2/13/2013 — 

WASHINGTON, DC – In an effort to protect consumers and crack down on financial fraud and abuse, U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-RI), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) today called on Republicans to end unprecedented obstruction and allow an up or down vote on Richard Cordray’s nomination to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).  Reed, Brown, and Warren, who are members of the Banking Committee, said that confirming a CFPB director will help consumers and strengthen our financial marketplace. 

Congress created the CFPB in 2010 to help ensure the financial products and services that Americans depend on every day —including credit cards, mortgages, and loans—work better for the people who use them.  But in an effort to limit the effectiveness of the consumer watchdog, a sufficient number of Senate Republicans have stalled the confirmation of the CFPB’s director, former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray.  Earlier this month, 43 Republican Senators sent a letter protesting the CFPB’s independence and vowing to oppose any nominee to lead the consumer protection agency.

“Every year, hard-working American families lose millions of dollars to deceptive financial practices like hidden fees and predatory lending.  The CFPB is there to help keep families from getting scammed.  They are shining a spotlight on predatory loan practices and products -- bringing them into the light, where they can be seen and stopped.  We must not let opponents of Wall Street reform turn back the clock on consumer protection.  Instead of preventing the CFPB from doing its job, opponents of the agency should take an up or down vote.  A well-regulated marketplace is good for the economy.  It improves consumer and business confidence and ensures fair competition,” said Senator Reed.

“The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau stands up for average Americans,” Senator Brown said. “And yet, Wall Street special interests and their allies in Congress have repeatedly refused to approve anyone to serve as the Director unless the agency’s authority is watered down. The American people are fed up with the obstructionism in Washington. We need to protect this agency that protects American families.”

“Under the leadership of Director Cordray, the CFPB has been making a real difference for hard working families everywhere. After two years, it is time for the Senate to give Rich Cordray a vote--up or down--and remove the uncertainty that is costly to families, to community banks and credit unions, and to everyone in financial services.” said Senator Warren. “Political stalemates don’t end in more government or less government, but in bad government - government that lacks the clarity and predictability that our businesses need to plan for the future, to serve their customers, and to create jobs.”

Since the CFPB opened for business in 2011, it has helped hold financial institutions accountable for mistreating consumers and worked in coordination with our federal regulators to return roughly $425 million to consumers’ pockets.  The agency’s Consumer Response center has already heard from more than 100,000 consumers with their individual problems related to their credit cards, mortgages, student loans, and bank accounts.