Consumer watchdog Richard Cordray may have to wait until July before facing a Senate vote on his nomination to be director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Wednesday indicated through a spokesman that he will delay a vote on Cordray’s nomination. The move comes one week after Reid indicated that he planned on putting Cordray’s nomination before the full Senate this week.
A spokesman said that Reid plans to put the nomination up by July at the latest, and said a vote would “almost certainly” be after the Senate takes up comprehensive immigration legislation.
Cordray has been serving as director of the consumer watchdog agency since January 2012, but has not been confirmed by the Senate. Instead, President Barack Obama tapped him to serve when the Senate wasn’t in session. He did so the same day he filled three vacancies on the National Labor Relations Board.
On Jan. 25, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington ruled that the three NLRB appointments were unconstitutional. Republicans argue that because Cordray was appointed that day, his appointment is unconstitutional as well. The Obama administration has appealed to the Supreme Court.
Cordray, a former Ohio attorney general, has been considered a possible Democratic challenger to Ohio Gov. John Kasich, particularly if his nomination stalls. Republicans want the bureau, a new agency set up to serve as a consumer watchdog, subjected to the congressional appropriations process and would like to see the director replaced with a five-member board.
Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, has said he wants Cordray to publicly endorse changes to the agency in order to win Portman’s support.
Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said he was hopeful that the delay might bode well for Cordray.
“I am hopeful that stonewalling will stop by then,” he said, adding that he hopes “delaying it might win over some votes.”