May 15 U.S. Senate Democratic leaders plan to
hold a vote next week on President Barack Obama's choice to lead
the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a Senate Democratic
aide said on Wednesday, but they are not expected to muster
enough votes to confirm him.
Republicans have bitterly opposed the nomination of Richard
Cordray, who has been leading the consumer agency since January
2012 in a temporary position, and Democrats are not expected to
gather the 60 votes that would be needed to overcome Republican
Republicans have argued that before confirming Cordray,
Democrats must first agree to change the consumer bureau, which
they want to be run by a bipartisan commission rather than a
They have also want more congressional oversight of the
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid plans to try and clear the
way for an official vote sometime next week, though exact timing
is uncertain, said Reid's spokesman Adam Jentleson.
He added that no deal had been made with Republicans to
change the consumer bureau.
Republicans also are blocking several of Obama's other
nominees for top positions, angering the White House and
When asked if Reid may consider making changes to Senate
rules that require 60 votes to approve a nominee instead of a
simple majority of the 100 senators, Jentleson said a rule
change is possible, but the options are still being discussed.
Congress created the consumer bureau as part of the 2010
Dodd-Frank law. It is charged with overseeing mortgages, credit
cards and other products to keep Americans from falling prey to
But the financial industry argued that the new bureau's
authority was too broad and Republicans refused to confirm
Obama's initial choice as director, Elizabeth Warren, who is now
a U.S. senator from Massachusetts.
Obama eventually gave Cordray the job on a temporary basis
through a move known as a "recess appointment," a procedural
maneuver used to evade Senate confirmation.
In January of this year, he nominated Cordray for a full
Obama's recess appointments to the National Labor Relations
Board, made around at the same time that Cordray was appointed
to lead the consumer bureau, were ruled invalid by a court this
Cordray was not directly involved in that court case, but
the same argument could be applied to challenge his position,
legal experts have said.