Monday December 05, 2011 | 07:39 AM

Neither Maine Republican senator has yet given any indication of budging on their opposition to the nomination of Richard Cordray to be director of the newly created federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, but the White House says it is targeting them and GOP senators in six other states in a push this week for the Senate to confirm the former Ohio Attorney General to the post.

The White House issued a report Sunday saying that the bureau, created as part of the 2010 financial regulatory reform law, cannot properly do its jobs protecting and educating Americans who deal with financial products such as credit cards and mortgages unless the bureau's director is confirmed. Currently, Cordray is the bureau's enforcement head, but most Senate Republicans have said they won't confirm any director until changes in how the bureau operates are made. Republicans say the bureau isn't accountable enough to lawmakers in how it operates and they want lawmakers to have more power over its budget.

Collins said last month that she still found it “absolutely unacceptable that Congress has no ability to control the budget of the bureau.”

Collins and Snowe joined 42 other Republican senators in signing a letter earlier this year saying they would block any nominee until the White House agrees to changes in the bureau's structure.

Snowe too indicated last month she hadn't changed her mind.

GOP Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts last month announced he would vote for the Cordray nomination. The White House says they expect a Senate vote on Thursday, but it isn't at all clear that enough Republicans will change their minds to give Democrats the 60-vote margin needed to clear a procedural hurdle and hold a final vote on Cordray's nomination.

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Kevin Miller is Washington bureau chief for the Portland Press Herald and MaineToday Media. He has worked as a journalist in Maine for 6 ½ years, covering the environment, politics and the State House. Before arriving in Maine, he wrote about politics, government and education for newspapers in Virginia and Maryland.
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