January 4, 2012

Whitehouse Statement on President’s Appointment of Consumer Bureau Chief

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) today applauded the decision by President Obama to appoint Richard Cordray to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Cordray, who was nominated for the position last July, had been prevented from taking office by Senate Republican filibusters.

“Consumers in Rhode Island and across the country deserve to be protected from the unfair tricks and traps that so often lurk in the fine print of financial documents,” said Whitehouse, who spoke in favor of Cordray’s nomination on the Senate floor last month in the video below.

“Mr. Cordray is unquestionably well qualified to lead the Bureau, with bipartisan support among his state Attorney General colleagues, and I am confident he will help bring a straight deal to Rhode Islanders and consumers nationwide. I’m disappointed that Senate Republicans refused to allow an up or down vote on the nomination, but middle class families who are unwittingly caught in these fine print traps can’t afford to wait for an ally any longer.”

The Bureau, which was established by the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, oversees the activities of banks and non-bank financial companies, including many mortgage servicers, private student lenders, debt collectors, payday lenders, and credit reporting agencies. It has the authority to regulate unfair practices, including costly fine-print tricks and traps.

Whitehouse has been a strong voice for the rights of consumers throughout his career, and was a cosponsor of the Financial Product Safety Commission Act of 2009, the first Senate bill to propose the Bureau. He also recently introduced legislation to crack down on unfair credit card interest rates.

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