The beginning of confirmation hearings for Richard Cordray, who has been nominated as the first director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) have been delayed as Senate Republicans vow to block the confirmation.
Hearings were scheduled to begin this week, but have now been scheduled for September 6th. Some Democratic Congressmen have called on the President to utilize his authority to install Cordray via a recess appointment during the summer Congressional recess. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell stated the Senate would not fully recess for the August break, intending to hold "pro forma" sessions that would prevent the President's ability to make such appointments.
The continued debate over the leadership of the CFPB stems from Republican demands that Congress consider bills to strengthen oversight of the bureau by bringing the budget under the Congressional appropriations process, and changing the leadership from a single director to a 5-person commission. They have also raised concerns that Cordray is too anti-business and would drive far reaching policies that would threaten the economy.
The strongest statement about the pending confirmation hearings came from Senator David Vitter, ""If the president had his way, this super bureaucracy would be under the supervision of a credit czar who could do serious damage to our still fragile economy."
The contentious battle over the CFPB continues following similar tactics of the debt ceiling and budget deficit debate that has gripped Washington for several months. There appears to be no efforts for compromise and the CFPB has officially opened its doors as of July 21, without an official director. Elizabeth Warren stepped down July 31st as the Special Advisor to the Treasury to return to her role at Harvard University. Raj Date was named to assume her role of overseeing the bureau pending the confirmation of a director. Cordray continues in his current role as Director of Enforcement for the CFPB.