Warren to Oversee Creation of Consumer Protection Agency

Warren to appears set to oversee the establishment of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

As a follow-up to a post from the other day, and sure to cause a volcanic reaction amongst the voters,* the NYT reports:  Warren to Unofficially Lead Consumer Agency

Ms. Warren will be named an assistant to the president, a designation that is held by senior White House staff members, including Rahm Emanuel, the chief of staff. She will also be a special adviser to the Treasury secretary,Timothy F. Geithner, and report jointly to Mr. Obama and Mr. Geithner. The financial regulation law delegated to the Treasury Department the powers of the bureau until a permanent director was appointed and confirmed by the Senate to a five-year term.

As such, the characterization of the appointment as a recess appointment (as reported by Bloomberg and discussed by me) was incorrect, although it will be characterized, I suspect, as doing an end-run around the process.  There is little doubt that it is an attempt to avoid the molasses-like confirmation process.

It would appear to be a legitimate move that can be undertaken whilst the bureau is constructed.

*Click through for an explanation of the sarcasm.

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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. JKB says:

    Well, if her previous writings and teaching style are indicative, we can expect some incoherent regulations.  Or maybe her staff will be unable understand her and America will be saved.

  2. john personna says:

    JKB, got a direct reference to “incoherent” writings?

    My take is that attempted hit-jobs failed, and their authors found themselves schooled.

  3. legion says:

    I worry that by being put in like this instead of by a true recess appointment, she’ll be like the Dir. of National Intelligence job – lots of responsibility, but no actual power to make things happen. Of course, Obama may just be hedging his bets… if the GOP really does take over this fall, there’s no way in hell she’ll get confirmed for real.

  4. john personna says:

    The weird thing is, I’m not sure the Tea Party types would oppose her, if they understood her.  It’s the entrenched politicians, to some degrees of both parties, who are beholden to banks who can’t stand the thought.
    I’d welcome the discussion, just to say “why do you think banks have done so well with the consumer?”  But, maybe it’s complicated.  Maybe there are too many Dems as well as Repubs who want to tell their banking contributors that they had nothing to do with it.

  5. Brummagem Joe says:

    “Volcanic reaction amongst voters”… is whoever said that serious?….95% of voters have never heard of her for godsake. She’s a good choice if your want to put the interests of consumers ahead of banks and this move is entirely legit.