Warren Says Consumer Bureau Foes Protect Profits for Bad Actors

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, speaks to Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, right, during a Senate Banking Committee hearing in Washington, D.C.. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, who set up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau before seeking office, said Republicans preventing a vote on Richard Cordray as the agency’s director are “keeping the game rigged.”

“Blocking Rich Cordray is about weakening the agency,” Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, said in comments prepared for a Consumer Federation of America conference in Washington. “Blocking Rich Cordray is about keeping the game rigged, keeping the game rigged so that consumers remain in the dark-and a few bad actors can rake in big profits.”

Cordray’s nomination is stalled in the Senate, where 43 of 45 Republicans in the 100-member chamber have vowed to block his confirmation until structural changes are made to the consumer bureau. While only a majority of the Democrat-led Senate is required for approval of President Barack Obama’s nomination, 60 votes are needed to bring it up for a vote.

Warren and other Democrats, including Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson of South Dakota, have urged Republicans to permit an up-or-down vote on Cordray, who was placed in the job by Obama in a recess appointment in 2012. Republicans are demanding that the bureau be converted from director-led to a commission and have its budget subjected to congressional appropriations.