Connect with us

Obama Makes Recess Appointment To Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — Full Text





Office of the Press Secretary

January 4, 2012

Remarks of President Barack Obama – As Prepared for Delivery

Shaker Heights High School

Cleveland, OH

January 4, 2012

As Prepared for Delivery —

Hello, Cleveland! It’s great to be back in Ohio. And it’s great to be here at Shaker Heights, home of the Red Raiders. I want to thank your mayor, Earl Leiken, for hosting us today. I also want to thank your superintendent, Mark Freeman, and your principal, Mike Griffith, for everything they do. I heard you have some pretty good basketball teams this season – boys and girls. It makes me wish I had some eligibility left.

Finally, I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year. One of my resolutions is to make sure I get out of Washington enough and spend more time with people like you. Because folks here in Ohio and across the country – you’re the reason why I ran for this office in the first place. And on days like today, you remind me what we’re still fighting for. An America where hard work and responsibility pays off. An America where anyone who puts in the effort and plays by the rules can get ahead.

That’s the America you deserve. That’s the America we’re working to build. And that’s why I told Congress they couldn’t leave for vacation last month until we made sure 160 million working Americans wouldn’t get hit by a tax hike on January 1st. It wasn’t easy. And it should have been. But in the end, we got members of both parties to come together and make sure that you could keep more money in your paychecks this month. You’re keeping that extra $40 in every paycheck. That means more security for your families, and a boost for our economy at a time when we need to do everything we can to keep it growing. More money spent by more Americans means more businesses hiring more workers. And when Congress returns, I urge them to extend this tax cut for all of 2012, without drama or delay. It’s the right thing to do. It’s a no-brainer. Let’s get it done. Pass these tax cuts.

But we still need to do more. So today, we’re taking another important step – one that will bring us closer to an economy where everyone plays by the same rules. And to help us do that, I’m joined by someone you might recognize: Richard Cordray.

Today I’m appointing Richard as America’s consumer watchdog. That means he’ll be in charge of one thing: looking out for the best interests of American consumers. His job will be to protect families like yours from the abuses of the financial industry. His job will be to make sure you’ve got all the information you need to make important financial decisions. Right away, he’ll start working to make sure millions of Americans are treated fairly by mortgage brokers, payday lenders and debt collectors. In fact, just this week, his agency is opening up a simple, 1-800 number you can call to make sure you’re getting a fair deal on your mortgage, and hold banks and brokers accountable if you’re not.

I nominated Richard for this job last summer. And yet, for almost half a year, Republicans in the Senate have blocked his confirmation. They’ve refused to even give Richard and up-or-down vote. It’s not because he’s unqualified. There is no question that Richard is the right person for this job. He’s got support from Democrats and Republicans. A majority of Attorneys General from both parties across the country have called for Richard to be confirmed. Your local Members of Congress who are here today – they support him. He has the support of a majority in the Senate. Everyone agrees that he’s more than qualified.

The only reason Republicans in the Senate have blocked Richard is because they don’t agree with the law setting up the consumer watchdog. They want to weaken it. Well that makes no sense at all. Does anyone think the reason we got in such a financial mess was because of too much oversight? Of course not. We shouldn’t be weakening oversight and accountability. We should be strengthening it – especially when it comes to looking out for families like yours. Financial firms have armies of lobbyists in Washington looking out for their interests. It’s time someone fought for you, too.

This is a fight that Richard has been waging here in Ohio for the better part of two decades. As your Attorney General, he helped recover billions of dollars in things like pension funds on behalf of retirees, and protected consumers from dishonest lending practices. Before that, Richard was the State Treasurer, where he earned a reputation for working with folks from across the spectrum – Democrats, Republicans; bankers and consumer advocates.

Cleveland, you’ve seen the difference that Richard can make for consumers. I have too. And that’s why I want Richard to keep standing up for you – not just here in Ohio, but all across the country.

Every day that Richard waited to be confirmed was another day when millions of Americans are left unprotected. Without a Director in place, the consumer watchdog agency we’ve set up is left without the tools it needs to prevent dishonest mortgage brokers, payday lenders and debt collectors from taking advantage of consumers. That’s inexcusable. It’s wrong. And I refuse to take “no” for an answer.

I’ve said before that I will continue to look for every opportunity to work with Congress to move this country forward and create jobs. That means putting construction workers back on the job repairing our roads and bridges. That means keeping teachers in the classrooms and cops and firefighters on the streets. That means helping small businesses get ahead. These are ideas that have support from Democrats, Republicans and Independents. And I want to work with Congress to get them done.

But when Congress refuses to act and as a result hurts our economy and puts people at risk, I have an obligation as President to do what I can without them. I have an obligation to act on behalf of the American people. I will not stand by while a minority in the Senate puts party ideology ahead of the people they were elected to serve. Not when so much is at stake. Not at this make-or-break moment for the middle class.

For too long, we’ve had a financial system that stacked the deck against ordinary Americans. Banks on Wall Street played by different rules than businesses on Main Street – or a lot of community banks. Hidden fees and fine print led consumers to make financial decisions they didn’t always understand. And all that risky behavior led to an economic crisis that we’re still digging ourselves out of.

That’s why, last year, we put in place new rules of the road to make sure that a few bad apples in the financial sector can’t break the law, cheat consumers, and put our entire economy in danger. Many of these provisions are already starting to make a difference. And for the first time in history, we put in place a consumer watchdog – someone whose only job is to look out for the interests of everyday Americans.

Richard is the right man for this job. If you’re a student, his job will be to protect you from dishonest lending practices and make sure you have all the information you need on student loans. If you’re a veteran, he’ll help make sure you aren’t taken advantage of when you come home from serving our country. And if you’re a senior, he’ll help make sure you don’t lose your home or your retirement because someone saw you as an easy target.

Earlier today, I met Endia and William Eason. Endia is 91 years old, and she’s known for making some of the best pies in Cleveland. William is a former Marine who now lives in a nursing home nearby. Ten years ago, the Easons were approached by a broker who offered to help them take out loans and make some much-needed repairs to their house. The broker made everything sound easy, so the Easons agreed. But before they knew it, the broker had disappeared with their money – leaving the Easons almost $80,000 in debt and in danger of losing their home.

Endia and William Eason are good people. They worked hard, they saved their money, and they earned the right to retire with dignity. They shouldn’t have to worry about being tricked by someone trying to make a quick buck.

The Easons need someone who will stand up for them. Millions of Americans need someone who will look out for their interests. They need someone like Richard.

We know what would happen if Republicans in Congress were allowed to keep holding Richard’s nomination hostage. More of our loved ones could be tricked into making bad financial decisions. More dishonest lenders could take advantage of the most vulnerable among us. And the vast majority of financial firms who do the right thing could be undercut by those who don’t.

We can’t let that happen. Now is not the time to play politics while people’s livelihoods are at stake. Now is the time to do everything we can to protect consumers and prevent a financial crisis like the one we’ve been through from ever happening again. And that starts with letting Richard Cordray do his job.

Cleveland, I know you’re hearing a lot of promises from a lot of politicians lately. But today, you’re only going to hear one from me. As long as I have the privilege of serving as your president, I promise to do everything I can, every day, to make this country a place where hard work and responsibility mean something – where everyone can get ahead, not just those at the very top or those who know how to work the system. That’s what America has always been about. That’s what today is all about. And with the help of people like Richard, that’s the country I believe we can be once again.

Thank you, God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.


Continue Reading
Click to comment

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.

NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.


‘Going for the Jugular’: Legal Scholar Warns ‘Trumpers’ Want to End Major Civil Right



One of the nation’s top constitutional scholars has issued a strong warning that the GOP will be working to overturn one of the most consequential, landmark U.S. Supreme Court decisions in modern American history. Griswold v. Connecticut established the precedent for the right to privacy, laying the foundation for the right to contraception, abortion, same-sex intimate relationships, and same-sex marriage.

Two years ago next month, the right-wing justices on the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v.Wade, which for nearly 50 years had established the constitutional right to abortion. In his concurring opinion, embattled Justice Clarence Thomas issued a call for cases to be brought before the nation’s highest court, declaring that rulings that had also established the rights to contraception and same-sex marriage were, in his opinion, wrongly-decided. Justice Thomas declared the Court “should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell” — making clear he wanted the Court to overturn those rulings, and by doing so, strike down the constitutional rights to contraception, same-sex intimacy, and same-sex marriage.

“All three cases—and numerous other landmark decisions—are built upon the right to substantive due process found in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution, which prohibit the government from depriving ‘any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law,'” as TIME reported in 2022.

READ MORE: Republicans Grind House to a Standstill After Democrat Says ‘Trump Is Not a King’

Griswold, decided in 1965, established the right of married couples to use contraception. The Justices at the time cited various reasons for declaring a Connecticut law banning the use of contraception unconstitutional, including by establishing the right to privacy, which far-right justices on today’s Supreme Court have indicated they do not support.

Months before the Supreme Court’s 2022 ruling striking down abortion, U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), who is now running for re-election, was attacking Griswold – and Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson along with it.

“Constitutionally unsound rulings like Griswold vs. Connecticut, Kelo v. the City of New London, and NFIB vs. Sebelius confuse Tennesseans and left Congress wondering who gave the court permission to bypass our system of checks and balances,” Blackburn said in her 2022 video. “It is the 11th hour and Judge Jackson’s stance on the Constitution remains a secret.”

Now, as far-right groups and the presumptive nominee for the Republican Party’s nomination for president work to advance opposition to the right to contraception, Blackburn’s extremist video has turned up again – this time in a social media post Wednesday from the Biden re-election campaign.

READ MORE: ‘Not an Accident’: Trump’s ‘Unified Reich’ Video Alarms Historians and Fascism Experts

The Biden campaign on Wednesday also posted these videos from far-right activist and Christian nationalist Charlie Kirk, and from Donald Trump.

University Professor Emeritus at Harvard University, Laurence Tribe, a professor of law and top constitutional scholar who wrote a major textbook on the U.S. Constitution, responded to the Biden campaign’s post featuring Sen. Blackburn by blasting “Trumpers,” the MAGA Republicans.

“The Trumpers are now going for the jugular in attacking the great 1965 precedent on which nearly all federal rights of privacy and personal autonomy depend, Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479, upholding the right to use contraceptives when having sexual relations,” Professor Tribe warned.

Watch the videos above or at this link.

READ MORE: Trump Adviser Scanned and Saved Contents of Box That Had Classified Docs: Report

Continue Reading


Republicans Grind House to a Standstill After Democrat Says ‘Trump Is Not a King’



Republicans ground the House to a halt Wednesday afternoon after U.S. Rep. Erin Houchin (R-IN) objected to remarks made by Rules Committee Ranking Member Jim McGovern (D-MA), during which he delivered a short overview of the 88 criminal charges Donald Trump is facing, and civil court findings including one deeming him an adjudicated rapist.

“Take down his words,” Congresswoman Houchin declared, interrupting Rep. McGovern. “I demand that his words be taken down.”

For more than one hour, according to Fox News’ Chad Pergram, the people’s business stopped as Republicans, angered by the Democrat’s factual remarks, had them investigated by the House Parliamentarian.

“Donald Trump might want to be a king, but he is not a king,” Congressman McGovern observed. “He is not a presumptive king. he’s not even the president – he’s a presumptive nominee.”

READ MORE: ‘Deeply Dangerous’: Critics Slam Trump and Allies Over False Biden Assassination Plot

“At some point,” McGovern told his congressional colleagues, “it’s time for this body to recognize that there is no precedent for this situation. We have a presumptive nominee for President facing 88 felony counts, and we’re being prevented from even acknowledging it. These are not alternative facts. These are real facts. A candidate for President of the United States is on trial for sending a hush money payment to a porn star to avoid a sex scandal during his 2016 campaign, and then fraudulently disguising those payments in violation of the law. He’s also charged with conspiring to overturn the election. He’s also charged with stealing classified information and a jury has already found him liable for rape and a civil court. And yet, in this Republican controlled House, it’s okay to talk about the trial but you have to call it a sham.”

The decision to strike McGovern’s “offensive” remarks appears to have come from U.S. Rep. Jerry Carl (R-AL), who was presiding over the chamber. He cited House Rule XVII, which Pergram reported “says House members are prohibited from impugning the motives of fellow House members, senators or the President. And in this case, the former President.”

Earlier, before Rep. Houchin demanded his remarks be stricken, McGovern also blasted Republicans for traveling to New York in their “cult uniforms,” to show support for Donald Trump at his criminal trial in Lower Manhattan.

The Massachusetts Democrat told his colleagues, “my friends over the other side of the aisle have pandered to their most extreme members over and over and over again. They let the extremists kick out their own Speaker. They let the extremists dictate the agenda on the House floor. They let the extremists take down seven rule votes since January 2023 – a stunning indictment of their ability to get anything done. And speaking of indictments, Republicans are skipping their real jobs to take day trips up to New York to try to undermine Donald Trump’s criminal trial. No time to work with Democrats, but plenty of time to put on weird matching cult uniforms and stand behind President Trump with their bright red ties like pathetic props.”

READ MORE: Trump Adviser Scanned and Saved Contents of Box That Had Classified Docs: Report

“Maybe they want to distract from the fact that their candidate for president has been indicted more times and he’s been elected. Maybe they don’t want to talk about the fact that the leader of their party is on trial for covering up hush money payments to a porn star for political gain, not to mention three of the criminal felony prosecutions he’s facing. Now I understand why my Republican friends want to distract from Donald Trump. They don’t want to talk about how Trump had the worst jobs record since the Great Depression, how we sold out our allies and empowered our adversaries. So they bring silly things like this to the floor to deflect blame and distract from the fact that they have no real vision, just division, and no real plans to make life better for the American people.”

But removing McGovern’s remarks procedurally required the Clerk to read them aloud:

Later, Rep. McGovern on social media remarked, “The point I was making is that saying Trump’s trial is a sham is *in order* on the floor. But simply saying there *is* a trial is against the rules. You can only talk about the trial on the House Floor if you’re using it to defend Donald Trump.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Incomprehensible’: More Classified Docs Were Found at Mar-a-Lago, Unsealed Court Filing Reveals

Continue Reading


‘Not Going to Comment’: Johnson Dodges Trump-Stormy Daniels Allegations



Speaker of the House Mike Johnson is refusing to comment on the allegations at the center of Donald Trump’s New York criminal trial, that he paid “hush money” to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

“You’ve been very clear about your disdain for the hush money case, but what about the underlying alleged conduct of paying off a porn star to keep this extramarital affair allegedly quiet?” CNN’s Manu Raju asked Speaker Johnson Wednesday (video below). “You’re a deeply religious man, a moral man, does that alleged crime cause you any concern about the former president’s character?”

Johnson, a Christian nationalist who has said the Bible is the basis for his “worldview,” and, “I am a Bible-believing Christian,” would not weigh in on the indicted ex-president’s alleged infidelity.

“At least 26 women have accused Trump of sexual misconduct, with allegations stretching back to the 1970s and running through 2016,” Business Insider has reported.

READ MORE: ‘Deeply Dangerous’: Critics Slam Trump and Allies Over False Biden Assassination Plot

“Melania gave birth to the couple’s only son, Barron, in March 2006,” BI continues. “Adult film star Stormy Daniels alleged that she and Trump had a sexual encounter just four months later, in July 2006,” and “Playboy model Karen McDougal alleged that she started an affair with Trump even closer to the birth of Barron in June 2006.”

Trump has denied all the allegations.

Johnson ignored the 34 felony charges brought by the State of New York. They include falsification of business records with the intent to cover up the hush money payments to unlawfully influence the 2016 presidential election.

Instead, the Speaker claimed District Attorney Alvin Bragg is “going after” Trump “for who he is.”

But Johnson also promoted a Trump talking point, falsely claiming that “the case is patently absurd, you’ve had every legal analyst across the board acknowledge as much.”

Watch below or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Not an Accident’: Trump’s ‘Unified Reich’ Video Alarms Historians and Fascism Experts

Continue Reading


Copyright © 2020 AlterNet Media.