Yesterday (4/22/2013), Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Tex), Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, took the battle over Richard Cordray’s recess appointment as Director of CFPB to the next level by barring Cordray from delivering the CFPB’s Semi-Annual Report to his committee. In a letter sent to Cordray, Hensarling said that Cordray was not permitted to deliver the Report because, “you do not meet the statutory requirements of a validly serving director of the CFPB, and cannot be recognized as such.” Dodd-Frank requires the CFPB to deliver a Semi-Annual Report, which was presented to Congress on March 29, 2013, and provides that the “Director of the Bureau shall appear before the . . . Committee on Financial Services . . . of the House of Representatives at semi-annual hearings regarding the [Report].” Hensarling explained that, based upon the decision in Canning v. NLRB, No. 12-1115 (D.C. Cir. Jan 25, 2013), Cordray’s appointment was unconstitutional.”
As readers of the CFS-Lawblog recall, the D.C. Circuit Court’s decision in Canning found President Obama’s “recess appointments”—which occurred on the same day as Cordray’s appointment—unconstitutional. The CFPB responded to Rep. Hensarling's letter, as it has since the Canning decision was released, that the “CFPB is not a party to the Noel Canning case, and that ruling has no direct effect on the bureau. The bureau continues its essential work of protecting American consumers.” While blocked from presenting to the House Financial Services Committee, Director Cordray is scheduled to deliver the Semi-Annual Report to the Senate Banking Committee today.