Time for Sen. Shelby to Side with Alabama Consumers - Not His Wall Street Benefactors

September 6, 2011                        


Wall Street Urgently Needs a Sheriff to Prevent the Kind of Risky, Reckless Behavior That Cost 8 Million Americans Their Jobs

But There’s 6.2 Million Reasons Why Sen. Richard Shelby is Opposing the Nomination of Richard Cordray to Head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

It’s Time for Senator Shelby to Side With Alabama Consumers – Not His Wall Street Benefactors

Washington DC – With the confirmation hearing underway in the Senate Banking Committee today for Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a consumer protection agency established under the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009, Americans United for Change challenged Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) to start representing Alabama consumers and stop holding the Cordray nomination hostage at the behest of Wall Street lobbyists.  


In May, Senator Shelby signed a letter to the President opposing any director, no matter how qualified the nominee, unless Congress first ties the hands of and waters down the CFPB’s authority to police Wall Street on behalf of middle-class families.  And to be sure, Richard Cordray is eminently qualified, having served as Ohio’s Attorney General from January 2009 to January 2011 and having taken major steps to help protect its consumers from fraudulent foreclosures and financial predators, recovering more than $2 billion for Ohio’s retirees, investors and business owners. To date, Senator Shelby has accepted a staggering $6.2 million in contributions from the finance, insurance, and real estate sector, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics.  The 10 Republican members of the Senate Banking Committee, including Shelby -- all standing in the way of the Cordray nomination -- have taken a total of nearly $32 million from Wall Street interests.


Tom McMahon, Executive Director, Americans United for Change: “The American people could not be sicker of the political games in Washington, but sure enough Senate Republicans are already playing more games on the first day back from summer recess by stiff arming the nomination of Richard Cordray.   Follow the money and it’s pretty apparent what’s going on here.  In response to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression that left 8 million Americans without jobs, the President and Democrats in Congress passed the strongest consumer protections in history from reckless and risky behavior on Wall Street.  Key to making sure these reforms are enacted and followed is having a tough, smart sheriff on the beat on Wall Street – and Richard Cordray is the right man for the job.   But Wall Street lobbyists want nothing more to go back to the risky behavior that led to the financial crisis, and so they’ve called upon Republicans like Richard Shelby, who’ve taken millions of dollars in contributions from the financial industry, to do whatever it takes to let them off the hook.  No sheriff on the beat on Wall Street means a green light for more reckless behavior with our money.  The nation can’t afford another financial crisis.  It’s time for Senator Shelby to change course and do what’s best for Alabama consumers, not his Wall Street contributors – and he can start by approving the nomination of Richard Cordray.”