U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro and outgoing U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd seem to be at odds over the nomination of Elizabeth Warren to head the new consumer protection agency that was part of Dodd’s financial reform package.
Warren, the Harvard professor who first suggested the idea of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau back in 2007, currently chairs the congressional oversight panel scrutinizing bank bailouts. She is beloved by consumer advocates and labor groups, but hated by Wall Street and the financial industry.
“I’m not lobbying against Elizabeth Warren at all,” Dodd said last week in Hartford at a labor convention. “Look all I’ve said is I want a confirmable nominee.”
DeLauro, on the other hand, has started an online petition seeking support for Warren’s nomination.
“If confirmed, she will protect consumers from shady loans and bad credit practices. She will demand accountability and consumer-friendly practices from Wall Street banks,” DeLauro said in an campaign email last week encouraging constituents to sign the petition.
Dodd said Warren would be a great choice to set up and manage the agency. However, the Senate confirmation process could be difficult.
“I’m not opposed to Elizabeth at all, but I’m going to be asked to go out and produce the votes, and I know what it was to get 60 votes to pass this bill,” Dodd said. “I already know there are Democrats and Republicans that supported the bill who are not favorably inclined to her.”
Dodd refused to say who he would like to see President Barack Obama nominate last week, but he told the American Banker in an article published Tuesday that he wanted FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair to consider heading the consumer bureau. But Dodd told the publication that she is not interested.
Last week Dodd said he doesn’t want to fight over a confirmation during his last few weeks in the Senate. He said he fears if that happens no one will be appointed to fill the position until at least the Spring of next year.