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Obama bypasses Congress to OK consumer watchdog

New agency centerpiece of financial-overhaul legislation

President Barack Obama will use a recess appointment to install Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, a new federal watchdog agency that’s the centerpiece of Obama’s financial overhaul legislation, according to a senior administration official.

A former Ohio attorney general who worked with Elizabeth Warren to design the bureau, Cordray will take office immediately, according to White House aides and Democratic congressional staffers.

The move trumps the GOP’s strategy of keeping the Senate, currently shut down for its holiday recess, technically in session so Obama can’t use his power to fill vacancies.

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