In the time she has run for Senate and held office, no one has led the charge for Richard Cordray’s permanent confirmation as much as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).
That’s because Warren, the former chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel created to oversee the Troubled Asset Relief Program, was instrumental in the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The bureau was created as part of the 2010 Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and Warren was its first special advisor.
Now, the CFPB looks like it’s going to get its first permanent director. Because of Democratic senators’ threats of employing the so-called “nuclear option” to change Senate rules finally forced Republicans to relent in their opposition to Cordray.
Later Tuesday morning, 17 Republicans voted with every Democrat to end debate over Cordray’s nomination, clearing the way for a final floor vote to confirm him to the post. For Cordray and consumer advocates like Warren, it’s a significant step — Cordray was a controversial recess appointment whose tenure was due to expire at the end of this year.
In a statement, Warren cheered the progress.
“Director Cordray has won praise from consumer and industry groups, and from Republicans and Democrats, for his fair and effective approach,” Warren said.
“With Director Cordray’s confirmation, we will be able to say loudly, clearly, and with confidence: the consumer agency is the law of the land and is here to stay. We fought hard for the agency, and we proved that big change is still possible in Washington. Now we have the watchdog that the American people deserve — a watchdog looking out for middle class families, getting rid of tricks, traps, and fine print, and holding financial institutions accountable when they break the law.”
It marked something of a personal victory for Warren, who has challenged Republicans from her time on the campaign trail last year. In March, while speaking at Consumer Federation of America conference, she charged Republicans with wanting to “keep the game rigged.”