Portman Tries to Find Way to Confirm Cordray

Wednesday, 29 May 2013 12:04 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Republican Sen. Rob Portman is spearheading a way to confirm Richard Cordray as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, in a bid to avoid Democrat threats to block filibusters on nominations.

Cordray's appointment has been a lightning rod for Republicans, but Portman believes a compromise can be found to address GOP concerns about the agency, reports Roll Call.

Republican senators first filibustered against Cordray's confirmation in 2011, when President Obama nominated him after it became clear that the GOP would oppose his original choice, Elizabeth Warren.

Many Republicans still oppose Cordray, a former attorney general and state representative from Portman's home state of Ohio.

One suggestion that Portman is pursuing is insisting that the bureau should have an inspector general, one of his aides told Roll Call.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has threatened to change Senate rules to allow simple majorities to approve nominees. He claims Republicans are "obstructing" Obama's choices.

"This has created an unworkable standard where minor issues are raised to block major nominees," he said.

Other nominations still outstanding include those of Thomas Perez for Labor secretary; Gina McCarthy to serve as Environmental Protection Agency administrator and three recess appointments to fill spots on the National Labor Relations Board.

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