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The White House declined to discuss whether Obama might sidestep the Senate by making a recess appointment or any plans the administration might have to lobby GOP Senators to drop their hold on this nomination. But press secretary Jay Carney on Monday suggested that the administration saw Cordray's nomination as a way around the Republican antipathy to Warren.
"I need not remind you what Republicans in the Senate have said about the possibility of a confirmation for Elizabeth Warren and their absolute refusal for that. ... The obstacles here are clear. And as you noted, the obstacles are — you know, are blanket, at least according to Republican Senators," Carney told reporters.
The same consumer and liberal advocacy groups that had championed Warren to serve as director lauded Obama's choice of Cordray, as did Democratic Members. However, Obama's decision to move forward without Warren at the helm was noted — in some cases bitterly.
"Richard Cordray is a sound choice," Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) said in a statement. "But make no mistake — American consumers are losing perhaps their greatest champion in Elizabeth Warren."
Warren is thought to be exploring a run in Massachusetts against Republican Sen. Scott Brown.
A Democratic Senate aide didn't express much hope for Cordray's confirmation but said an effort would be made to loosen the GOP blockade.
"Given Sen. Shelby's remarks, it seems like he's pretty dug in. But I think that we're going to do our best to move this nomination forward," the aide said.
One potential Democratic strategy calls for pushing Sen. Rob Portman to break ranks with the Republicans and support the confirmation of his fellow Ohioan. Portman was one of the 44 Republicans to sign the May letter to Obama. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) suggested Sunday in a Buckeye State newspaper report that he expects his colleague to back Cordray.
Portman did not immediately dismiss the prospect. But a Republican source, describing Brown's remarks as posturing in an attempt to corner Portman, said it was premature to assume the freshman Republican would back Cordray simply because they are both from Ohio.
Portman continues to harbor the same policy reservations regarding the CFPB that motivated him to sign the Shelby letter, as he made clear in a statement he provided to Roll Call on Sunday.
"As I have said since its inception, I have serious concerns about this new federal bureaucracy," Portman said.