Republican Senator Says His Party Was Wrong To Block Vote On Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Head

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) (Credit: AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

In a stunning admission, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) conceded that he and his party had been wrong to block an up-or-down vote on now-confirmed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau head Richard Cordray. Despite having no personal objection to the nominee, Graham and the Senate Republican minority had used parliamentary tactics to prevent a confirmation vote for Cordray for nearly a year over their desire to radically redesign the agency.

According to the New York Times, Graham admitted Tuesday that he and his colleagues had unfairly blocked Cordray’s confirmation over the previous 12 months. “Cordray was being filibustered because we don’t like the [Dodd-Frank] law,” Graham conceded, “That’s not a reason to deny someone their appointment. We were wrong.”

President Obama nominated Cordray, a former Ohio Attorney General and State Treasurer, last July to be the first director of the new bureau, which had been created under the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Hoping to prevent the agency from taking effect, Senate Republicans immediately announced they would oppose allowing anyone a confirmation vote to run the agency, as created. In December, Graham joined 45 Republican colleagues in voting against ending debate on the nomination — preventing a confirmation vote even though he had majority support.

After Obama give Cordray a recess appointment and renominated him at the start of the new Congress, Graham was among 43 members of the Republican minority again vowed to block his confirmation.

(HT: The Maddow Blog)