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Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., angrily compared the blockage of Richard Cordray's confirmation as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to an act of hostage-taking.

Bloomberg News reports that Warren, speaking yesterday in Washington at a Credit Union National Association conference, berated Republicans for their arguments that the CFPB required structural realignment.

"It's time for Washington to stop re-litigating settled decisions - holding our government hostage over ideology," Warren said. "It is time for a clear path forward that allows for certainty."

Cordray's legality as CFPB director has been called into doubt after a court ruling last month declared that the president violated the constitution with a series of recess appointments made in January 2012 while Congress was in pro forma sessions; Cordray received a recess appointment after Senate Republicans blocked a confirmation vote in late 2011. The president renominated Cordray last month, but Senate Republicans vowed to block any CFPB-related nominations unless the agency's leadership structure was realigned away from a single director to a bipartisan commission.

Warren, who is credited as the architect of the CFPB, was passed over for the directorship in July 2011 when President Obama tapped Cordray for the job. In her comments yesterday, she claimed that the GOP's actions were without historical precedent.

"Never before in American history has a minority in the Senate blocked a nominee to try to get changes in a law they don't like and don't have the votes to change," Warren said. "Maybe I shouldn't have been surprised. This is the same position those senators took two years ago."

Warren urged the credit union executives at the conference to help support Cordray's cause.

"Do what you can to tell your senators and those who will listen that it's time to move on, time to stop re-litigating settled decisions and time to confirm a director, so the CFPB can create a safe harbor for your work so you can go about the business of serving your members," Warren said. "It's time to move forward."


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