Harry Reid really needs to go nuclear. Mike Konczal has an excellent article over at Wonk Blog about what is going on with the nomination of Richard Cordray to head Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Just look at that face! How could anyone say no to him? Well, as Konczal explained, it isn’t about him. The Republicans don’t want anyone to head the CFPB. They don’t like the new bureau and they are going to hold their breath until they get their way. Or the political equivalent to it.
This is effectively nullification. And this is brand new. Well, Obama new. The Senate is using its right to “advise and consent” on nominations to strike down laws it simply doesn’t like. This is a very bad situation. Last February, 43 Republican Senators signed a letter saying they would not approve anyone to head the CFPB unless three of their demands were met. Does that sound like anyone to you? “We will kill all the hostages unless our demands are met!”
So what are their demands? First, they want the CFPB to be run by a bipartisan committee to effectively hobble it. Second, they want to be able to budget the CFPB year by year so that whenever they have the power, they can effectively destroy it. And third, they want a “safety-and-soundness check for the prudential regulators.” As Konczal noted:
Get that? It would basically say as long as banks are making money the government has no reason to punish them.
This is all reminding me of the Republican reaction to every other issue where they had no real leverage. Remember during the Obamacare negotiations, the Republicans would have no part of it. It was all or nothing. (In as much as the Democrats ever offer nothing!) And they got nothing. So after it passed they’ve tried to destroy it. First in the courts and now in the implementation. Here it’s the same thing. The Republicans lost their battle against the CFPB. And now they want a do over. As Konczal concluded:
Indeed. For this reason and so many more, Harry Reid needs to go nuclear.