Senate Banking Committee members critical of the Dodd-Frank rules took turns complaining about various aspects of the new law. The specific topic of the hearing, the establishment of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, was a lightning rod for bitter criticism.
Yet, for many who support a new financial regulatory regime, the creation of the CFPB is a cornerstone of the reform package. One year after the President’s signing the new law the new agency remains without a director. President Obama nominated Richard Cordray to the spot on July 17. Chairman Tim Johnson has called for a timely consideration of the nominee, but Committee Ranking Member Richard Shelby has stymied the nomination because he wants to place it under greater oversight of banking regulators and give Congress authority over its budget.
Officials from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Bankers Association appeared on the first panel and agreed with Shelby. Four other witnesses on the panel, representing consumer groups, stressed the need for enhanced consumer protection in the financial arena and against Shelby’s provisions.