WASHINGTON – Sparks are expected to fly Thursday when Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and several bank regulators are scheduled for a hearing before the Senate Banking Committee on the progress of the Dodd-Frank Act – just as Cordray’s future at the fledgling agency is in question.

Idaho’s Mike Crapo, who has taken over as leading Republican on the banking committee, has joined the Senate’s 42 other Republicans in a standoff over Cordray’s nomination to a full, five-year term heading the new agency. Cordray was named director by President Obama last year as a two-year recess appointment after Republicans blocked his nomination at the time over disagreements on the structure of the agency.

Crapo and the other Republicans last week told President Obama they will not allow a vote on the Cordray nomination unless the president and Senate Democrats agree to change the structure of the bureau and give Congress tighter controls over its budget.

Cordray and the other regulators, scheduled to include representatives from the FDIC, Federal Reserve, Comptroller of the Currency, Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodities Futures Trading Commission, will be testifying on the progress of the Dodd-Frank Act, but Cordray’s nomination is expected to be a firepoint Thursday.

The Democrats have the majority in both the Senate and the banking committee, but with 43 votes, the Republicans can effectively block, or filibuster, a vote on Cordray.

Sen. Crapo last month said he and the other Senate Republicans are concerned about the status of Cordray’s recess appointment after a federal court struck down President Obama’s recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board that occurred at the same time as Cordray’s. Several Republican senators have urged Cordray to stand down from his post until the legal cloud has cleared.


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