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January 12, 2012

McHenry Plans to Embarrass Himself Again With CFPB Hearing

Posted in: Uncategorized

The last time Patrick McHenry, the Billy Zabka of the House Republican caucus, held a hearing with a member of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, it didn’t turn out too well. He called Elizabeth Warren a liar and generally tried to bully her, and received quite a backlash in the process.

So we’ll get a chance to see that play out again. McHenry has scheduled a new hearing on January 24 with Richard Cordray, the new director of the CFPB.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray has accepted an invitation to testify before a U.S. House oversight panel later this month, where he is likely to face tough questions about the president’s decision last week to bypass the Senate and install him as director.

Rep. Patrick McHenry (R., N.C.), along with other congressional Republicans, were infuriated by the president’s Jan. 4 move. Mr. McHenry said the “unprecedented appointment of Mr. Cordray runs counter to the constitutional requirements for a recess appointment and Obama’s own campaign pledge to run ‘the most transparent administration in history.’”

Mr. McHenry, who heads a financial services subcommittee of the House Oversight Committee, wrote to Mr. Cordray, calling on him to testify on Jan. 24.

McHenry will surely approach this hearing with the same professional attitude that characterized the Warren grilling. So Cordray should prepare by watching ritual asceticism videos.

When not going up to Capitol Hill to get yelled at, Cordray will be in Birmingham, Alabama, at the Civil Rights Institute, presiding over a field hearing on payday lenders, which have a large frequency in the state. It will be the first field hearing for the young agency, and that will happen next Thursday.

Presumably the January 24 hearing will coincide with the House Republican huffing and puffing over the recess appointment, over the contention that Congress isn’t technically in recess. And those Republicans will get right on that, just as soon as they finish their vacations and spend some quality time with their couches.

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