CLEVELAND - We're getting used to political gridlock in Washington. Deals continue to get resolved at the very last hour.
Add another stalemate to the list. This one concerns a new consumer agency that will protect your finances.
"This is one of the biggest political fights we're facing," NewsChannel5 political analyst Dr. Tom Sutton said.
Republicans and Democrats are fighting over how the consumer financial protection bureau will protect your money. The agency was created to prevent another financial collapse, but Sutton said the idea may collapse.
"Really you're at a stalemate, and what I think they are hoping for, or banking on, is to continue this stalemate keep the agency from going into effect," Sutton said.
The agency is open for business, but it can't do much without a permanent director.
President Barack Obama wants former Ohio Attorney General, Richard Cordray, to lead the agency. Republican said they'll block any nominee. They're so opposed to the agency, the Senate didn't go on vacation this August.
It doesn't mean they're working hard -- just playing hard ball.
Senators are informally meeting every few days to keep the President from appointing Cordray while they're on an official vacation.
"Republicans are very opposed to this bureau and the way it is structured because of the amount of regulatory power it will have over financial services industry," Sutton said.
Republicans fear this consumer agency will hurt the economy and keep people out of jobs.
The banking industry is following the gridlock closely, and it's already making changes to the way it does it's job.
At the National Conference of State Legislatures held in San Antonio last month, a lawyer representing the financial services industry admitted banks are on edge.
"My clients always fear Attorneys General," said Robert Cook, Partner Hudson Cook LLP.
Cordray has a history of being tough on the financial industry. He was one of the first attorney generals to take action in the nationwide foreclosure investigation into mishandling of paperwork.
Cordray also took American International Group, or AIG, to court and won. That's why lawyers are telling banks to get rid of hidden fees and gotchas. Disclosure is the new name of the game.
"There is profit to be made in helping Americans find the right financial products, and there is no reason to be a pig about it," Cook said.
We'll be in Washington, D.C. covering the hearing on Tuesday as Ohio's, Richard Cordray, takes the hot seat.
We don't expect he'll be in it long. Multiple sources tell me the hearing will last only an hour or two. Sutton believes the drama we've been telling you about will be worked out in private, and Cordray will be confirmed by the end of September or October.
At this point, it's anybody's guess. Anything can change at the last minute in Washington.
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