Cordray was originally nominated to run the CFPB on July 18, 2011, three days before the agency formally began operations. Senate Republicans blocked Cordray's confirmation vote, and the president used a recess appointment on Jan. 4, 2012, to put Cordray in charge of the agency.
Cordray's recess appointment expires at the end of the year, and speculation arose that he would return to his native Ohio at the end of his term to run for governor next year. In putting Cordray forth, Obama praised the CFPB chief as a ‘champion of the American consumers’ and insisted that Cordray deserved a formal confirmation.
‘Financial institutions have plenty of lobbyists looking out for their interests,’ Obama said at a White House press briefing. ‘Americans have Richard looking out for them.’
The president also nominated Mary Jo White to become chairwoman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), replacing the retiring Mary L. Schapiro. From 1993 to 2002, White served as U.S. attorney in Manhattan, the first woman to hold that position. She currently leads the litigation department at law firm Debevoise & Plimpton. If confirmed, she would become the first prosecutor to head the SEC.