Senate blocks nomination of Richard Cordray for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

WASHINGTON - The Senate took a vote Thursday morning on the first-ever director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

The bureau regulates financial products, and began operating in July. Former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray was nominated by President Barack Obama to lead the agency, but the Senate blocked the nomination.

Several dozen Republican vowed since Cordray's hearing in September to block any nominee because they believe the agency has too much power. Banks, credit unions and consumer groups said Cordray was the right candidate for the job.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-SD) said, "I am disappointed that Senate Republicans continue to hold strong consumer protections hostage. By voting against Mr. Cordray's nomination Senate Republicans demonstrated that they care more about Wall Street than helping American consumers.

American families paid a steep price for the financial crisis, battered by layoffs and foreclosures. Congress created the CFPB to protect consumers and clean up the marketplace, but it needs a director. Richard Cordray has proven himself capable for the job, and there is no legitimate reason to block his confirmation."

On Wednesday, the agency proposed changes to credit card agreements. The CFPB wants to remove the legal lingo and make the terms and conditions easier to understand. The average form is 5,000 words and the CFPB proposed a form that is just over 1,000 words.

Even without a director, the CFPB can operate, however it's authority will be limited.

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