Why Elizabeth Warren Has No Shot Running Consumer Financial Protection Agency
By Yashwanth Manjunath
Under no circumstance will this Congress ever confirm Elizabeth Warren for the head of the newly-created Consumer Financial Protection Agency. Those are strong words, but I challenge anyone to provide evidence to the contrary. The Democrats in Congress, Chris Dodd in particular, have already started doing what they do best when confronted with a policy idea they do not want, but their base does: blame the Republicans. While Dodd agrees with progressives that Warren is “qualified,” he questions whether or not she is “confirmable“; whether or not Republicans will vote for her. Normally blaming the Republicans is a fair and accurate point, but in this case, Dodd is clearly being disingenuous for two reasons.
The Democrats in Congress and President Obama do not really even need the Republicans to appoint Elizabeth Warren to head the CFPA. Obama can simply circumvent Congress completely and bring Warren on as a recess appointment. Dodd, of course, is against this strategy because he feels that recess appointments should only be used in the “most extreme circumstances where you need someone because of an emergency pending.” Apparently, Dodd feels that fixing the problems that lead to the greatest financial meltdown since the Great Depression, before they lead to another financial meltdown potentially worse than the Great Depression, does not qualify as an “emergency pending.”
Another problem with Dodd’s attempt to blame the Republicans is that several Republican Senators, including Bob Corker, Olympia Snowe, John Thune, and Chuck Grassley, are already on the record for praising Warren for her intelligence and her protection of taxpayers. This does not mean that they won’t filibuster her if she were to come up for confirmation, because they have proven time and again they are willing to filibuster anything. But even if they were stupid and brazen enough to filibuster Elizabeth Warren, so what? With elections nearly upon us, the big banks are about as unpopular as John Edwards, Dick Cheney, and BP, and for the Republicans to filibuster Elizabeth Warren is political suicide. If the Democrats really want Elizabeth Warren to lead the CFPA, there are numerous ways they could accomplish it. The problem is, they do not want her, they never wanted her, and they never will want her. This issue has nothing to do with “liberals” and “conservatives”; it has to do with power, and who really has it in Washington. Elizabeth Warren has no shot of being confirmed by this Congress because, as Dick Durbin once admitted, “the banks own the place”.Click here for reuse options!
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