Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Brad Miller (D-NC), and Keith Ellison (D-MN), members of the House Financial Services Committee, and 86 fellow House members today announced their letter to President Obama urging that he appoint Elizabeth Warren, as a recess appointment if necessary, to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
"Those who are blocking Elizabeth Warren from even being nominated are members of 'The Financial Crisis Never Happened Caucus'," Rep. Maloney said. "In her role as Assistant to the President since September creating the CFPB, Mrs. Warren has shown her unique skills in traveling across the country and meeting with everyone to be affected by the new body: from bank executives to those with troubled mortgages. She's demonstrated that a regulator must reach out, listen to all sides and decide issues in the public interest. It's time for the President to appoint her to the Director's job--regardless of her misguided Senate opponents."
"Just last month, the CFPB proposed simple one-page disclosure forms for mortgages that make clear the terms and conditions in plain English. It's beyond me how things like this so terrify the CFPB's antagonists," Maloney said.
Rep. Miller said, "This isn't just about Elizabeth Warren. Senate Republicans' threat to filibuster any nominee to head the CFPB is an abuse of their confirmation powers. They had to choose between their constitutional duties and the demands of the financial industry. Their constitutional duties never had a chance."
"Elizabeth Warren has proved to be an effective fighter who puts America first by working to protect the middle-class. Professor Warren knows that our future prosperity depends upon working for the economic interests of the overwhelming majority of our citizens. Elizabeth Warren needs to be confirmed without further delay," said Rep. Ellison.
The lawmakers, gathered outside the House steps of the Capitol, also received the 250,000 signatures on petitions supporting Mrs. Warren collected by citizen groups Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) and CREDO Action in their online campaigns supporting the appointment of Mrs. Warren.
"These members of Congress have seen a quarter-million signatures and received thousands of supportive phone calls from their constituents, asking them to send this message to the White House: Elizabeth Warren is the best qualified candidate to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and it's time for President Obama to announce his intention to appoint her," said Stephanie Taylor, PCCC co-founder.
The CFPB was created under the Dodd-Frank financial reforms last year, operating with a single director from within the Federal Reserve System. The CFPB will make sure consumers have the full, clear and complete information they need to choose the financial products and services--including credit cards, student loans, and mortgages--that are best for them. Elizabeth Warren first proposed a financial protection body for consumers in this article in 2007.
Text of the letter is shown below:
June 2, 2011
Dear Mr. President,
We appreciate your leadership last year in supporting the strong financial reforms in the Dodd-Frank bill that responded to the financial meltdown on Wall Street that led to the worst recession since the Depression.
A key element of that effort was the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau with the goals of making prices clear, risks clear, making financial markets work for families and particularly protecting service members and their families from abusive financial practices. Since you appointed Professor Warren to "stand up" the bureau, she has laid the foundation as a strong advocate for consumers--something that seems to strike fear among those who are opposed to reform.
Regretfully, Republicans in the Senate have now made it clear that they oppose reform. They have vowed that they will not allow consideration of any nominee to head the CFPB until the bureau is weakened. They would rather hold your appointment hostage and obstruct the process than make sure consumers have a strong advocate on their side.
Since Republican Senators have said that no one is acceptable unless the law is weakened, we would urge you to nominate Professor Warren as the CFPB's first Director anyway. If Republicans in the Senate indeed refuse to consider her, we request that you use your constitutional authority to make her a recess appointment. We can think of no better person to be the first Director of this incredibly important consumer financial protection regulator.
Jackson Lee, Sheila
Luján, Ben Ray
Van Hollen, Chris