12/08/2011 08:18 am ET | Updated Feb 07, 2012

Don't Filibuster Cordray

It has to stop.

For too long, Americans have fallen victim to financial abuses at the hands of predatory lenders that operate in the shadows.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was created to protect consumers. But Republicans are planning to filibuster the confirmation of Richard Cordray as the director of the CFPB, effectively neutralizing the bureau's power to protect consumers.

North Carolina is home to some of the largest financial institutions in the country, and a vibrant network of community banks. We're a banking state, and we're proud of that distinction. But we also understand that responsible financial regulation protects consumers and businesses.

That's why I supported creating the CFPB, and that's why I believe we must have a director in place to ensure the CFPB can be as effective as possible.

Good work is already being done at CFPB. Holly Petraeus, who heads the Bureau's Office of Service Member Affairs, is doing tremendous work to empower our military families with financial knowledge. This spring, Mrs. Petraeus and I heard from families at Fort Bragg about the challenges they face as consumers, and the financial abuses they've suffered because of predatory lenders.

Our military families deserve better.

As a State Senator, I remember witnessing the effects payday lenders had on thousands of North Carolina families -- trapping them in endless, long-term debt that forced many of them to declare bankruptcy. It took considerable effort to put a stop to this practice in our state.

We need a strong CFPB Director to ensure Mrs. Petraeus' work translates into meaningful financial protections for our service members. And we need a strong CFPB Director to rein in the predatory lenders who continue to prey on American families across the country.

Richard Cordray would be a strong director for the CFPB. He has a long history of fighting to protect consumers in Ohio, and he'd be in position to do the same for the American people as the head of the CFPB.

And yet 44 Republicans have signed a letter saying that they would oppose any nominee for director of the CFPB without reforms that would substantially weaken the effectiveness and independence of the bureau.

That's why I need your help. Richard Corday's confirmation vote is expected today. We have to convince my Republican colleagues to put aside partisanship and stand up for consumers.

Sign my emergency petition now: Tell Republican Senators to give Richard Cordray an up or down vote.