Senator Elizabeth Warren joins in calling the Senate to confirm consumer agency director

WASHINGTON—Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts joined two other members of the Senate Banking Committee Wednesday in calling for Republican lawmakers to vote on confirmation of the appointed director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The agency, the Warren brainchild created in 2010 to regulate financial services such as mortgage lending, has been controversial on Capitol Hill. GOP senators have pledged to block the confirmation of Richard Cordray, director of the body, until it is reformed.

The agency’s hazy path forward has created uncertainty in the financial sector, as banks don’t know which rules to follow, Warren said at a Wednesday press conference with Democrat Senators Jack Reed, of Rhode Island, and Sherrod Brown, of Ohio.

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“It’s time for the United States Senate to give Rich Cordray an up or down vote,” Warren said.

The call to action came a day before the Senate Banking Committee’s Thursday hearing on Wall Street reform. Cordray and others financial regulators will be testifying.

Republicans have threatened to block his appointment through filibuster until the agency comes under congressional oversight and adopts a five-member board of directors, among other reforms.

“Allowing a single unelected official to define their own jurisdiction and regulate vast segments of our economy without accountability or restraint is irresponsible,” Jerry Moran, a Kansas Republican, said in a statement.

But Reed said such action will “eviscerate [the agency] so it won’t operate” correctly.

“[Consumers] have got to know that they have an agency that’s out there to protect them,” he said.