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State AGs urge confirmation of Obama pick as CFPB head

A group of state attorneys general urged members of the Senate last week to confirm Richard Cordray, President Barack Obama’s pick to be the first director of a new consumer financial regulatory agency.

The National Association of Attorneys General sent Senate lawmakers a letter signed by 37 state and territorial attorneys general supporting Cordray’s bid to head the Consumer Financial Protection Board, created by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to regulate financial products and services.

“Some of us may disagree with aspects of the Dodd-Frank legislation. But we are united in our belief that Mr. Cordray is very well qualified to carry out the responsibilities of this position,” Tuesday’s letter states.

The Senate Banking Committee recently voted 12-10 to advance Cordray’s nomination, but Senate Republicans have promised to block Cordray’s confirmation until reforms are passed to change the structure and scope of the CFPB.

The attorneys general cited Cordray’s experience in dealing with the major players in the financial industry, including Wall Street firms, banks, credit rating agencies and subprime mortgage lenders, particularly in his role as Ohio’s attorney general.

“He earned a reputation as a strong advocate for the interests of consumers,” the letter states.