Obama Defies Republican Opposition, Names Consumer Watchdog

Posted January 4th, 2012 at 5:10 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. President Barack Obama angered Republicans Wednesday during a campaign stop in Ohio by using a recess appointment to name a new consumer watchdog official.

President Obama said both Democrats and Republicans know Richard Cordray is qualified, but that Republicans held the nomination “hostage” because they disagree with the creation of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The president, who faces a difficult campaign to win a second term because of the sluggish economy, said the position is needed to protect American consumers from abuses of the financial industry.

But the top Senate Republican, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, said the bureau is “poised to be one of the least accountable and most powerful agencies in Washington.”

He also accused Mr. Obama of misusing his power, saying a recess appointment was not appropriate since senators have been meeting every three days. Recess appointments allow the president to hire someone without congressional approval when the Senate is not in session.

Mr. Obama faces frustration from American people over the state of the economy.

He told supporters at the Iowa Democratic Party caucuses Tuesday that the problems of the last three years did not happen “overnight” and will not be fixed “overnight.”

Republicans hoping to win the White House have been vocal critics of the president, saying they hope to repeal health care reform and change the direction of the country.