Obama to appoint Cordray as head of consumer bureau

President Obama will announce Wednesday that he will appoint Richard Cordray as head of the controversial Consumer Financial Protection Bureau during the Senate's recess, the White House said.

The appointment comes to the dismay of Senate Republicans, who blocked Cordray's nomination in order to weaken the bureau.

Speaking in a news conference after Cordray's block Dec. 8, President Obama said he wouldn't take any option off the table, but a recess appointment was not an option he favored.

"My hope and expectation is that the Republicans who block this nomination come to their senses," Obama said at the news conference. "And I know that some of them have made an argument, we just want to sort of make modifications in the law. Well, they are free to introduce a bill and get that passed."

But the Senate did not make any amendments to the power Cordray would have as head of the CFPB, focusing instead on year-end deals for the remainder of December. Without a leader, the CFPB has no jurisdiction over banking institutions, which include mortgage lenders.

Obama is scheduled to make his first public appearance of 2012 on Wednesday at 1:15 p.m. in the suburbs of Cleveland -- Cordray's home state.

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