Bloomberg reported, in what now looks like a Friday night news dump, that Elizabeth Warren’s nomination to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau would be withdrawn, in a single-sourced story. The Washington Post likewise yesterday ran a single-sourced story that essentially covered the same ground as Bloomberg, right down to the suggestion that Warren deputy Raj Date would get the nod. Today, however, Reuters reports that Obama will announce the nomination of a former Ohio Attorney General to take the top CFPB spot:
President Barack Obama on Monday will nominate former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to head the new consumer financial watchdog agency, a White House official said.
Cordray served two years as AG, exiting the office in January. Earlier this year, Warren picked Cordray to be the CFPB’s chief enforcement officer. It doesn’t look like the antipathy for the private sector will diminish much in the exchange:
Just months ago, Richard Cordray was Ohio’s attorney general. In that role, he sued some of the nation’s largest banks for their bungling of mortgage foreclosures, spoke of Wall Street as a “fixed casino” and became a leading advocate for the creation of the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Today, he is the chief enforcement officer for the fledgling watchdog. When the bureau officially opens this summer, Cordray will head a federal team with wide authority to write and enforce rules that will govern many of the firms that he butted heads with as a state official.
Now he’ll have even wider authority to write his own rules and enforce them as CFPB chair. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, chaired by Darrell Issa, has already had its hands full with Warren, and I’d guess that they’ll have their hands full with Cordray.
One has to assume that the White House thinks Cordray will have an easier time getting confirmed than Warren, whose brief tenure in the administration had already provoked Congressional ire. As a former AG, Republicans in the Senate will have a tougher time arguing that he lacks executive qualifications, although he only lasted two years in the job. They may get more traction with Cordray’s announcement that he wants to run for state office again in 2014 with an argument that Cordray will attempt to politicize regulation and enforcement to benefit his political future.
Warren indeed looks like she’s out, but the direction she took the CFPB doesn’t appear to have changed.
Update: Finally, Jake Tapper gets multiple sources to confirm the switchout:
White House officials say that on Monday President Obama will nominate former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, where he currently serves as director of enforcement.
The selection is a slight to Elizabeth Warren, who first proposed and has helped create the agency. But Warren’s nomination would have been challenged in the Senate.
Score one for Bloomberg. Also, I’m pretty sure that the White House didn’t want to see a headline accusing them of “bypassing woman who first came up with the idea.”