Richard Cordray’s nomination to lead the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is “dead on arrival” in the Senate, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) wrote in a Thursday Wall Street Journal op-ed.Shelby, as Republicans have been vowing for months, pledged to block anyone President Barack Obama names to lead the new agency because he wants a board in charge rather than an individual.“Unless Congress enacts reform, it is only a matter of time before this concentration of power is abused or misused to the detriment of American businesses and consumers,” Shelby wrote. “On May 5, 43 of my Senate colleagues joined me in writing a letter to President Obama informing him that we will not confirm any nominee to head the bureau absent structural changes that will make it accountable to those it seeks to protect.”
Republicans in Ohio, where Cordray served as attorney general, described him as low-key and eminently capable. A five-time “Jeopardy!” champion, Cordary does not appear likely to get much hearing from Shelby, the ranking Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, the first stop for his nomination.
Shelby urged the White House to agree to a Senate GOP proposal to alter the bureau’s leadership infrastructure in new legislation. Obama has opposed such measures.“Regrettably, President Obama has ignored these proposals for months,” Shelby wrote. “As a result, Mr. Cordray’s nomination is dead on arrival in the Senate and will remain so until these reasonable changes are made. The law allows the administration to delay the bureau’s start date for an additional six months. I encourage President Obama to exercise this option and come to the negotiating table.”