Republicans Cave: Seven Top Government Jobs Will Be Filled

Soon-To-Be Secretary of Labor Tom Perez (Credit: AP)

Think Progress

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) office confirms to ThinkProgress that a deal has been reached to avert the so-called “nuclear option” on what appear to be very favorable terms to Democrats. In a nearly unconditional surrender to Senate Democrats, a core group of Senate Republicans agreed to a deal that will confirm most of the nominees currently subject to Republican filibusters, and replace two nominees to a key labor agency. While the identity of those new nominees are, as yet, unknown, two Democratic Senate sources tell ThinkProgress that the new nominees to the National Labor Relations Board can be “any two we want,” so long as it is not the two people currently serving on the NLRB via recess appointments.

In return for a virtually complete capitulation to Democratic demands, Republicans get to postpone the question of whether filibusters can still exist for executive branch nominees. Last night, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) rejected an offer from Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to confirm the pending nominees if Reid agreed to take the nuclear option off the table, so Reid retains the option of changing the Senate Rules in the future if Republicans obstruct future nominees. Senate Republicans will also get to make the rhetorical point that they prevented two NLRB nominees whose recess appointments were called into question by a pair of court decisions handed down by five Republican judges from being confirmed to their seats on that agency.

What appears to set this filibuster reform fight from previous engagements where Democrats ultimately agreed to much less favorable deals is the resolve of Reid’s caucus. To the very end, it appeared very clear that Democrats had the 51 votes necessary to trigger the nuclear option, so Republicans had no choice but to deal.


The Senate just broke a filibuster on Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray, clearing the path for the first of the seven nominees to be confirmed.

Under the Senate’s rules, Republicans can potentially force up to 8 hours of delay before Cordray’s final confirmation vote. A cloture vote seeking to break the filibuster on another nominee is likely to follow shortly thereafter.

West Wing Week 1/06/12 or: “2012: The Annual Resolutions Edition”

The White House 

This week, the President traveled to Cleveland, Ohio, to speak on appointing Richard Cordray to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which will protect families from predatory lenders, spoke on a comprehensive review of our defense strategy, and the White House staff shared its New Year’s resolutions.

That’s December 30th to January 5th or “2012: The Annual Resolutions Edition.”

The top reasons Wall Street and Republicans are scared of Richard Cordray

The Raw Story



After months of pushback from Republicans in Congress, President Obama has finally decided to go over their heads and appoint former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau without them.

So who is he?

We’ve written a lot about him at Business Insider. Partly because, no matter what side of the aisle you’re on, there’s no denying he’s incredibly impressive. Cordray is an undefeated, five-time Jeopardy! champion (he won $45,303), has a masters in economics from Oxford University, and was also editor-in-chief of the University of Chicago Law Review.

After law school he clerked for Supreme Court for a Reagan appointee, and represented the U.S. government before the Supreme Court there three times — once for George H.W. Bush and twice for Bill Clinton. That was all before running for AG of Ohio (a swing state) as a Democrat.

So what’s the problem with Cordray? There are two, one is an old Washington problem, and the other is purely Wall Street’s:

  1. Republicans said they would never support anyone to head the CFPB — Period —that is, unless the White House made serious changes to the agency. (Politico)
  2. He doesn’t just go after Wall Street Institutions. He goes after individual executives as well.

Let’s expand on point 2 with some more examples of how Cordray fought Wall Street as Ohio AG:

When we talked to him about the Merrill/BofA case in 2009, he, of course, explained the why he was suing, but also revealed why he’s such a threat:

My understanding of a bonus is that it’s a special reward for superior performance. There wasn’t any superior performance for special reward; nonetheless, they (BofA and Merrill execs) wanted the bonuses. They ultimately, as best we know, got approval to pay out somewhere between $3 and $4 billion in bonuses, which was a very material element to the value of the merger. That was not disclosed to investors.

…we’ve also pursued some of the top executives — not just the corporations themselves. We do think that they bear their share of the blame — we think that they need to be held accountable as well. We think that that’s a principle that sends a message to other corporate executives on Wall Street that is a further disincentive for this kind of thing in the future.

There’s your new sheriff, Wall Street. As we reported earlier today, it’s likely Republicans will fight Obama’s appointment in Court. In the meantime, Cordray will be able to nice and comfy at the CFPB.

Day In 100 Seconds: Recess!

President Obama did what he had to do.  Given the incessant withholding of his various cabinet  appointees, by Republicans in the Senate, the POTUS has used his “recess appointment” ability to appoint four appointees to his cabinet.  Bravo Mr. President!

Oh and by the way, the Right only screams when Obama does it.  They never said a word when President George W. Bush did it.

As per Wikipedia:

George H. W. Bush appointed Lawrence Eagleburger Secretary of State during a recess in 1992; Eagleburger had in effect filled that role after James Baker resigned.

According to the Congressional Research Service, President Bill Clinton made 139 recess appointments. President George W. Bush made 171 recess appointments, and as of December 8, 2011, President Barack Obama had made 28 recess appointments.[4]


It seems President Obama’s decision to appoint Richard Cordray is kicking up a storm on Fox News and among the GOP candidates.

Critics have increased their rhetoric and took a chance to have another swipe when Obama and Leon Panetta announced their plan for future military budgets.

40 States Join to Halt Foreclosures

Wallstreet Journal

Attorneys General Hope Lenders Will Re-Write Loans With Troubled Documents

A coalition of as many as 40 state attorneys general is expected Wednesday to announce an investigation into the mortgage-servicing industry, an effort some of them hope will pressure financial institutions to rewrite large numbers of troubled loans.

The move comes amid recent allegations that mortgage-servicers, which include units of major banks such as Bank of America Corp., submitted fraudulent documents in thousands of foreclosure proceedings nationwide.

The banks say the document problems are technical—largely the result of papers approved by so-called robo-signers with little review—and don’t reflect substantive problems with foreclosures. Still, they have drawn criticism from consumer advocates and state and federal lawmakers.

“I think the mortgage-servicing firms need to understand that they face real exposure now, and they would be well advised to take this very seriously, to clean this up by doing loan workouts to keep people in their homes, which up till now they’ve just paid lip-service to,” said Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray.      Continue reading…