President Barack Obama on Thursday nominated Richard Cordray to continue leading the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
Obama used a recess appoint to originally install Cordray, a former attorney general from Ohio, in the director's role early last year. Senate Republicans had blocked a vote on Cordray's confirmation for many months after Obama nominated him in July 2011. It's expected they will again fight the nomination.
“Until key structural changes are made to the bureau to ensure accountability and transparency, I will continue my opposition to any nominee for director, as outlined in a letter signed by 45 Republican Senators to the president,” wrote Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee, on his Senate web page. “If the president is looking for a different outcome, the administration should use this as an opportunity to work with us on the critical reforms we have identified to him.”
The renomination signals that Obama will stress enforcement of Wall Street and consumer regulations in his second term.
"Richard's appointment runs out at the end of the year and he can't stay on the job unless the Senate finally gives him the vote that he deserves," Obama said. "Financial institutions have plenty of lobbyists looking out for their interests. The American people need Richard to keep standing up for them. And there's absolutely no excuse for the Senate to wait any longer to confirm him."
Republicans want to replace the CFPB director job with a five-member panel.
Consumer advocates have said Cordray has taken a measured approach to regulation and has shown a willingness to work with all interests. Some question whether the GOP structural argument is an attempt to destroy the agency.
This month, collection agencies, debt buyers and collection law firms with receipts exceeding $10 million per year began falling under the CFPB's supervision. Companies averaging $10 million in annual receipts from collection activities over three years are subject to supervision.
The CFPB in October clarified its definition of "receipts" as "total income" plus “cost of goods sold” rather than amounts collected for another party. Because the final rule says fees earned in connection with these collections are considered receipts, the definition indicates only commissions will be considered receipts and not gross collections.
Rozanne Andersen, vice president and chief compliance officer at Ontario Systems LLC, and former CEO at ACA International, told Collections & Credit Risk that the new reporting practices adopted by the large companies likely will eventually trickle down to smaller companies.
The CFPB in December realigned its Supervision Department into two groups: Supervision Policy and Supervision Examinations.