THE NEWS: Senate Republicans blocked President Barack Obama's choice to head the consumer protection agency created after the 2008 financial meltdown.
WHY IT MATTERS: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau cannot carry out its full functions until a director is in place. It can enforce existing bank regulations, but it can't issue new rules affecting non-bank entities such as payday lenders and credit card companies.
BEHIND THE SCENES: Republicans say the agency would have too much power and want to replace the director with a bipartisan board of directors. They also want to give more regulatory agencies power to overrule CFPB decisions.