Today, President Obama formally announced his nomination of Richard Cordray as the first Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
Cordray’s nomination comes as a surprise for those expecting Elizabeth Warren, the acting director of the agency and special adviser to President Obama, to officially take on the position. Warren, however, has attracted much Republican criticism for her strong consumer activist opinions, and her nomination would likely have met controversy. Cordray, on the other hand, as Ohio Attorney General and current CFPB Director of Enforcement, is lesser known and less controversial. Consequently, he is viewed as the candidate who would be easier to get approved. Warren herself has expressed approval of Cordray, describing him as tough and smart. After the transition, Warren will be returning to Harvard University as a professor of law.
The nomination will go through a process of confirmation by the Senate. Congress, however, has demonstrated concern about the effectiveness and necessity of the organization and law. The Obama administration has yet to address these concerns, though meetings are set to review the law and its implementation today.
For more information about Cordray and his nomination, David Rothstein from the New America Foundation (an asset-building program) offers his first-hand perspective.
For more information about the CFPB, their website offers a thorough description of their mission and projects.
The CFPB, which was created a year ago under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, aims to protect consumers from harmful practices related to financial products like credit cards, mortgages and payday loans. Nomination of the CFPB’s chief coincides with the official beginning of the agency’s work this Thursday, when the Treasury Department transfers power to the CFPB.
By Kenneth Oshita, Communications & Member Relations Intern