Warren as Interim Consumer Board Chief?

  • Share
  • Read Later

Both Bloomberg News and the Wall Street Journal are reporting that the White House is considering making Elizabeth Warren the interim head of the newly formed Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection at the Federal Reserve as early as this week. Though details were scarce — would this be a recess appointment (though the Senate just came back in today for several weeks minimum)? A formal nomination? Some interim half-way measure? — such a move would save the Administration and vulnerable Dems a bruising confirmation battle in the Senate, one in which victory is not guaranteed. As the head of the TARP oversight panel, Warren has ruffled more than a few GOP feathers with her highly critical testimony on the Bush Administration’s handling of the fiscal crisis — from the “Frankenstein” bail out of AIG and her accusation that former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson misled her panel to her suggestion that the government fire top executives and liquidate problem banks. At the same time, Warren’s appointment, even an interim one, would appease (and, Dems hope, rally) the base with whom Warren is popular. Speculation has been rampant for weeks about Warren and the post, especially after it came out that she would not, as previously expecetd, be returning to teaching at Harvard Law School this semester. Still, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd last month warned that Warren might be too hard to confirm and that it would be a “huge mistake” to circumvent the Senate with something like a recess appointment.