Sen. Corker: CFPB in “Legal Jeopardy,” Ball in White House’s Court

The latest in the months-long saga that has raised questions about the authority of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau brought a statement today from Republican Senator Bob Corker (Tenn.) that it’s now for the White House to respond with a resolution. 

Republican members of Congress have long opposed the leadership structure of the bureau, vowing to block any nomination made by President Obama toward a director to lead the agency. President Obama instead used a recess appointment toward the end of getting Director Richard Cordray in place—a move many of those republicans opposed but could do nothing about due to the appointment. 

Now, however, with the president’s recess appointments called into question due to a recent lawsuit testing the constitutionality of the “recess” in which they were designated, the bureau has been left somewhat unarmed with its authority position unknown. 

Sen. Corker, who sits on the Senate Banking Committee, said this week it’s up to the White House to propose a solution that garners enough support for Senate confirmation of a full time director—putting an end to the CFPB’s “legal jeopardy.” 

“I made some suggestions to people at Treasury and the White House as to how they might go about resolving this issue and getting Richard Cordray confirmed,” Sen. Corker said in a statement.

The senator points to the recent appointment of Federal Housing commissioner Carol Galante—another drawn out process Republicans agreed to resolve once Galante gave her word toward making changes at the housing administration. The changes ultimately included major changes to the reverse mortgage program including the suspension of the fixed rate standard product. 

“We actually had some success in a similar situation with Carol Galante at the FHA, and there seemed to be an opportunity to do something along those lines here as well,” Corker said. “But at this point, the ball is entirely in the White House’s court. By making some modest and reasonable changes to the structure of the CFPB, I think we could have a strong Senate vote confirming Cordray as leader of the organization. But that will require the White House showing a willingness to move the process forward.” 

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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