The Department of Justice has pretty much lost it when it comes to prosecuting financial figures and corporations for their share in responsibility for the financial crash. But the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the creation of the President and Elizabeth Warren, has been successful. The NYTimes' editors list the accomplishments of the Bureau during the year and a half of its existence: "a halt to predatory practices by mortgage lenders, an $85 million settlement from American Express, and opened an investigation into questionable marketing practices by banks and credit card companies on college campuses."
You think the Republican party is going to allow such a swift and effective agency to survive? No way.
They can’t prevent the bureau from regulating their financial supporters. Having failed to block the creation of the bureau in the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform bill, they are now trying to take away its power by filibuster, and they may well succeed. ...NYT
They blocked the appointment of, Richard Cordray, the Bureau's director. Obama finally interceded with a recess appointment. Last month, a Republican court challenged all of the President's recess appointments. That leaves Cordray in what may be a short-term job.
The president has renominated Mr. Cordray, but Republicans have made it clear that they will continue to filibuster, using phony arguments to keep the agency from operating. ...NYT
Meanwhile, the President persists in finding workarounds.
President Obama is considering a series of new executive actions aimed at working around a recalcitrant Congress, including policies that could allow struggling homeowners to refinance their mortgages, provide new protections for gays and lesbians, make buildings more energy-efficient and toughen regulations for coal-fired power plants, according to people outside the White House involved in discussions on the issues.
One of the first orders is expected this week, when the Obama administration will call for the creation of new standards on what critical private-sector companies should do to protect their computer systems from hackers. ...WaPo
This is not about a moral core in the Republican obstructionism. Their chief purpose is to keep the Democratic president from policy achievements. When asked about it, they tend to sputter.
“It is a very dangerous road he’s going down contrary to the spirit of the Constitution,” Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) said in a recent interview. “Just because Congress doesn’t act doesn’t mean the president has a right to act.” ...WaPo
Bad choice of words? That statement -- "Congress doesn't act" -- may well make an appearance in 2014 campaign ads.