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Geoff Greenwood, Communications Director
515-281-6699, geoff.greenwood@iowa.gov
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, March 27, 2013

Miller Calls on U.S. Senate to Approve CFPB Director Cordray Nomination, Welcomes Cordray to Iowa for Thursday Public CFPB Hearing

Miller joins Iowa Public Interest Research Group (IPIRG) in urging Senate to confirm Cordray, who travels to Iowa for CFPB field hearing on consumer complaint database

(DES MOINES, Iowa)  Attorney General Tom Miller today urged the U.S. Senate to confirm Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray, who conducts a field hearing in Des Moines Thursday on the CFPB’s Consumer Complaint Database.

Last week, the Senate banking committee approved Cordray’s nomination, which then moved to the Senate floor.  A floor vote has not yet been scheduled.

Miller, joined by the Iowa Public Interest Research Group (IPIRG), urged the Senate to schedule a vote and confirm Cordray.  “The CFPB, under Rich Cordray’s leadership, is doing exactly what we had hoped—every day the bureau protects consumers from getting scammed,” Miller said.  “He’s also a great listener, as he’s here in Iowa this week to hear from Iowans, consumer groups and business representatives on the bureau’s consumer complaint database.”

“We fully support Director Cordray’s nomination, who’s as qualified as anyone to run the CFPB,” Sonia Ashe, IPIRG advocate, said.  “Those who are trying to block his nomination are really trying to dismantle the agency.  And that would be a terrible loss for average consumers in Iowa and across the country, because Director Cordray and the bureau have done a lot of good for consumers in a relatively short amount of time.”

“Rich Cordray has all the qualities you’d want for someone running an agency like the CFPB,” said Miller.  “He’s bright, he’s dedicated, and he has an excellent sense of judgment.  He’s very committed to consumers, yet has a great sense of fairness,” Miller added.  “These are all ideal qualities for this position, and both consumers and businesses alike praise Rich for his work,” Miller added.

Congress created the CFPB in 2010.  The agency gives both the federal government and state attorneys general a powerful tool to collaboratively protect consumers by cracking down on fraud and abuse in financial products, including credit cards, mortgages, and loans.

In January 2012, President Obama installed Cordray in a recess appointment after the Senate blocked the nomination.  President Obama again nominated Cordray in January.

Miller, who previously led a group of state attorneys general to support the CFPB’s creation, noted that a bipartisan majority of state attorneys general have expressed past support for Cordray’s nomination.  Cordray is a former Ohio attorney general.

Miller expressed concern that CFPB opponents are trying to dilute the agency’s authority by proposing to subject the agency to annual congressional appropriations and a panel of commissioners, which would limit its independent authority.  “These proposed changes could lead to companies under CFPB scrutiny asking Congress to stop or slow down the bureau from continuing consumer protection investigations,” Miller said.  “If this happens, well-funded companies that may be cutting corners and their special interests would win, and consumers would lose.”

Public Hearing on CFPB Consumer Complaint Database

Cordray will conduct a public hearing Thursday in Des Moines on the CFPB Consumer Complaint Database.

The database, announced and launched in June 2012, tracks credit card complaints.  The database includes types of complaints, the company named in the complaint, the company’s response, and whether the consumer disputed that response.  The database lists consumers’ zip codes, but does not reveal personal information about a consumer’s identity.

The hearing is tomorrow, Thursday, March 28 at 11 a.m. at the Des Moines Central Library, 1000 Grand Ave., in downtown Des Moines.  The event will feature introductory remarks from Miller, remarks from Cordray, and testimony from members of the public, consumer groups, and industry representatives.

The event is open to the public and requires an RSVP.  To RSVP, email cfpb.events@cfpb.gov with your full name and organization affiliation (if any).

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