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Like Graham, McConnell predicted the extension would eventually pass. “Obviously, we’ll reach an agreement,” he said. “The president is posturing here. He had to stand up to the AFL-CIO. I’m on the same side as Jimmy Hoffa and the AFL-CIO on this. The Teamsters and the AFL-CIO want the Keystone pipeline right now.”
McConnell and Graham also defended Senate Republicans’ filibuster to block a vote last week on Obama’s nomination of former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray as the first director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Wall Street oversight agency created by the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. Republicans had wanted to condition Cordray’s installation on reforms that would put a multi-person board, not a single director, at its head and put Congress in charge of overseeing it.
“This new agency answers to no one, absolutely no one — another unelected czar,” McConnell said. “We’ve got a bunch of those in the White House. We don’t need any more of them.” He added that the problem lies not with Cordray but with the structure of the agency.
“It’s one individual who could bring down the banking system in this country if he chose to, has unlimited power,” McConnell said. “No one has that kind of power.”