Senate Republicans stood by their 44-member pledge Thursday by blocking a vote scheduled for ""Consumer Financial Protection Bureau"":http://www.consumerfinance.gov/ (CFPB) director-nominee Richard Cordray.[IMAGE]
Fifty-three votes fell below the 60-vote threshold needed to move the full Senate toward a vote to either confirm or reject the former Ohio attorney general, without whom the CFPB is unable to exert the full array of powers granted it to supervise nonbank financial institutions.
""President Barack Obama"":http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/president-obama/ responded to questions about the blocked vote in an address in which he vowed that he ""will not take any options off the table when it comes to getting Richard Cordray in as director"" of the bureau.
""We are not giving up on this,"" he added. ""We're going to keep on going at it. We are not going to allow politics as usual on Capitol Hill to stand in the way of American consumers being protected by unscrupulous financial operators. And we're going to keep on pushing on this issue.""
""Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner"":http://www.treasury.gov/about/Pages/Secretary.aspx ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô who will oversee the bureau until the confirmation of a director ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô released a separate statement in which he said, ""The longer the[COLUMN_BREAK]
Senate fails to confirm Richard Cordray to lead the [CFPB], the longer"" the American public will be denied protection.
Forty-four Republicans pledged earlier this year to deny the CFPB a director, regardless of political affiliation. Critics pointed to the need for structural changes that include supplanting the director with a five-member commission and roping the bureau into the congressional appropriations process.
Earlier Thursday, both Senate Banking Committee chairman ""Sen. Tim Johnson"":http://johnson.senate.gov/public/ (D-South Dakota) and ranking member ""Sen. Richard Shelby"":http://shelby.senate.gov/public/ (R-Alabama) delivered speeches on the floor of the Senate posturing for and against the decision.
The South Dakota Democrat said in a statement that he is ""disappointed that Senate Republicans continue to hold strong consumer protections hostage. By voting against Mr. Cordray's nomination Senate Republicans demonstrated that they care more about Wall Street than helping American consumers.""
He added that ""American families paid a steep price for the financial crisis, battered by layoffs and foreclosures.""
Shelby justified the block by portraying the push for a CFPB director as one that would strengthen bank regulators to the detriment of the economy at large.
""It should be common sense that the more power an agency has, the more accountable it needs to be,"" he said in a statement.
He added that ""taxpayers are ultimately on the hook for bank failures. For this reason, consumer protection needs to be carefully coordinated with bank regulation to prevent against unnecessary bank failures.""
The lawmaker accused Senate Democrats of turning the CFPB confirmation process into a ""political issue.""