The U.S. Senate will vote next week on whether to advance Richard Cordray’s confirmation to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, according to Adam Jentleson, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Cordray, the former Ohio attorney general who has run the consumer bureau since January 2012, will face a vote from the full Senate amid opposition from Republicans seeking changes to the agency’s structure and funding. The Republicans, who hold 45 seats in the 100-member Senate, can deny Democrats the 60 votes needed to set the stage for simple majority approval.
President Barack Obama nominated Cordray, 53, for a five-year term on Jan. 24, more than a year after installing him in the position using a so-called recess appointment to sidestep Republican opposition. The Senate Banking Committee approved Cordray’s nomination on a party line vote of 12-10 on March 19.
More than 40 Republican senators have pledged to block a floor vote on any nominee to run the consumer bureau until Democrats agree to make changes including restructuring the agency to be run by a commission rather than a director and subjecting its budget to the congressional appropriations process. Democrats including Obama and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who set up the agency while serving as an aide to the president, have said the Republican effort is designed to undermine the bureau, which was created by the Dodd-Frank Act.
Republicans blocked Democrats’ push for a confirmation by simple majority once before, on Dec. 8, 2011.
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