President Obama has defied Congress by installing former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray as the country’s first head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, established to protect citizens against the practices of Wall Street banks and lenders. Obama’s move defied Republicans, who have refused to allow Cordray’s confirmation after failing to stop the bureau’s creation in 2010. “The reason this has been held up had nothing to do with the qualifications of Richard Cordray…and everything to do with Republicans’ insistence on trying to destroy the agency. And that insistence traces directly to the contributions and political influence of Wall Street,” says Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, which supports Obama’s appointment.
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