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Video: Richard Cordray talks appointment to CFPB

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    >> the new year gives us a new president obama , especially in his dealings with congress. white house aides have been suggesting to reporters that the president would find his way around in a move that shocked parliamentary experts and made perfect sense to everybody else. the public defied objection instruction nifts in the senate and swore in the first consumer protection bureau without having him confirmed by the senate as required by law. the president used his power to make a recess appointment , which allows him to bypass senate confirmation , something the constitution allows him to do only when the senate is in recess. the problem here is, the senate is not technically in recess. it has been holding pro forma sessions, better described as utterly fake sessions that last minutes per day. they are forced to do this in the belief that it would prevent the president and the president has in effect declared the pro forma senate sessions to be fraudulent and, therefore, the senate is is in the president's view at least, indeed in recess. the outrage from senate republicans was instan tan yous. president obama has arrogantly circumvented the american people by recess appointing richard cordray as director of the new cfpb. senat senator orrin hatch said this is a very heavy-handed autocrtat particular white house . circumventing the senate to appoint an unaccountable czar to appease. one republican senator fully supports the president's action. massachusetts senator scott brown said, i support president obama 's appointment today of richard cordray to head the cfpb. i believe he is the right person to lead the agency and help protect consumers from fraud and scandals. while i would have preferred it to go through the confirmation process, unfortunately, this system is completely broken. in the lastest boston herald poll, scott brown is losing. 42% to warren's 49%. scott brown 's statement is simply following elizabeth warren 's lead.

    >> he's a former ohio attorney general . he recovered $2 billion for pensioners in ohio. he was the first ag on the front lines in the mortgage servicing scandal. he's a former state treasurer . there's nothing here to object to unless you fully believe we ought to stick with the failed regulatory policies we had.

    >> would you vote for him if you were in the united states senate ?

    >> boy, you bet. i would not only vote for him, i would speak on his behalf and wear a rich cordray button.

    >> joining me now is the man at the center of the constitutional storm. the newly sworn in richard cordray . thank you for joining us tonight.

    >> my pleasure.

    >> congratulations on making history and provoking a constitutional crisis simply by trying to fill a position created by the congress by law that the republicans apparently just don't want anyone to have in that job. they made it very clear he wasn't personally against you. they just believe this agency shouldn't exist in this form and no one should fill that job.

    >> yeah, they did not make it personal about me and i appreciated that and i never take anything personal in these types of issues. my position here is that there's an important job to do. people know that they need a consumer watch dog to help them navigate the financial marketplace to stand on their side to prevent fraud and to see that people are treated fairly. that's what we're going to do and that's what i'm going to do.

    >> president obama in describing the job that he's asked you to do.

    >> his job will be to protect families like yours from the abuses of the financial industry . his job will be to make sure that you've got all of 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 and payday lenders and debt collectors.

    >> now, this is the bureau that was originally one of the ideas that elizabeth warren suggested and many thought that that type of job that you're getting should go to her. the president and others didn't believe that she could be confirmed and it turns out that no one could be confirmed and here we stand here tonight. how do you expect to go forward with an agency that has this much resistance from republicans?

    >> well, lawrence, a very bipartisan way in financial issues when i was state treasurer and then as attorney general. i feel i can do that at the federal level as well. i reach out to congressional leadership, both chambers. i've given them by personal commitment that they will have the information to understand what we're doing, how we're working to save the same constituents that they work to serve and i intend to fulfill that commitment.

    >> getting this bill passed in the first time that created this was a bill battle for the president, getting the agency set up. obviously getting you into office has been an incredible office. i want to listen to what elizabeth warren said about how the president achieved this.

    >> i want to be clear, if we didn't have barack obama in that building behind me, we wouldn't have this agency . he fought for it. there were a lot of grand bargains offered. if only you'll rip off one of its arms, make it weak and shackle it, we'll be glad to let you have something. you know what he said every time? no.

    >> she is right about the powers that have been preserved as you read the powers that you now have having been sworn in. your position seems very powerful. you're able to create rules of the road for financial institutions . in effect, what is the effective difference between your powers and congress' power to legislate?

    >> well, i think like every independent agency , congress has delegated us authority to make some rules that fill in the gap in legislation. but frankly when i was attorney general of ohio and i was trying to help people with their consumer problems, seniors who were being scammed and defrauded of their life savings, people losing their homes to foreclosures, people who were drowning in credit card debt , i often was frustrated because we didn't have the tools we needed to be able to try to make problems right for consumers and make the financial right and work in a fair manner. at this bureau we've now been given the authority to work on those types of problems. mortgages, credit cards , these are not going to dictate rules in the american economy . they are things that are going to make things better work for people, better informed decisions, decisions that they can live with and take responsibility for. i think that is straightforward and i think the american people recognize the importance of having somebody stand next to them in the marketplace.

    >> i didn't find anything in the establishing statute here that prevents your republican successor, let's say there's five or six years from now there's a republican doing your job, i don't see what would prevent that republican appointee from reversing virtually allf of your rulings. is there something in this law that prevents that?

    >> no. as with any independent agency , congress itself, there will be an ebb and flow in the policy and outlook of this country over time . but the nature of the job here is protecting individual consumers. who are we talking about? we're not talking about i am personal people. we're talking about our mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters , if we can improve the marketplace for them i think we will continue to win the american public over time .

    >> the first agency in the history of the federal government and consumers are going to be able to go to your website and find out what their rights are in relation to credit card companies and mortgage companies and the like?

    >> lawrence, they already can. one thing that we've already set up, there's a tell your story function. people can go there and tell us what the struggles, issues that they are facing in their real lives and we've already been hearing thousands of those stories which are going to be very important to us because they will tell us what is important to the people of this country, what we need to do to make the marketplace work for them and we're also working very cooperatively with financial institutions to help them understand how we can improve this place. we intend to use technology to be very user friendly . we talk about and use your goal as a 21st agency , we want people to feel comfortable coming to us because we work for them and what we are going to do for them will improve their lives and strengthening our economy.

    >> will you please come back to the show in six months just to talk five minutes only, just to talk about how user friendly this consumer protection bureau is? consumers in the title of it. i just want to see something established in 2010 , 2011 with all of our modern computer capabilities. i just want to see how user-friendly the federal government can be in one agency .

    >> all right. that's a deal. i'm be glad to come back any time.

    >> you got 53 votes in the united states senate . but that's no longer a majority and the president had to go the way he went if you were going to get this job. thank you very much for joining us, richard cordray .

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