to consider reasonable changes within the agency in turn for support and less opposition to her confirmation.  Corker believes there seems "to be an opportunity to do something along those lines here as well."

But, he added, "the ball is in the White House’s court to propose necessary changes at the bureau in order to get enough support for Senate confirmation of a full time director."

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