Roll Call: Portman helping clear the way for Cordray

May 29, 2013

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Terrace Park, has been working behind the scenes to clear the way for the renomination of an Ohio Democrat, Richard Cordray, as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, according to a story in Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper.

Senate Republicans have thus far refused to move on President Obama's renomination of Cordray, a former Ohio treasurer and attorney general, along with a number of other presidential appointments.

The Democratic Majority Leader of the Senate, Harry Reid of Nevada, has threatened what has been called the "nuclear option" to end the logjam, by changing the rules of the Senate to allow a simple majority vote of the Senate instead of the usual two-thirds vote to sustain or overturn a parliamentary ruling.

Cordray was nominated for the job in 2011, but Senate Republicans filibustered the nomination; and Obama put Cordray in the job as a recess appointment in January 2012. The president re-nominated the Ohio Democrat earlier this year, but minority Republicans have blocked the appointment, saying they think the agency should be run by a board instead of one individual.

Roll Call reported that Portman has been conferring with Cordray recently on how to clear the way for his confirmation by the Senate and avoid Reid's "nuclear option."

Cordray has been mentioned as a possible candidate for Ohio governor in 2014. But he has so far shown no indication that he intends to do that.