Obama rebuffed Republican abuse. He called a legislative session that opens for three minutes every 72 hours while 99 Senators are vacationing what it is: recessed. And he made the appointments the country has needed for a long time.
5.1 percent of loans made to whites from 2004 to 2008 ended in foreclosure. For African Americans, the rate of foreclosure is 9.8 percent. For Latinos, it is 11.9 percent, more than double the white rate.
Despite not having a confirmed director, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has already demonstrated how effective it can be. Only in the most polarized political environment could its goals be considered controversial.
As expected, last week Senate Republicans blocked President Obama's nomination of Rich Cordray to lead the new CFPB. They continue to hold the agency hostage, taking the unprecedented step of blocking its leadership unless the agency is first weakened.
"We all do better when we all do better." Republicans don't ascribe to that. They want to set up a country where every person is responsible for every aspect of daily life, from ensuring drinking water is safe to reducing workplace hazards.
They are abusing their positions and throwing sand in the gears of the Senate to make it harder for ordinary Americans to get our day in court and to defend ourselves against the powerful. It's a deeply cynical strategy, and ultimately a deeply harmful one.
If any bank represents the need to have a regulator in place that protects people on consumer financial issues, it's Bank of America. America's bank has become a symbol for all that is wrong with the financial sector.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau 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.
The American people have gone too long without someone in the federal government looking out for them instead of the big banks. And House Republicans do not actually have the power to block a recess appointment indefinitely.