So there’s this new dust up as the President plans to recess appoint the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Richard Cordray. It’s controversial, because the Senate is in “pro forma” session, so there’ll be lots of hooting that there was no recess within which to appoint the dude. Read about it here and here.
I’m with the Pres, who said today that when Congressional inaction “…hurts our economy and puts people at risk, I have an obligation as president to do what I can without them.”
But here’s the thing: why do we keep having these fights about legislation that is now on the books? The time to argue about whether we need an agency to protect consumers from damaging and deceptive financial products and practices was before the bill became law. And we had that fight. I promise you…I was there!
Same with the Affordable Care Act. Those who don’t like it are welcome to campaign for its repeal, but it is the law of the land and must be implemented accordingly, unless, of course, it is found to violate the Constitution. But too often, you hear members of Congress suggest that in blocking the ACA or financial reform they’re representing the will of the people.
Part of the problem is of course today’s hyper-partisanship but in this case, I think that interacts with the structure of these bills.
Neither of these reforms came anywhere near fully assembled. They’re Ikea policies, with many intricate parts to be put together after the sale. That lack of specificity helps them get across the legislative finish line, for sure, but it also provides their opponents lots of time to hide the screws, bolts, and Allen wrenches when the rest of us are trying to put the thing together.