Richard Cordray appointed to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; GOP reacts


President Barack Obama shakes hands with Richard Cordray (R) before speaking about the economy at Shaker Heights High School in Shaker Heights, Ohio, on Jan. 4, 2012.


Saul Loeb

President Barack Obama's decision to disregard the GOP opposition and appoint Richard Cordray as the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is being considered by critics as a blatant display of executive power.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is perhaps the "most powerful and unaccountable bureaucracy in the history of our nation" and it is now being "headed by a powerful and unaccountable bureaucrat with unprecedented authority over the economy."

According to Romney, Obama is "declaring that he ‘refuses to take no for an answer’ and circumventing Congress to appoint a new administrator."

This action represents Chicago-style politics at its worst and is precisely what then-Senator Obama claimed would be ‘the wrong thing to do.’ Sadly, instead of focusing on economic growth, he is once again focusing on creating more regulation, more government, and more Washington gridlock.

Because Obama appointed him while the Senate is in recess, Cordray, a former Ohio attorney general, does not need the Senate’s approval to step into the role.
Obama had nominated Cordray for the job last summer, but Senate Republicans blocked his confirmation, the LA Times reported.

Romney was not the only Republican who was miffed by Obama's decision.

“This is an extraordinary and entirely unprecedented power grab by President Obama that defies centuries of practice and the legal advice of his own Justice Department,” House Speaker John A. Boehner said in a prepared statement, The New York Times reported. “The precedent that would be set by this cavalier action would have a devastating effect on the checks and balances that are enshrined in our Constitution.”

Despite the backlash against the appointment, both Republican and Democrats agree that Cordray is qualified for the position.

According to a statement by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, a majority of attorney generals, both Republican and Democrat supported Cordray's nomination to the position.  

Business Insider reported this morning that based on a 1998 op-ed about class action lawsuits against tobacco companies and Microsoft, Cordray "demonstrates the detailed, pragmatic and tactically lucid approach he's been praised for." 

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