In the sharpest criticism he’s received since returning to work, a Chicago civic and research group is ripping U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., over his opposition to President Barack Obama’s pick to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

“There’s no two ways around it: A vote against (Richard) Cordray’s confirmation is a vote for fewer protections for Illinois consumers,” the Woodstock Institute said in a statement after Mr. Cordray’s appointment was approved by a partisan 12-10 vote by a Senate committee, with Mr. Kirk joining all Republicans in voting no.

“Delaying Cordray’s confirmation because of political brinksmanship harms consumers (and) continues destructive uncertainty in the financial system,” Woodstock President Dory Rand said in the statement. “(It) allows predatory financial practices to flourish.”

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