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Public Statements

Letter to Barack Obama, President of the United States - Elizabeth Warren to Consumer Finance Protection Bureau

Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Barney Frank (D-MA), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Jackie Speier (D-CA) and 53 other House members today sent a letter to President Barack Obama, calling on him to name Elizabeth Warren to head the new Consumer Finance Protection Bureau created by the Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill signed yesterday.

"Ms. Warren is simply the perfect choice for the job," Maloney and others wrote. "A consumer financial protection body was Ms. Warren's idea, first expressed in a journal article in 2007, and we can think of no better person to be its first Director. As a professor at Harvard Law School since 1982, she has risen to national prominence in the area of economics of the middle class."

At a news conference today, Maloney responded to those who suggested Warren might not be confirmable by the Senate. "They said that financial regulations couldn't get through the Senate, either. But they did, and here we are today with a new set of tools to help prevent the kind of events we've gone through the past two years," she said. "Now that the President has signed those regulations into law yesterday, Americans have a body whose sole mission is to protect them from the kind of deceptive financial products we already regulate in other areas."

July 22, 2010

President Barack Obama
The White House
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

We write to ask that you nominate Professor Elizabeth Warren as Director of the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

A consumer financial protection body was Ms. Warren's idea, first expressed in a journal article in 2007, and we can think of no better person to be its first Director. As a professor at Harvard Law School since 1982, she has risen to national prominence in the area of economics of the middle class. Even before the financial crisis, Professor Warren was warning of risky financial products and of lenders who "deliberately built tricks and traps into some credit products so they can ensnare families in a cycle of high-cost debt." As Chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel she has been an essential voice of reason in the wake of the financial crisis--and an ardent supporter of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

In her original conception, Ms. Warren modeled the Consumer Finance Protection body after the Consumer Product Safety Commission, describing the main functions of the agency "to establish guidelines for consumer disclosure, collect and report data about the uses of different financial products, review new financial products for safety, and require modification of dangerous products before they can be marketed to the public." She foresaw the new Bureau as being able to evaluate these products to eliminate the gimmicks that made some far more dangerous than others.

At a time when the nation is still coping with the aftermath of a decade of a hands-off regulatory approach that brought the nation the worst financial crisis in three generations, with mortgage foreclosures still occurring at a rate of one million a year, with nearly one in five Americans either unemployed, under-employed, or who have given up looking for work altogether (while still trying to cope with a mountain of consumer debt), we need a CFPB Director who truly understands the burden that American families are coping with today, and the mission of this new body.

Ms. Warren is simply the perfect choice for that post. We hope you will act quickly to appoint her as its Director.

Sincerely,
Rep. Carolyn Maloney
Rep. Luis Gutierrez
Rep. Lloyd Doggett
Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy
Rep. Keith Ellison
Rep. Gary Peters
Rep. Jackie Speier
Rep. Brad Sherman
Rep. DeLauro
Rep. Raul Grijalva
Rep. Nita Lowey
Rep. Barney Frank
Rep. Al Green
Rep. Lois Capps
Rep. John Olver
Rep. Maxine Waters
Rep. Brad Miller
Rep. Jim McDermott
Rep. Earl Blumenauer
Rep. Jan Schakowsky
Rep. Mazie Hirono
Rep. Maurice Hinchey
Rep. George Miller
Rep. Jerry Nadler
Rep. Niki Tsongas
Rep. John Sarbanes
Rep. Joe Sestak
Rep. Martha Fudge
Rep. Marcy Kaptur
Rep. Elijah Cummings
Rep. Peter DeFazio
Rep. Pete Stark
Rep. Zoe Lofgren
Rep. Tim Walz
Rep. Kucinich
Rep. Rush Holt
Rep. Steve Driehaus
Rep. Lynn Woolsey
Rep. Michael Capuano
Rep. Steve Lynch
Rep. Diane Watson
Rep. Alan Grayson
Rep. Laura Richardson
Rep. Solomon Ortiz
Rep. Chellie Pingree
Rep. David Wu
Rep. Jesse Jackson
Rep. Louise Slaughter
Rep. Yvette Clarke
Rep. James Moran
Rep. Michael Doyle
Rep. Sam Farr
Rep. Mike Quigley
Rep. Donna F. Edwards
Rep. Danny K. Davis
Rep. Howard Berman
Rep. Ted Deutch
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson
Rep. John Tierney
Rep. Mike Thompson
Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard
Rep. Betty Sutton
Rep. Christopher Murphy


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