WASHINGTON (7/17/13)--It is official: the U.S. Senate voted last night 66 to 34 to confirm Richard Cordray to be the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for a five-year term.
Cordray was first nominated in July 2011 and has been serving as director since President Obama placed him in the position as a recess appointment in January 2012.
The president took that route after many Senate Republicans vowed they would oppose any nominee unless the CFPB's funding and leadership structure were changed. However, the vote went forward Tuesday after the GOP agreed to allow a vote as part of a broader Senate deal on other pending nominations.
In a letter to the director, Credit Union National Association President/CEO Bill Cheney immediately congratulated Cordray on his confirmation and noted that CUNA and credit unions look forward to continue working with him and his senior staff to protect consumers while minimizing credit unions' regulatory burdens.
In a statement Cheney added, however, "We remain very concerned about the impact that a number of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's regulations and proposals will have on credit unions, which were never the focus for the creation of the agency in the first place."
He added, "Director Cordray has proven himself to be receptive to credit unions and particularly our concerns about the impact of the actions on our cooperative financial institutions. In fact, on a number of occasions, he has been willing to make positive rule changes even after a regulation has been adopted--a very rare occurrence for a regulator.
"Nevertheless, we urge the CFPB to utilize its broad exemption authority for credit unions given that 'we didn't cause the problem,' and recommend to Congress that it support broad exemption authority for credit unions."