The politics of a new consumer protection agency
Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood (at podium) speaks in the White House briefing room Wednesday as (left to right) Maryland Attorney General Douglas Ganlser, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Copper and Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff listen.
December 7th, 2011
04:04 PM ET

The politics of a new consumer protection agency

The White House (CNN)–The showdown between the White House and Senate Republicans over a new consumer protection bureau continued Wednesday as attorneys general from four states came to the White House to press for a vote on the nominee to head the agency. 

Republicans have said they will prevent a vote on Richard Cordray's nomination to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau not because they oppose Cordray, but because they want changes made to strengthen congressional oversight of the new panel.

President Obama Tuesday threatened to veto any effort by congressional Republicans to "delay, defund or dismantle" the new consumer protection panel by blocking the confirmation of Cordray.  

The bi-partisan group of attorneys at the White House Wednesday argued that the new consumer protection agency would "level the playing field" and provide needed oversight for consumers and help them do their jobs better.

Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, a Republican, said the vote needed to go forward. 

"If my party wants to change the law –if they get into power and are able to do that fine," Shurtleff told reporters in the White House briefing room.  "In the meantime we have a job to do."

Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler called the Republican filibuster threat "the type of thing that breeds cynicism with the American people."

The CFPB was created in response to the sub-prime mortgage crisis as a way to reduce excessive risk‐taking on Wall Street.  A Senate vote is expected on Cordray's nomination Thursday.


Topics: Congress • President Obama

soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Don1966

    The GOP still doesn't get it. Without middle class votes, they will lose and lose big. Why do repubes always side with multinational corporations over working Americans?

    December 7, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
  2. oh boy

    Protect the consumer agency? Protect the consumer agency? Protect the consumer agency?

    December 8, 2011 at 4:11 am |
    • Howard

      CONSUMER PROTECTION AGENCY ???
      If you want to protect the American consumer, DUMP OBAMA.
      Under Obama, the dollar has become so inflated, a bag of groceries
      has doubled in cost ... a fill up at the gas station is crippling ...
      health insurance premiums have sky rocketed ... home values have
      dropped like a lead balloon ... and our entire economy is circling the bowl !!!

      December 8, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
      • jean2009

        The historical highest national average price for gasoline .....$4.11 per gallon Aug. 17, 2008.

        You definitely must have been out of the loop about the 2007-2008 World Food Price Crisis.
        In looking at the Consumer Price Index food prices have risen for some items and barely risen for others, and is basically not as bad as some periods in the past. There was a declined in the month average inflation for October the last month recorded. Much of this is due to consumer demand in other parts of the world (China & India), higher costs for grain due to its use for ethanol; and low yields due to weather, plus the stagnation of wages, in the United States, for middle-class workers.
        Our personal health insurance has not increased much for the last 3 years, compared to large increases in 2006 and 2007

        According to the online inflation rate calculator the inflation rate between 2008 to 2011 for what $20 would buy then as now is $21.03
        Inflation for the period from 2000 to 2008 the rate for the same $20 was $25.01.

        As per usual, Howard you are just so much inflated hot air
        Obama-Biden 2012

        December 8, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
      • Emperor Norton

        If you're just going to make wild claims without supporting them, go somewhere else. You need to get in touch with actual reality.

        December 8, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
      • jerry

        What? I'd love for us to reel back to 2008...these past three years have been horrible domestically and overseas...one mess after another. There is no rational way to see things differently...we simply have a very inexperienced leadership. I hope we have learned a lesson here. NOOBAMA 2012!

        December 8, 2011 at 9:18 pm |
      • jean2009

        @jerry if you consider the last bozo who worked hard at helping create the current mess experienced; then you have a great lack of understanding history, or of rationally knowing what qualifies as experience.

        December 12, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
  3. KatR

    Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, a Republican, said the vote needed to go forward. "If my party wants to change the law –if they get into power and are able to do that fine," Shurtleff told reporters in the White House briefing room. "In the meantime we have a job to do."
    ------
    WOW. A Republican who makes some sense. Miracles do still happen.

    December 8, 2011 at 10:12 am |
  4. dugee

    Wow. We dodged the meltdown bullet in 2009 and are trying to keep it from happening again. Status quo is a poor option.

    December 8, 2011 at 11:44 am |
  5. Trace

    It takes sophmoric / moronic rationale as proposed by Howard and Jerry (two of the three stooges...only missing 1Free Turd) to take issue with an organization meant to protect THEM. Boy...idiocy runs rampant in the feable minded

    December 9, 2011 at 10:41 am |
  6. Trace

    Just think for a minute the ignorance of the posts of Howard and Jerry. It appears they are expousing there should be "NO RULES" for any multi-billion dollar organization and never required to be fair to consumers.

    If this doesn't tell ya something about the mindset of the GOP/Tea people and its brainless followers; all hope is lost.

    December 9, 2011 at 10:45 am |
    • C-Lo

      Unfortunately Trace, it doesn't tell me anything about the mindset of the GOP/Tea party with whom I more closely allign myself, anymore than some of the degenerates in the OWS should define that movement. I don't accept much of what some of these "trolls" post, and only avoid the word "never" because it's too absolute.

      What this article doesn't do, is tell us exactly what the GOP has proposed, which is to have a bi-partisan (I think congressional) panel overseeing the agency rather than one appointee. It does correctly state that the GOP is not against Cordray specifcally. This course SHOULD have sat verrry well with anyone who is not myopic, particularly Dems who frame the GOP as 100% anti gov't oversight.

      What happens when the GOP is in control again? In the Dem's views, they would put a "lacky" in at head of the agency rendering it worthless, or worse, being anti-consumer protection. I know it's a pipe dream that Dems will now and forever control the Federal Govt. But realistically, the pendulum will eventually swing back their way.

      December 9, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
      • Trace

        C-Lo,

        I understand your thoughtful apprehension about the prospects of have a single person over this particular agency. However, that is how the law is constructed. How is it we go back and complain about how the law is constructed and how it is to be staffed, AFTER it is signed into law.

        You may lean GOP / Tea but leaning in the direction will cause this country to fall over backwards. What thoughtful american would say this approach is good for this democracy? That would be none! I could complain that any GOP/Tea member is any part whatsoever of our current legislative process, but that would be contrary to how the law is written. The same applies here; wouldn't you say?

        December 9, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
      • Trace

        Oh..C-Lo, are your GOP/Tea brother caught in a lack of public sentiment stupor.....A congressional panel to over-see the consumer protection bureau? Congressional approval is at its lowest ever. And you expect the electorate, despite the way the law is written, would accept the GOP / Tea parties bi-partisan approach.

        That flies in the face of everything we know....1) The GOP says specifically they refuse working with the President on anything.....2) the majority of the entire country has ZERO, ZILCH, NADA, confidence in the current congress.

        Now if we get rid of those members that would not be willing to work with the other party (and you can figure what party those people represent LOL)...we could re-visit bipartisanship.

        Your thoughts?????

        December 9, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  7. Trace

    In addition C-Lo,

    This country missed going into a 2nd Great Depression by the whisker on our chinny chin chins. I think that is irrefutable. 2ndly, an intelligent person realizes that after avoiding a disaster, you change the process; put in safeguards. This particular law may not be a complete panecia for avoiding this in the future, but certainly its a step in the right direction.

    We cannot allow multi-million dollar organizations to operate with impunity, while making ever single american without wealthy / renowed financial portfolio's to be left vunerable to any type of shenanigans some unscrupulous account manager is able to construct in scamming said person out of their hard earned money....can we????

    I think the answer is obvious ...NO

    December 9, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • C-Lo

      Trace to be straight with you, and I know you'll attack me on this because we have differing views, and that's ok. You'll notice I didn't say anything about my support of what the GOP proposed, only pointed out more clearly why they're doing what they are in this case, which the article skirted. Remember, any information you get from the "news" is going to be slanted, omiting even minor details, can change the context.

      That being said, I'm not a fan of this new agency as it adds layers on layers of more beaurocracy and "oversight" leaving the "average" American with another false sense of security while wasting more and more tax dollars. Yes I call it waste, not because of the aim of the agency, but because there are so many other "consumer protection" agencies. I've said before, I know there are good functions of gov't, and I am not (nor are nearly any GOP/tea party supporters, regardless of what the left tries to paint) anti-gov't.

      Here's the problem–you have agency a overseeing agencies b, c, d who have 20% overlap in their responsibilities, and each expecting the other to pick up the slack. The function falls through the cracks and it's as-sumed there is no gov't oversight, so we form agency h for that and i to oversee it all. We have FINRA, FDIC, FCIO, FHA, FHLMA, FCFPB...There have been laws, rules, regulation, oversight, undersight, hindsight and foresight and still this happens. Rather than an ever expanding gov't, let's scrap the whole thing, piecemeal of course, and start over. Determine what specific functions we want to give up control to, see what agencies have those responsibilities, combine similar, eliminate outdated and reduce the size of gov't.

      Every layer of gov't is another layer of false security and creates mindless consumers babbling through life believing they don't have to think because the gov't (taxpayer) will take care of them. Witness social security which was built as a safety net, but today is seen by too many as a retirement plan. Witness Medicare/aid that was built as a safety net, but today is seen by too many as health insurance. Gov't programs create irresponsible citizens and taxpayer dependents. That's my beef with our current state of affairs!

      December 9, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • C-Lo

      And you're right, we cannot allow multi-nationals to run roughshod over us, but they are able to because of an expanded, powerful fed gov't who can be bought and sold to pass 1200 page laws that on the surface look good, but when you read the fine print in paragraph 7 on page 556, paragaph 9 on 383...you see that the laws create loopholes for those same corps. and it's done by both sides. PLEASE don't be blind to the fact that an R or D behind the name implies any one of them is different than the next. The laws are written with a false sense of security to you and me, while legislating the small business owner out of existence. Think about who really benefits from the SS tax reduction. It's the big box stores because that money doesn't stay in the pocket of the consumer, and that consumer is not shopping at the corner botique, they're dropping $700 at Wal-Mart for that flat screen thier neighbor came home with last week. It's all a sad, pathetic facade. It pains me to say it, Trace, it truly does, but that's the truth of the matter.

      December 9, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  8. Trace

    Are there any americans that feel mistreated by a large organization in its practices and how they treat their customers. I do!

    All those that are happy being taken advantage of; please call your congress person and tell them to repeal the law....CRICKETS – lol

    December 9, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • Steveo

      Trace,

      "Are there any americans that feel mistreated by a large organization in its practices and how they treat their customers"
      -----------
      Do you realize your statement can EASILY be applied to the government!?

      December 10, 2011 at 10:11 am |
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        March 1, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  9. Steveo

    Can anybody see this is just another opportunity for government infringement in our lives?
    They will produce nothing and consume more funding!
    Who will pay for this?
    How have we gotten along so far without this?
    The President himself has stated we have gotten soft. No doubt!
    Once again we are being told we cannot take care of ourselves and big daddy government is our only hope!
    Wake up people!

    December 10, 2011 at 10:17 am |
  10. Trace

    C-Lo,/ Steveo,

    Again you two...though we have differing political views, is it possible I can open the discussion on one similarity as it relates to this agency and the overlap (that C-Lo mentions in a previous post).

    We have the Sherriff's dept. Highway Patrol, and local Police Dept.'s that can all issue tickets for speeding.

    I agree with C-Lo to some degree...More Government Agencies creates more bureacracy and the need for more tax dollars. However, I would rather pay more because I need streets safe for me and my family. I don't know about you two, but I'm sure if there were no presence of traffic enforcement here in California, the idiots amongst us would expose alot of innocent people to unimaginable peril.

    While we have the FTC, SEC etc etc. to monitor corporate practices, that agency and any other agency failed to be the traffic cops for us during the 2008 meltdown. I do remember President Obama asking for a review of systemic failures. Not sure if he ever decided to do away with any one of those agencies that were asleep at the switch, but the fact this agency is now law, we should let it be staffed and begin its work.

    I'd rather spend extra tax dollars to "Hopefully" avoid the mess we had in 2008. We paid $785Bn to bail out our financial institutions. I see This new agency as our insurance policy that we don't have to pay that amount again.

    December 10, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • C-Lo

      Ah, but Trace, at least in Colorado, the city, county and state have differing areas they patrol. State patrol only covers state highways and interstates, county in unincorporated county areas, and localities only within their city limits. To use your annalogy, it seems like a lot of what we see is city, state and county vehicles sitting side by side watching someone to run a stop sign, each thinking the others are watching the speeders on the highway, and another agency (not the courts) overseeing them all without providing direction (or wrong direction). This is leading to speeders everywhere else, a false sense of security from us, and the call for more police and higher taxes, rather intelligently using the already available resources.

      I too would be willing to pay higher taxes, ONCE IT'S SHOWN THE CURRENT RESOURCES ARE INSUFFICIENT, not just inappropriately utilized.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • steveo

      Trace,

      I am not one of those who believe the government has no place! The government does! I can safely say we are in agreement there. I am also not one who believes the government belongs in every area of my life either! We are getting to the point where we have to be saved from ourselves!

      I just wish the government was more efficient at what it does, it isn't, yet another agency is created when we already have agencies that exist to serve a similar purpose. I agree the SEC and FTC failed. How about rewriting job descriptions and firing some folks rather than creating a new entity!

      "The CFPB was created in response to the sub-prime mortgage crisis as a way to reduce excessive risk‐taking on Wall Street." This tells me loud and clear, the U.S. Congress is not doing what they are paid to do and cannot be trusted to do so! They started the mess with sub prime mortgages! BTW it sound like the CFPB is a clone of the SEC! Do we need both?

      December 12, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • steveo

      Trace,

      I am not one of those who believe the government has no place! The government does! I can safely say we are in agreement there. I am also not one who believes the government belongs in every area of my life either! We are getting to the point where we have to be saved from ourselves!

      I just wish the government was more efficient at what it does, it isn't, yet another agency is created when we already have agencies that exist to serve a similar purpose. I agree the SEC and FTC failed. How about rewriting job descriptions and firing some folks rather than creating a new ent-ity!

      "The CFPB was created in response to the sub-prime mortgage crisis as a way to reduce excessive risk‐taking on Wall Street." This tells me loud and clear, the U.S. Congress is not doing what they are paid to do and cannot be trusted to do so! They started the mess with sub prime mortgages! BTW it sound like the CFPB is a clone of the SEC! Do we need both?

      December 12, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  11. Trace

    BTW...Steveo / C-Lo, How did you guys feel about "us taxpayers paying nearly a trillion dollars to bail out our banking system? That was foul and a complete failure of trust. It made me sick to see Henry Paulson, and Pres Bush literally begging congress to write them a check on a One Page piece of crap agreement.

    Heck ...give me bureaucracy over stupidty any day

    December 10, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • Steveo

      Let me get this straight Trace,

      When Bush did it it made you sick but when Obama did it , he saved us from another great depression? Still trying it have it both ways? As for desiring bureaucracy over stupidity, what makes you think they are not related? The reason we have so much bureaucracy is because government thinks we are all stupid! See how that works? It's all related! ! C-Lo is right, we already agencies providing for consumer protection! If they are not doing their jobs, let's give them the boot! We don't need yet another bunch of do nothings!

      Don't you feel just a tad ashamed that you want to be protected from you?

      December 11, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • C-Lo

      Trace–I was very unhappy about it. That being said, I think generally it was a necessary evil to prevent a worldwide economic collapse. Some have hailed the move–a coordinated effort of Washington, the Treasury and the Federal Reserve, and others have demonized it. The bigger issue I have is what led up to the situation, Gov't forcing banks to make high risk loans, but coddling them by allowing the securitization of the loans without accountability. The ENTIRE ordeal was orchistrated in DC by everyone from Bush (with programs going back to at least Carter or even Nixon and before) to the Finance Committee with direction from folks like Barney Frank.

      The bailouts were a gov't solution to a (largely) gov't created problem. What would your employer do if you sabotaged some type of system at work to the point where you were the only one who could fix it? They'd (if they were smart) keep you around to fix it then can you, which is what we've seen start in the 2010 elections–the "old guard" is being systematically dismissed. Now Barney isn't going to run again? Can you say "rats leaving a sinking ship?" And I am using the analogy thoughtfully, not necessarily calling them rats, though I have no problem attaching that moniker to most of them!

      Difference between Libs and me is that libs want gov't to tell business WHAT to do and HOW to do it (banks will make loans to (a), farmers will grow (b), car manufacturers will make (x), employers will hire (y)). I want gov't to simply tell business what NOT to do (lie, cheat, steal, etc.). Chew on that and let me know.

      December 12, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
  12. Albo

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    March 2, 2012 at 3:02 pm |