WASHINGTON Sen. Elizabeth Warren, widely credited with creating the idea of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, ripped her new Republican colleagues in the Senate during CUNA’s Government Affairs Conference this morning for their continued efforts to block a vote on the new agency’s director until they get a deal to change the structure of the fledgling consumer agency.
“Three years ago they fought for a weaker agency, and they lost that vote. Today, they know they still don’t have the votes to weaken the agency and so they are determined to hold Rich Cordray hostage,” said Warren of the 2010 vote to create the CFPB as part of the Dodd-Frank Act and the President’s nomination to appoint Cordray to a full five-year term.
“Never before in American history has a minority in the Senate blocked a nominee to try to get changes in a law they don’t like and don’t have the votes to change,” said Warren, who abandoned her own candidacy to head the agency after Republican opponents made clear they would block that as well.
Ironically, Warren decided to return to Massachusetts, where she was elected to the Senate herself in November and now serves beside the same Republican opponents.
Warren, who was speaking an hour after Cordray, called on the thousands of credit union managers and volunteers visiting Washington this week to urge the Senate Republicans in their meetings on Capitol Hill to move the Cordray nomination to a vote. “The credit unions have clout in every state in this country,” said the Massachusetts Democrat. “So please, please use your clout. Do what you can to tell your Senators and those who will listen that it’s time to move on, time to stop re-litigating settled decisions, and time to confirm a director so the CFPB can create a safe harbor for your work so you can go about the business of serving your members. It’s time to move forward.”