U.S. President Barack Obama has praised the Senate confirmation of Rich Cordray as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the independent consumer watchdog put into place to guard against irresponsible behavior in the financial industry.
In his weekly address Saturday, Obama noted that the Senate finally confirmed Cordray this week with a bipartisan vote, after the president put him in charge of the organization two years ago. He said two years ago, Republicans in the Senate refused to give Cordray "a simple up-or-down vote" because they did not like the law that set up the bureau in the first place.
Obama said since the bureau has been in operation, mortgage lenders, student lenders, payday lenders, and credit reporting and debt collection agencies all face greater scrutiny. He said due to the bureau's work, six million Americans have gotten more than $400 million in refunds from companies that engaged in unscrupulous practices. He said the government has now locked in new safeguards to prevent another financial crisis and end company bailouts for good.
Watch President Obama's weekly address:
In the Republicans' weekly address, two members of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives - Todd Young and Tim Griffin - are calling on the Democratic-controlled Senate to vote on House-approved bills that would delay requirements put into place by Obama's health care reforms.