43 Republican senators signed a letter last week saying that they would obstruct any nominee to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, regardless of qualifications, unless the CFPB is weakened. Republicans are essentially attempting to nullify a federal law via obstruction; Congress passed and President Obama signed a bill creating a CFPB, but the GOP is ensuring that it can’t function.
By weakening the CFPB, the GOP is doing the bidding of Wall Street’s biggest banks, which would have preferred that a regulator solely focused on consumer protection never come into being. Here are some facts and figures that Public Campaign pulled together on how much cash Wall Street has handed over to the 43 GOP’ers publicly obstructing Obama’s nominee:
— The 43 Senators have received $143 million in industry cash during their time in Washington.
— Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), boosted by his 2008 presidential bid, is the top recipient of financial industry cash of those signing the letter, with $36.7 million in donations from the industry. McConnell is second with $7.4 million in donations. Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), the ranking member of the Senate Banking committee, has received $2.4 million in industry cash. […]
— The six Senators recently elected, or re-elected, in November who signed the letter — Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) — received nearly $7 million altogether in industry donations in the 2012 cycle. Hatch tops this list with $2 million raised from the industry for his last election.
Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), who is one of two Republican senators that did not sign the letter, said last week that Richard Cordray, who was recess-appointed by Obama to be the first CFPB director, simply accede to the GOP’s hostage-taking and call for watering down his own agency.