WASHINGTON, Jan. 26 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama said Saturday his nominees to head two powerful federal agencies will serve as "cops on the beat to enforce the law."
In his weekly radio and Internet address, the president said Mary Jo White, his choice to head the Securities and Exchange Commission, "has decades of experience cracking down on white-collar criminals and bringing mobsters and terrorists to justice."
"At the SEC, she will help complete the task of reforming Wall Street and keep going after irresponsible behavior in the financial industry so that taxpayers don't pay the price," he said.
Obama said Richard Cordray -- who has been served as interim head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- is "a champion for American consumers."
"After the Senate refused to allow Richard an up-or-down vote when I nominated him in 2011, I took action to appoint him on my own," the president said. "And since then, he's helped protect Americans from predatory lenders, launched a 'Know Before You Owe' campaign to help families make smart decisions about paying for college, and cracked down on credit card companies that charge hidden fees.
"But Richard's appointment runs out at the end of the year, and in order for him to stay on the job, the Senate needs to finally give him the vote he deserves."
Obama said consumer protection and other financial reforms instituted during his first term will protect the U.S. financial system "from the kind of abuse that nearly brought our economy to its knees."
"But it's not enough to change the law -- we also need cops on the beat to enforce the law," he said.