Consumer bureau chief: Recess appointment 'not affecting our decision making'

President Obama installed Richard Cordray as director of the agency in January. President Obama installed Richard Cordray as director of the agency in January. J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Richard Cordray, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, said that opposition to his controversial recess appointment in January is not going to hold the agency back from its duty to protect consumers.

President Obama installed Cordray as director of the agency over the objection of Republicans in January during a pro-forma session of the Senate, which critics have claimed was unconstitutional. Many expect the appointment to be challenged in the courts.

But that risk is not a factor in the bureau’s daily operations, Cordray said “It is not affecting our decision making,” he said on C-Span’s Newsmakers on Sunday. “I don’t see how it legitimately could.”

Cordray insisted he has a duty to fulfill the agency’s mission under law to protect consumers and hold the financial industry accountable.

“Now that I’m appointed as the director, this bureau is under obligation by law to do certain things,” Cordray said. “They are going to matter to the lives of consumers: cleaning up the mortgage market, leveling the playing field between banks and nonbank competitors, seeing that the laws are enforced and holding people accountable …  We are going to do it. I don’t think there is any real alternative for us.”

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