Richard Cordray
Cordray is close to being confirmed as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. CFPB

The U.S. Senate voted 66-34 on Tuesday afternoon to confirm Richard Cordray as the next director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

President Barack Obama first nominated Cordray, a former attorney general of Ohio, to the post in July 2011, but Republicans stalled his confirmation for almost two years because of their opposition to the agency’s very creation and it being run by a single director. The CFPB launched in 2011 as part of the Dodd-Frank financial reforms.

Through a recess appointment, Cordray was allowed to serve as director since January 2012. The vote for official confirmation finally was allowed to proceed Tuesday when the Senate struck a deal to allow up-or-down votes on certain controversial nominees whose confirmation had long been stalled.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., had threatened to change the rules on filibuster before a 71-29 vote ended debate on Cordray's confirmation earlier in the day.