The White House will begin a campaign Monday to push for the confirmation of Richard Cordray to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
The Senate is expected to vote on Cordray’s nomination Thursday, White House officials said in a conference call with reporters today.
“With the vote slated for this week — likely Thursday, I understand — we intend to aggressively take the case for Mr. Cordray’s nomination directly to the American people,” Principal Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest said.
He added that the White House will target seven states in particular: Alaska, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Nevada, Tennessee and Utah.
In these states, the White House intends to articulate “the consumer protections that would be put in place if Mr. Cordray is confirmed and the tangible consequences for families in those states if the Senator who is elected to represent them in Washington, D.C., sides with the financial industry and votes to block his nomination,” Earnest said.
White House officials have scheduled a special briefing Monday for Washington-based print journalists from these states, and on Thursday television news stations from these states are expected to interview the president.
The White House National Economic Council released a report today underscoring the need to confirm a CFPB director in order to provide the oversight and reforms promised under the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial industry reform law, which created the agency.
“Without a director, the CFPB does not have the capacity to provide full oversight and full supervision,” National Economic Council Deputy Director Brian Deese said.
Members of the National Association of Attorneys General will also hold conference calls and participate in public events this week in favor of Cordray, a Democrat and former Ohio attorney general.
Last month more than three dozen state attorneys general, including eight Republicans, signed a letter calling for Cordray’s confirmation.
Mayors and other elected officials from these states are also expected to speak out this week on behalf of Cordray.
Initially there was speculation that Cordray would receive a friendlier reception from the GOP than Elizabeth Warren did. A White House adviser who helped design the CFPB, Warren is popular among liberal advocacy groups and was thought to be President Barack Obama’s first choice to run the CFPB. But moving on to Cordray has not swayed Republicans, for whom Warren was a lightning rod.
One issue has been the GOP’s unease with the authority given to the director under the reform law. Forty-four of the 47 Senate Republicans sent a letter to Obama earlier this year expressing their accountability concerns.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., speaks with reporters following a vote in the Senate. Gillibrand’s proposal to remove military commanders from the process of reviewing sexual-assault cases was left out of the bicameral deal on the defense authorization bill, but the senator is pushing for a vote on her plan soon.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.