Senate Republicans voted today to block the confirmation of Richard Cordray, President Obama’s pick to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
The vote to proceed on the confirmation failed 53-45, short of the 60 votes required to break a filibuster. Sen. Scott Brown (R., Mass.) was the only Republican voting yes; Sen. Olympia Snowe (R., Maine) voted present. Brown faces a tough 2012 reelection match-up with Harvard professor Elizabeth Warren, the controversial architect of the CFPB (and the administration’s initial choice to lead the new agency).
Republicans have made clear they do not object to Cordray as a nominee, or question his qualifications. Rather, they have reservations about the creation of the CFPB as a new government bureaucracy, insisting that President Obama must work with Congress to provide greater “transparency and accountability” measures for the new agency. The CFPB was established as part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform package.
“We’re not going to let the president put another unelected czar in place, unaccountable to the American people,”said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.).
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R., Utah), ranking member on the Senate Finance Committee, weighs in here.