The Richard Cordray Filibuster Begins

As should be obvious, picking one of Elizabeth Warren’s key lieutenants to be the permanent chief of the CFPB does nothing to mollify opposition:

Republicans made it clear on Sunday that they were no more likely to confirm Mr. Cordray than Ms. Warren. Forty-four Republican senators have signed a letter saying they would refuse to vote on any nominee to lead the bureau, demanding instead that the agency replace a single leader with a board of directors.

“Until President Obama addresses our concerns by supporting a few reasonable structural changes, we will not confirm anyone to lead it,” Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama, the ranking Republican on the banking committee, said in a written statement on Sunday.

The silver lining in Warren not getting the nod, is that it’s clear at this point that whoever runs the CFPB is going to end up pretty hamstrung by politics. The world could really use some kind of consumer financial protection celebrity to try to form some kind of organization outside of government dedicated to educating the public about financial scams and building a political constituency for effective enforcement of rules against abuses. I have no idea if Warren will in fact do something like that, but I hope she does. Any number of people are well qualified to have their nomination hang in limbo and wrangle with Sen. Shelby. Warren is one of the few people who would be recognizable enough to raise funds and build a team outside the formal regulatory arena.