March 12, 2013


Johnson Statement on Confirmation Hearing for Richard Cordray and Mary Jo White
WASHINGTON – Today, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-SD) held a hearing on the nominations of Richard Cordray, to be Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and Mary Jo White, to be a member of the Securities and Exchange Commission. A vote on the nominees will be scheduled for a later date.
Below is Chairman Johnson’s statement as prepared for delivery:
“I call this hearing to order. 
“Today we consider the President’s nominees to head the CFPB and the SEC.  In response to the financial crisis, the Wall Street Reform Act charged these two agencies with leading roles in restoring consumer and investor confidence in our financial system.
“Richard Cordray has been nominated to lead the CFPB, and has served as Director since January 2012.  Prior to that, Director Cordray was Chief of Enforcement at the CFPB.  He has a long history of public service, including serving as Ohio’s Attorney General, State Treasurer, State Representative and Solicitor General.  We will hear more about Director Cordray when Senator Brown introduces him. 
“Since his first confirmation hearing in September 2011, Director Cordray has appeared before this Committee more than any other financial regulator.  During that time, he has proved to be a strong leader of the CFPB.  He has completed many of the rules required by Wall Street Reform, including a well-received final QM rule.  He listens, and has crafted strong rules that take into account all sides of an issue.  He has laid the groundwork for nonbank regulation.  He has brought to light the financial challenges faced by students, elderly Americans, servicemembers and their families.  He has taken important enforcement actions against banks that took advantage of customers.  So I ask my colleagues, what more can Richard Cordray do to deserve an up-or-down vote?  I hope we can finally put aside politics and move forward with Richard Cordray’s confirmation.
“Mary Jo White has been nominated to be a Member of the SEC, and will be formally introduced by Senator Schumer.  As members of this Committee have begun to get to know her the past few weeks, it is clear Ms. White has an impressive resume.  As the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, she was tough and respected.  As a lawyer at Debevoise, she has an understanding of the complex issues facing the financial system.
“This is a critical time in the SEC’s history, as it works on a range of rules and policy issues.  These include the Volcker Rule, derivatives, credit rating agencies, hedge funds, standards for broker-dealers and investment advisers, corporate disclosures, market structure, the JOBS Act and money market funds, to name just a few.  Wall Street Reform increased the SEC's duties to better protect investors and oversee the market, but Congress has not increased the Commission’s budget enough to keep up.  I look forward to learning more from Ms. White on how she will approach these challenging issues.
“As we mark the five-year anniversary of Bear Stearns’ failure this month, we are reminded why we need strong cops on the beat enforcing our investor and consumer protection laws.  I am pleased that the President has nominated Mary Jo White to lead the SEC and Richard Cordray to continue leading the CFPB.  Both are well-qualified, thoughtful leaders who bring law enforcement experience to the job.  As such, I hope we can move these nominees through the Committee in a timely manner.
“I now turn to Ranking Member Crapo for his opening statement.”