TPM News

President Obama is in Ohio today speaking on behalf of his expected recess appointment of Richard Cordray to the CFPB:

For almost half a year, Republicans in the Senate have blocked his confirmation. They’ve refused to even give Richard and up-or-down vote. It’s not because he’s unqualified. There is no question that Richard is the right person for this job. He’s got support from Democrats and Republicans.

President Obama, speaking in Cleveland, Ohio, opened his speech by saying “2012 is going to be a good year.”

Rick Santorum, who finished barely behind Mitt Romney in Tuesday’s Iowa caucuses, will appear on Fox News' ‘The O'Reilly Factor’ Wednesday evening, according to a promotional segment on the cable news network. The program airs at 8 p.m. ET.

The House Oversight Committee will hear testimony from Attorney General Eric Holder about the botched ATF operation ‘Fast and Furious’ on Feb. 2, Chairman Darrell Issa announced Wednesday.

“The Department of Justice’s conduct in the investigation of Operation Fast and Furious has been nothing short of shameful,” Issa said in a statement. “From its initial denials that nothing improper occurred, to efforts to silence whistleblowers who wanted to tell Congress what really happened, to its continuing refusal to discuss or share documents related to this cover-up, the Justice Department has fought tooth and nail to hide the full truth about what occurred and what senior officials knew. Attorney General Holder must explain or reverse course on decisions that appear to put the careers of political appointees ahead of the need for accountability and the Department’s integrity.”

After the EU reached a preliminary agreement to ban imports of Iranian oil, Iran says it has already considered alternative routes, Reuters reports.

The oil could instead move to China, other Asian nations and Africa, the International Director of the National Iranian Oil Co. S. M. Qamsari told Reuters.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement on President Obama’s decision to recess appoint Richard Cordray as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau:

“Today, President Obama acted to protect consumers against some of the worst abuses in the financial marketplace by appointing Richard Cordray the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Senate Republican obstructionism has until now prevented the bureau from fulfilling its mandate from Congress to oversee some of the worse anti-consumer practices of non-bank financial services providers, like payday lenders, debt collectors, and check-cashing outlets.

“Richard Cordray has spent his career fighting for consumers, for Main Street, and for America’s middle class. With his appointment, Richard Cordray will bring transparency and accountability to an area of consumer finance long overdue for stronger oversight, and I commend this strong action by President Obama.”

European Union diplomats have agreed in principle to ban imports of Iranian oil, Reuters reports. It’s a move in a series of steps intended to deal a blow to Iran over its nuclear program.

Newt Gingrich is hitting back after Ron Paul called him a “chicken-hawk.”

“What (Paul) just said has about the same amount of accuracy as the newsletters he denies he wrote.”

Via BuzzFeed.