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No Recess Appointment for Elizabeth Warren

President Obama won’t be making any recess appointments of Elizabeth Warren to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau when Congress is out of town next week, because Congress has arranged for itself to technically remain in session.

It’s no secret that Obama wants the consumer advocate Warren to head the agency when it official stands up in July, but Republicans think she is too radical in her approach to regulating lenders and won’t confirm her. Obama decided to make her de facto director until he must appoint a congressionally confirmed director in July by sticking her in the Treasury Department and making her the White House Consumer Czar. Republicans charge she is already staffing up the place with lefties sure to give lenders a harder time than they deserve.

The White House has let leak that it’s talking to other candidates, but that they can’t get top prospects to take the job because they think Warren deserves it. This is all crocodile tears, of course, since they could bring Warren into the interview to say, “go ahead, take the job, no prob.” It’s clear they are looking for a way to stick Warren in, even if they have to wait until the month-long August recess to do it.

It’s one of the great ironies of the day in Washington that the new Bureau, established by the Dood-Frank financial overhaul law, is an oversight agency that itself won’t be getting serious oversight.

Everyone knows that money talks in Washington, and bullshit walks. Congress does not appropriate the budget for CFPB, which instead will gets its money from the Federal Reserve, which makes its own money.

This is the basis for the contemptuous performance we see below. I’ve witnessed administration officials depart hearings because they had previously scheduled appointments, but I’ve never seen one refuse a request to stay a few extra minutes. Given the sensitivity of Warren’s position and her need to explain herself to Congress, this is all the more remarkable.

Look, some members of Congress are clowns, others are fools, and some are geniuses. But they are the people’s representatives in Washington. For a federal official to defy them in such a way is disgraceful and can only result from her not needing Congress’ money.

And it shows that the agency will be giving Congress the finger every day of the week unless reforms proposed by Republicans to make the place more accountable are enacted.

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14 Responses to No Recess Appointment for Elizabeth Warren

  1. Congress seems unable to resist the constant “finger” from this Administration. Elevating the Executive Branch to this power (and this particular executive) does not serve the country well.
    It’s hard to understand Congress knuckling under again and again. It must be about re-election? Or has everyone in congress drunk the koolaid? EVERYone?

  2. The irony seems to be that if she would have stopped complaining about needing to leave and answered a few more questions she’d have been out of there pretty quickly. I never get how these theatrics make any sense.

    Also, Elijah Cummings. My congressman. Sigh.

      • LOL…so true. I have sat in hundreds of hearings and believe me, the witnesses are deferential. Her attitude rerminds me of people on TV who are confronted by a policeman and bark, “Will this take long?” No one says that.

  3. Washington insiders may know who she is or why she ‘deserves’ this job but the general public doesn’t. We don’t know what her job is or why a radical something would be the wrong person for the job.
    This is what happens when the Gentlemen legislators meet the Chicago way politics.

  4. Thank you for a great article Keith. The 2,300 page Dodd-Frank monstrosity that created the CFPB was passed with the aid and assistance of three RINOs -Snowe, Collins, and good old Scott Brown. This law effectively bypasses Congress’ constitutional duties. How in this world can we have a government entity that doesn’t fall under the auspices of Congress?

    Many have been wondering why Obama hasn’t put her name up for appointment to the position and we all know why. There is no way in hell she could get confirmed. That’s how he gets all his radical pals in the door, by making recess appointments. Case in point – Craig Becker (NLRB) and Donald Berwick (Medicare/Medicaid). These people probably couldn’t even get past the background investigation that every other federal employee has to endure.

    Bravo to Congress for doing the right thing this time.

  5. Elizabeth Warren = MARXIST.

    WHY on earth the Republicans have not broadcast their discontent more forcefully than through internecine channels (translation: they are *scared*) is beyond me. I’ve asked it before. I will ask it again.

    WHERE are the men? WHERE are the leaders of the Republican Party? Why won’t they stand up and give a press conference and call Warren what she is? An anti-capitalist leftist. Reason: they fear the Marxist press.

    Cummings is a race-baiting freak (as are most Demorats), but why the Repub’s won’t jump into the fight on the Warren Nomination is *beyond* me.

    Then again, I work for a living … unlike most Republicans, who sit around swilling cocktails and chasing “tail” (thats a straight thing I know).

    Sigh.

    OH, how I long for olden days and of real men like Jeanne Kirkpatrick …

    • Tom, it’s true. Republicans never learn from Reagan. If you say it like it is, people will respect you. Reagan, I’m sure you know, was viewed as too radical to be president. And he won two landslides by saying what he thought needed to be done.

  6. So, which was it? Was Cummings right to get his panties in a twist? Was Warren right that there was an agreement? Or was McHenry right that Warren was making things up?