Richard Cordray earned a position as America's consumer watchdog as President Obama made a series of recess appointments on Wednesday.
In an address made on Wednesday, Obama stated that Cordray's main task would be to look "out for the best interests of American consumers. His job will be to protect families like yours from the abuses of the financial industry. His job will be to make sure you’ve got all the information you need to make important financial decisions. Right away, he’ll start working to make sure millions of Americans are treated fairly by mortgage brokers, payday lenders and debt collectors. In fact, just this week, his agency is opening up a simple, 1-800 number you can call to make sure you’re getting a fair deal on your mortgage, and hold banks and brokers accountable if you’re not."
The president continued, saying that he attempted appointing Cordray for last summer but that "for almost half a year, Republicans in the Senate have blocked his confirmation."
As the Washington Post explains, recess appointments are described in the Constitution as giving the president the ability “fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate.” It also, however, gives the president the power to appoint individuals who wouldn't otherwise win a Senate confirmation vote.
Obama continued his address, saying, "The only reason Republicans in the Senate have blocked Richard is because they don’t agree with the law setting up the consumer watchdog. They want to weaken it. Well that makes no sense at all. Does anyone think the reason we got in such a financial mess was because of too much oversight? Of course not. We shouldn’t be weakening oversight and accountability. We should be strengthening it – especially when it comes to looking out for families like yours. Financial firms have armies of lobbyists in Washington looking out for their interests. It’s time someone fought for you, too."
Read more about Richard Cordray and his recess appointment here.