US President Barack Obama Saturday pressed Republicans in Congress to end their block on his nominee for a new consumer watchdog agency, warning he would "refuse to take a 'no' for an answer."
"Every day America has to wait for a new consumer protection watchdog is another day that dishonest businesses can target and take advantage of students, seniors, and service members," Obama said in his weekly Internet and radio address.
Obama earlier this week scolded Republican critics for blocking the nominee Richard Cordray to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), angrily urging his political opponents to "come to their senses" and confirm the former Ohio state official.
"I refuse to take 'no' for an answer," Obama said Saturday.
"Financial institutions have plenty of high-powered lawyers and lobbyists looking out for them. It's time consumers had someone on their side," he added.
The embattled US president, whose handling of the economy will decide whether voters give him a second term in November 2012 elections, has refused to rule out using his power to appoint Cordray when lawmakers break for year-end holidays.
Republicans overwhelmingly opposed the law that created the consumer watchdog agency but say they will oppose the confirmation of Cordray -- or anyone else -- until Democrats agree to modify the bureau in ways they say would improve its accountability.
Obama also used his weekly address to again press Republicans in Congress to extend the payroll tax cut for working Americans, warning that "nearly 160 million Americans will see their taxes go up at the end of this month" if it is not approved.
"No one should go home for the holidays until we get this done. So tell your Members of Congress, don't be a Grinch."