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Obama Urges Congressional Approval of Consumer Guardian Nominee

U.S. President Barack Obama is pressing Republicans in Congress to approve his nominee Richard Cordray to head the first ever consumer guardian agency.

During his weekly address Saturday, Obama urged lawmakers to give Americans the protection they need from being taken advantage of by mortgage lenders, payday lenders and debt collectors. The president says many people on Wall Street have made a lot money taking advantage of consumers.

He is appealing to legislators to give Americans an advocate he says will protect them from unscrupulous practices.

President Obama also urged Congress to extend the payroll tax cut, which is set to expire at the end of the month.

In the Republican address, House Speaker John Boehner promoted his party's economic plan up for a vote next week, saying the payroll tax extension will be tied to a provision that restarts work on a Canada to Texas pipeline project.

President Obama wants to delay a decision on the Keystone XL Pipeline until after the 2012 elections.

Boehner mocked the president, saying "this is not time for the same old my way or the highway theatrics."

President Obama said lawmakers should not go home for the holidays until they extend the payroll tax that saves a typical family $1,000.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.