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Obama Officials Up the Ante to Get CFPB Director

Officials with the ""White House"":http://www.whitehouse.gov/ and ""Consumer Financial Protection Bureau"":http://www.consumerfinance.gov/ (CFPB) continued to press critics of the bureau to confirm Richard Cordray as director Thursday by notably fronting the wife of ""Central Intelligence Agency"":https://www.cia.gov/ Director ""Ret. Gen. David Petraeus"":https://www.cia.gov/about-cia/leadership/david-h.-petraeus.html.

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Speaking before the ""Senate Banking Committee"":http://banking.senate.gov/public/, CFPB Assistant Director Holly Petraeus addressed concerns about the housing market and the effects on service members and their families, ascribing increased hardship to declining home values and difficulties in home sales.

Petraeus also met several lines of inquiry from lawmakers with an affirmative push for the new director.

Without a director, the CFPB remains inert in its role as a regulator of nonbank financial institutions, among other supervisory responsibilities, as charged by the Dodd-Frank Act.

She cited a drive by predatory lenders to active service members and the lack of information about Veterans Affairs mortgage loans as reasons why the bureau requires Cordray.

""I'm very eager for the day when our nonbank supervision

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team will ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô if I can use an analogy ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô stop circling the airfield and get permission to land and start their work,"" she answered one question by ""Sen. Richard Shelby"":http://shelby.senate.gov/public/ (R-Alabama), a ranking committee member and one of the more vocal critics of the bureau.

Asked by ""Sen. Daniel Akaka"":http://akaka.senate.gov/ (D-Hawaii) what Congress could do most to help the bureau, she said simply, ""Confirm a director.""

Later that day senior officials with the CFPB and Obama administration convened a teleconference to address the confirmation process for a bureau director and the roles that unsupervised financial products play in the lives of service members.

""Stephanie Cutter"":http://www.whorunsgov.com/Profiles/Stephanie_Cutter, a White House deputy senior advisor, called attention to the delayed nomination process for Cordray, describing it as one ""held hostage by... 44 Republican senators"" and saying that ""President Barack Obama"":http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/president-obama/ ""will continue to oppose any efforts to weaken the CFPB.""

Republicans are widely expected to stay true to their pledge and resist the director-nominee. On Wednesday Raj Date, de facto acting director for the CFPB, defended the agency to House members as Democratic lawmakers praised it and Republicans criticized it for undue power.

Asked whether the Obama administration will try to pocket Cordray's nomination with a recess appointment, Cutter says, ""We're going to continue to push to get him confirmed by the U.S. Senate.""

""Mark Calabria"":http://www.cato.org/people/mark-calabria, director of financial regulation studies with the conservative-leaning ""Cato Institute"":http://www.cato.org/, said in a past interview with _MReport_ that he gives Cordray a 30-percent chance of success before the full Senate and expects the would-be director to return to Ohio for re-election if his bid fails.

About Author: Ryan Schuette

Ryan Schuette is a journalist, cartoonist, and social entrepreneur with several years of experience in real-estate news, international reporting, and business management. He currently lives in the Washington, D.C., area, where he freelances for DS News and MReport.
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