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January 4, 2012

Johanns Disappointed by President’s CFPB Appointment

“Americans don’t want another unelected czar with no accountability appointed by this Administration.  But the President is choosing to dismiss these concerns in favor of political convenience.” 

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) today released the following statement after President Barack Obama appointed Richard Cordray to head a powerful new bureau, the CFPB, set to operate with little transparency or oversight:

“I’m deeply disappointed President Obama is breaking decades of precedent simply to avoid working with Congress to address serious concerns with the CFPB.  Republicans have asked the President to work with us to give the newly created – and extremely powerful – board a level of transparency and accountability.  Americans don’t want another unelected czar with no accountability appointed by this Administration.  But the President is choosing to dismiss these concerns in favor of political convenience.”

Senator Johanns, along with almost every Senate Republican, signed a letter last year to the President stating Republicans will not support the consideration of any nominee, regardless of party affiliation, to be the CFPB director until the new bureau’s structure is reformed.  The letter supported establishing a board of directors to oversee the CFPB, subjecting the CFPB to the Congressional appropriations process, and allowing the prudential regulators to apply a safety-and-soundness check on CFPB regulations. The CFPB was created by the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory law.

The Senate rejected Cordray’s nomination to be the CFPB director by a vote of 53 to 45, short of the 60 votes needed to advance the nomination. Johanns opposed the nomination during the Senate vote and also in the Senate Banking Committee, on which he serves. 

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