On July 16, 2013, the United States Senate formally confirmed Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) by a vote of 66-34. Mr. Cordray has been serving as the CFPB director since January 2012 as the result of a “recess appointment,” but his formal confirmation had been blocked by Republicans concerned about the CFPB’s accountability and lack of oversight.
The Supreme Court of the United States recently granted certiorari to review a decision regarding the recess appointment process, which could impact CFPB rules made during Cordray’s tenure over the last 18 months. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada threatened to deploy the so-called “nuclear option,” by which the Democratic majority in the Senate would vote to change the Senate rules to prevent the filibuster of the president’s nominations.
Also in the news of CFPB oversight and authority, Senator Rob Portman of Ohio introduced a bill yesterday to create an independent, presidentially-appointed inspector general for the CFPB. Presently, the inspector general for the Federal Reserve is responsible for the CFPB.
Please contact Spilman or other knowledgeable counsel regarding the impact of these issues on your institution.