FROM Ed Mierzwinski
Political Gridlock and the Fight over the Consumer Watchdog Agency Political gridlock is pushing Washington closer to financial catastrophe if the two parties can't agree to raise the debt ceiling by August 2. Now there's potential gridlock over implementing last year's finance reform , passed by the Democrats when they controlled both houses. This year, Republicans are hell-bent to change it. Harvard Professor Elizabeth Warren is out as head of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau , so President Obama has nominated Ohio's Attorney to run the new agency. But Richard Cordray has to be confirmed by the Senate, and the GOP says he, too, is " dead on arrival ." They're demanding that a board, instead of a single director, run the new agency and that funding come from Congress rather than the Federal Reserve.
Political Gridlock and the Fight over the Consumer Watchdog Agency The debt ceiling and deficit aren't the only issues subject to partisan gridlock in Congress. Last year, with majorities in both houses of Congress, Democrats passed finance reform . This year, Republicans are hell-bent to change it. One controversial element is the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau , which was given more power than Republicans wanted. President Obama has nominated Ohio's former Attorney General to run it. But the consumer advocate has to be confirmed by the Senate, and Republican Jerry Moran of Kansas, says Richard Cordray is " dead on arriva l." It's another example of political polarization in Washington: major bills might pass on party-line votes, but then lack the support required for implementation. Is divided government creating an atmosphere of perpetual gridlock? Is that making Washington unable to govern at all?