WASHINGTON – President Obama is expected later today to nominate Richard Cordray, director of the fledgling Consumer Financial Protection Bureau who was seated last year as an abbreviated recess appointee, to a full term heading the new agency.

The formal announcement is expected this afternoon when the President is scheduled to nominate Mary Jo White, a former U.S. Attorney in New York, to chair the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Obama appointed Cordray, a former Ohio attorney general, when Congress was in recess, after Republicans opposed to the reach of the new consumer agency, vowed to block any nominee. But the so-called recess appointment is scheduled to expire at the end of this year.

The CFPB has drawn criticism from Republicans and business groups, including credit unions and banks, who say it is virtually unchecked and will hurt lending and put small banks out of business.

The GOP’s recalcitrance forced Elizabeth Warren, the leading candidate for the job, to withdraw from contention and return to Massachusetts where she was elected in November to the U.S. Senate. Ironically, Warren will now have a roll in the confirmation of Cordray by the Senate.

Cordray has been out front on efforts to set new rules and regulations governing credit cards, payday loans and a  flurry of new mortgage regulations over the past two weeks.

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