Richard Cordray, President Obama's nominee for the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), is appearing before the Senate Banking Committee today as the the Senate confirmation process has begun.

 

In his opening remarks, Cordray intends to downplay the use of litigation in enforcing the regulations of the agency believing that lawsuits should be used judiciously.  He states that his experience as Attorney General for the State of Ohio has taught him that litigation can be slow and costly.  He seeks to use the various other powers available to the agency to resolve problems.

"I quickly learned that there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution as we seek to aid those who want to do the right thing," Cordray states.  "And, when necessary, to thwart those who seek to take advantage of others"

He stated, if confirmed, "I promise that you will have one person who will always be accountable to you for how we are carrying out the laws laid down by Congress and I will be eager to hear your thoughts about how we should do our work."

His confirmation faces an uphill battle as Republican Senators have pledged to block any nominee to lead the CFPB until new legislation is considered to make the agency more accountable.  The lawmakers are demanding that the director post be replaced by a bipartisan commission and that the agency's budget be placed under the appropriation process.  Under the current structure, the CFPB's budget is established as a percentage of the Federal Reserve's budget which the Republican opposition believes lacks appropriate oversight.

In order to be confirmed, Mr. Cordray would need to receive 60 votes in the full Senate.  Democrats currently hold 53 seats and Republicans hold 44.