That was the message of petitions delivered to Senator Diane Feinstein’s office today by a delegation of Bay Area community leaders. The petitions, which call on the Senate to confirm Richard Cordray to a full term as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, bore the signatures of more than 160,000 people, including over 26,000 Californians.
Liana Molina, Payday Campaign Organizer with the California Reinvestment Coalition, explained, “Senators have a simple choice: they can either bring his nomination to a vote, or they can continue coddling Wall Street. With over 200,000 Californians in foreclosure in 2012, we’ve seen what happens when Congress chooses Wall Street.”
After favorable action by the Banking Committee, Cordray’s renomination goes before the full Senate. Director Cordray has earned wide and bipartisan praise for his leadership of the CFPB up to now. Unfortunately for Californians, a group of 43 Senators are threatening to block Cordray’s nomination indefinitely, unless the CFPB is first dramatically weakened.
Vivian Richardson from the community organization ACCE explained: “Every week we learn about another bank scandal. Every day, more families lose their homes to foreclosure wrongfully. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau needs to be empowered to lead the charge in stopping Wall Street from profiting at the expense of Main Street. Congress needs to get their act together, confirm Cordray, and get down to the business of protecting consumers.”
Jon Fox, consumer advocat4e with the California Public Interest Research Group explained, “Senator Feinstein must use her position in the Senate to lead the fight for consumers. Californians need her to stand up and take the lead on this issue, and ensure that the CFPB can do its job protecting consumers.”
“For over Four years, Republicans Have made a historically unprecedented mockery of the filibuster. The Senate is supposed to provide “advice and consent” on presidential nominations, not use minority tricks to undo laws passed by Congress, Signed by the President, and supported by large majorities of the public,” explained Rick Jacobs, founder and chair of CourageCampaign.org, a leading California–‐based progressive organization. “Americans Stand firmly behind the CFPB, and Richard Cordray Is by all accounts an ideal candidate to lead it. Senator Feinstein can help restore democracy to the Senate. We’re Confident she will.”
“Under Richard Cordray, the CFPB has been a strong voice for consumers,” said Greenlining Institute Executive Director Orson Aguilar. “California consumers, and especially the communities of color that got hammered during the financial crisis, need a strong champion, because we’ve seen the devastation that predatory lending causes. Richard Cordray has been that champion.”
The California Reinvestment Coalition, the Communications Workers of America (CWA), the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), the California Public Interest Group (CALPIRG), the Greenlining Institute, Jobs with Justice, and Courage Campaign which took part in today’s delivery, also met with Senator Feinstein’s office to discuss the importance of Cordray’s confirmation.
The CFPB was created after the financial crisis of 2008 to end predatory lending and bring basic standards of fairness and transparency to the world of credit cards, mortgages, education loans, auto loans, debt collection, credit scoring and other financial products and practices.
The CFPB has already:
- Returned nearly half a billion dollars to consumers cheated by credit card companies;
- Moved to end the era of mortgages designed to rake in up-front fees before they self-destruct;
- Stood up for students and families trapped in high-cost private education loans; and deceptive lending practices; and
- Protected military families against illegal foreclosures and deceptive lending practices.