Innovation Ohio Applauds Cordray Nomination

For Immediate Release: January 4, 2012
Contact: Dale Butland, 614-783-5833

INNOVATION OHIO APPLAUDS CORDRAY APPOINTMENT
THINK TANK SAYS OHIOAN WILL BE  STRONG WATCHDOG FOR CONSUMERS

Columbus—Innovation Ohio, a progressive think tank headquartered in Columbus, today lauded President Barack Obama’s decision to use a “recess appointment” to make former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray Acting Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The Consumer Protection Bureau was created by Congress in the wake of the 2008 financial meltdown to protect ordinary Americans from Wall Street and abusive lending practices by banks, credit card companies, mortgage lenders and others.

Cordray’s nomination has been stalled in the Senate since July, with Republicans refusing to allow an up-or-down vote and threatening a filibuster unless Obama agreed to weaken the agency. Obama’s nomination of Cordray occurred only after the President’s original choice, Elizabeth Warren, drew fierce GOP opposition and another threatened filibuster.

Though all sides agree that Cordray is supremely qualified, Senate Republicans have refused to allow a vote on his confirmation because they don’t think the Agency should exist in its present form. In addition to serving as Ohio Attorney General, Cordray was Ohio Solicitor General, clerked for two U.S. Supreme Court Justices, and built a solid reputation as a fierce but fair consumer champion.

Said Innovation Ohio President Janetta King:

“America’s consumers need a watchdog, not more Republican obstructionism. It’s beyond ridiculous that Rich Cordray’s nomination has been held up for over 5 months because the GOP would rather protect banks and Wall Street than ordinary Americans. This game has gone on long enough—and if Senate Republicans won’t act, then the President must. And every Ohio consumer will be better off because of what the President did today.

“And before conservatives leap to criticize this appointment, let’s remember two things.  First, the agency they want to weaken was, in fact, lawfully and duly created by Congress itself. And second, President Obama has made a total of just 29 recess appointments.  In comparison, the three most recent Republican Presidents—George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, and Ronald Reagan—made 171, 77, and 243, respectively.

“The GOP’s rampant obstructionism and government-by-filibuster is not only embarrassing, but is hurting the country.  They’ve staged an unprecedented 136 filibusters in this Congress, and 139 in the last one. The Founding Fathers intended the Senate to act according to majority rule; they did not intend for nearly everything to require a Super Majority of 60 votes.  That’s a prescription for gridlock, pure and simple.

The American people deserve better  and if Republicans won’t even allow a vote on Rich Cordray’s nomination, then they have no grounds for complaint if the President does what must be done to keep the government functioning. Cordray understands finances, economics and fiscal realities—and he combines it with a solid law enforcement background. The President could not have found a better candidate or made a wiser choice.”

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