"Republicans in the Senate refused to give him a simple up-or-down vote, not because they didn't think he was the right person for the job, but because they didn't like the law that set up the consumer watchdog in the first place," Obama says in the address, noting he put Richard Cordray in charge a year ago in a move that incensed Republicans.
But the Senate reached a bipartisan accord this week and Obama said he's "pleased to say that (Cordray) was finally confirmed this week by a bipartisan vote." He said the bureau -- which was created in the wake of the financial crisis to protect consumers from "shady mortgage lenders, unscrupulous credit reporting agencies, or predatory lenders," has already addressed 175,000 complaints from every state.
"Thanks to the hard work of folks at the CFPB, so far six million Americans have gotten more than $400 million in refunds from companies that engaged in unscrupulous practices," Obama said. "That’s money we didn’t have the power to recover before."