Maxine Waters Catches Jeb Hensarling Contradicting Himself Over Embattled Wall Street Regulator

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Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), the top Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, has a straightforward rebuttal to Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), who denies that CFPB director Rich Cordray was recess appointed legitimately — and is thus claiming he can’t testify before Congress.

In a letter to Hensarling, Waters points out that no court has invalidated Cordray’s appointment, and that Hensarling himself has acknowledged as much in prior correspondence with the consumer agency.

“As you conceded in correspondence with the CFPB, no court has addressed the legitimacy of the President’s appointment of Director Cordray,” Waters writes.

Not only is the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in the Noel Canning v. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) case limited to the NLRB, but the case is actively being litigated. The notion that some legal scholars dispute the constitutionality of Director Cordray’s appointment does not in fact make it “clear,” as your letter claims, that the constitutionality of Director Cordray’s appointment is currently invalid or will inevitably be overturned. To the contrary, the DC Circuit’s decision contradicts 150 years of precedent. It also contradicts more than 280 recess appointments made by both Republicans and Democrats since 1987. Therefore it is inappropriate and unwarranted to prematurely and unilaterally conclude that the Noel Canning case warrants blocking director Cordray from fulfilling his statutory obligation to testify before Congress.

You can read the full letter below.

Maxine Waters Letter to Chairman Hensarling Re Cordray Testimony 04-23-2013

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at brian@talkingpointsmemo.com
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