Business group and consumer bureau in cease-fire

@CNNMoney January 12, 2012: 6:59 PM ET

WASHINGTON (CNNMoney) -- A big business group opposed to the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said Thursday it won't file suit challenging the bureau's powers -- for now.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has been in the spotlight since President Obama sidestepped Congress and made a recess appointment of its new director Richard Cordray last week.

Republicans have questioned the legitimacy of Cordray's appointment, which made it possible for the agency to start exercising new regulatory powers over financial products like payday loans that aren't issued by banks.

Last week, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce went so far as to say it wouldn't rule out a lawsuit against the agency.

But on Thursday Chamber president Thomas Donohue clarified that the group has decided to not sue right now. In a wide-ranging address on the state of American businesses, he said that the Chamber will wait and see what the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau does with its new powers instead.

The remark is notable, given that the Chamber isn't shy about suing the federal government.

"We make decisions on lawsuits in a big damn hurry. We're often right there on the day it happens," Donohue said. "On this one, we're working our way through it."

During a briefing with the media on Thursday, Cordray said he had been reaching out to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He touted his 20-year membership with his local Grove City, Ohio chamber of commerce. He said he had also represented his local chamber in his work as an attorney.

"I spoke to Tom (Donohue) yesterday, we're in frequent communication," Cordray said. "What I want to say to business is they should embrace the bureau. We're going to support the honest and responsible businesses in the financial marketplace who were badly hurt by the irresponsible businesses."

Still, Donohue made it clear that the chamber will continue to push for "accountability and transparency" at the bureau. That includes pushing legislation that would replace the leadership of the bureau with a commission instead of a director.

The Chamber also wants to make the bureau subject to the Congressional budget process, instead of funding it with fees that the Federal Reserve collects from banks. To top of page

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