On Wednesday, President Obama recess-appointed former Ohio attorney general Richard Cordray as the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. In Shaker Heights, Ohio, President Obama made clear that he's serious about protecting American consumers from corporate abuses.
Now that the CFPB has a director, it can legally begin to ensure Americans don't suffer credit card, mortgage, student equity, or home equity abuses. Legally established in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Bill passed in 2010, the CFPB has been without a director, and thus inactive, due to Republican obstructionism.
President Obama had a choice: make this recess appointment or let the CFPB stay inactive. Senate Republicans had already blocked a vote on Cordray, not because of opposition to him but because of their opposition to the CFPB.
Texas Sen. John Cornyn said of his opposition to Cordray: “The vote on a nominee is nothing personal about this individual, it's about the unprecedented power given to another czar, but this is really on steroids.”
That's right: Republicans refuse to vote in any director to this completely legal agency. By openly opposing consumer protection, Republicans are proving once more just how deep in the pockets of Wall Street they are.
President Obama is determined to get past the corporatist Republicans.
“President Obama has been saying for months he won't wait around for Congress to get middle-class families and working Americans back on their feet. He'll work with Congress when he can, but if they refuse to act — he will,” the Obama campaign wrote in an email to supporters.
That's exactly what America needs right now: a president who will protect Americans, no matter the tactics of those who want to maintain the status quo.
We all should applaud President Obama's leadership on this issue. He's got the American people behind him – no one in this country wants to be financially abused.