Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Sen. Portman on President Obama’s Decision to Appoint Director of Unaccountable New Agency

Washington, D.C. - U.S Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) today issued the following statement on President Obama's recess appointment of Rich Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB):

"Despite promising to change the tone in Washington, President Obama has again opted for a dramatic partisan overreach, instead of working together to make this powerful new regulator more accountable to the American people. The President responded to legitimate concerns about potential abuse of this new regulator’s powers by abusing his own appointment power in an unprecedented fashion. This appears to be the first time in history that any president -- Democrat or Republican -- has installed the head of a major federal agency using a recess appointment over just a three-day adjournment.

"The irony is that while this recess appointment may advance the White House’s political goals, it does nothing to advance the work of the CFPB. The statute creating the CFPB makes clear that only Senate confirmation of a Director – not a recess appointment – can activate the new powers of this agency to regulate consumer transactions with Main Street businesses.

"As I have said many times, this is not about Rich Cordray, who I believe is a good public servant. Long before he was nominated to be CFPB Director, I expressed my strong concerns about the impact this new regulator would have on all of us as consumers, on job creation, and on our economy, and recommended some commonsense reforms. No other federal regulator has so much authority over personal economic decisions, with so little responsibility to answer to the American people and their elected representatives. These concerns -- voiced by 44 Senators -- cannot be addressed if the White House continues to refuse to work together despite my and others' efforts to reach out to them to find a way forward."