WASHINGTON – To clarify a Politico report today about him “angling to broker a compromise” with the administration over reforms to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R- Tenn., a member of the Senate Banking Committee, said that after conversations over the past few weeks with a number of stakeholders, the ball is the White House’s court to propose necessary changes at the bureau in order to get enough support for Senate confirmation of a full time director. Richard Cordray is currently serving as head of the CFPB in a temporary appointment that may be in legal jeopardy given a federal appeals court’s challenge to the constitutionality of similar presidential appointments to the National Labor Relations Board that also bypassed Senate confirmation.
“I made some suggestions to people at Treasury and the White House as to how they might go about resolving this issue and getting Richard Cordray confirmed. We actually had some success in a similar situation with Carol Galante at the FHA, and there seemed to be an opportunity to do something along those lines here as well. But at this point, the ball is entirely in the White House’s court. By making some modest and reasonable changes to the structure of the CFPB, I think we could have a strong Senate vote confirming Cordray as leader of the organization. But that will require the White House showing a willingness to move the process forward,” Corker said.
In December 2012, Corker secured a commitment from FHA Commissioner and Assistant Secretary for Housing Carol Galante to make substantial changes to FHA underwriting requirements in order to begin restoring financial stability at FHA after substantial losses, primarily from a flawed reverse mortgage program. Galante sent Corker a letter on December 18, committing unequivocally to the implement these reforms by January 31, and her nomination was later confirmed by the Senate on December 30. The FHA announced the agreed upon reforms on January 30. Galante’s letter and the list of reforms are available here.