Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., said it would be “fundamentally wrong’’ for Senate Republicans to use a filibuster to kill the nomination of Richard Cordray as director of a consumer financial watchdog agency.
At a news conference Wednesday on Capitol Hill, Warren – who as a White House official designed the bureau in 2010 – said that Cordray has “done a great job’’ at the agency since last year when President Barack Obama used a recess appointment to install the former Ohio attorney general as director.
“Rich has proven what he can do,’’ Warren told reporters. “This agency has proven what it can do. The agency has been signed into law. And the notion that a minority (of the Senate) can hold up the laws of the United States by using a filibuster on an appointment is fundamentally wrong.’’
Obama in January re-nominated Cordray as full-time director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and urged the Senate to swiftly confirm him. But 42 Senate Republicans vowed in a letter this month to block Cordray’s nomination until the Obama administration agrees to modify some of the powers of the bureau.
In particular, Senate Republicans wanted Congress to approve the bureau’s annual budget and insisted that the bureau be governed by a five-person bureau as opposed to a sole director.
Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, did not sign the GOP letter, but wrote separately to Cordray urging him “to stake out a reasonable position’’ on the Senate GOP demands.
“Now is the time to exercise that independence and lend your support to these commonsense reforms … so that the Senate can find a path forward on your nomination,’’ Portman wrote.
Warren was joined at the news conference by Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, who warned about “the precedent this sets in the United States Senate,’’ declaring that if lawmakers do not like an agency they can “refuse to confirm’’ anyone to run it.