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Obama to make recess appointment to head Consumer board

 

The AP with the breaking news:

In a defiant display of executive power, President Barack Obama on Wednesday will buck GOP opposition and name Richard Cordray as the nation's chief consumer watchdog even though the Senate contends the move is inappropriate, senior administration officials told The Associated Press.

With a director in place, the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will be able to start overseeing the mortgage companies, payday lenders, debt collectors and other financial companies often blamed for practices that helped tank the economy.

Obama's decision to make a recess appointment is certain to cause an uproar from Capitol Hill to Wall Street. He is essentially declaring the Senate's short off-and-on legislative sessions a sham intended to block his appointments.

Our quick take: Here's another example of President Obama willing to pick a fight with Congress and willing to seize on an issue that could play well with middle-class Americans (who might stand to benefit from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau). However, his opponents will likely criticize him for making a move that George W. Bush never made -- making a recess appointment while Congress is still in session, albeit in a pro-forma session.