Jeff Merkley: "We need Elizabeth Warren heading the CFPB. Tomorrow isn’t soon enough."

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

Over at Daily Kos, Senator Jeff Merkley has weighed in to support the appointment of Elizabeth Warren as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

For too long, tricks and traps in mortgages, credit cards, and other financial transactions have stripped wealth from working families. This is insane. Our policies should build the wealth and success of families, not undermine them.

That’s why one of the most important provisions of the Wall Street reform bill was the creation of a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). For years, American families have been taken to the cleaners by clever clauses written into fine print and legal gobbledy-gook. The CFPB will change this. Finally, there will be a cop on the beat who can make sure people get a fair shake.

This new consumer watchdog will only be effective, however, if it has strong leadership. There is no doubt in my mind that Elizabeth Warren is that leader. She has been America’s leading voice on behalf of financial fairness for families and the driving force behind the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. As a Harvard Law professor specializing in bankruptcy and as Chair of the TARP Oversight Committee, she is more than qualified to lead the nation’s consumer watchdog. Her experience also had the breadth of understanding to foresee the impact of predatory mortgages on families and the economy.

Capitol Hill is abuzz with the expectation that the President will appoint a Director of the CFPB in the next few days and that person will be Elizabeth Warren. Such action should be applauded.

Back in July, Carla Axtman posted about the panel discussion at Netroots Nation that featured Senator Merkley and Professor Warren - including video. And in this post, a video that was produced around a month ago.

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    Sen. Merkley needs to call out his colleague Chris Dodds who is doing everything he can do sabotage the Warren appt. Chris Dodd's legacy is now pretty much besmirched by his siding with the banking and Wall St. interests as he fades into the sunset. Or is he building his lobbying credentials for the financial industry and pull a Gordon Smith?

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    Thank you Senator Merkley. I am truly proud of the work you are doing for us Oregonians and agree whole-heartedly the Elizabeth Warren should be the head of this new agency. Particularly as the first to head up the post and that will established and set the tone for the entire organization going forward.

    Somewhat off-topic, but please push to have the Senate leadership move as hard and as fast as you can on the Obama middle-class tax cuts as a stand alone, clean bill, ASAP. If you guys don't move fast and with serious intent on this, and continue to appear listless or trying to calculate the political/elections spin on this out in the public (like what is going on at the moment) you are going to be left with the GOP getting the upper-hand on the issue (they are already putting forward a bill which locks in all of the Bush era tax-giveaways for the rich).

    Move now on this if you don't want to see it all go down the drain and appear as even worse rhetorical gamesmanship than it already does to the voters.

    We need leadership that wants to act like leaders instead of debating in public how to spin it that they are the victims.

    Again, I am thankful you are working for us here in Oregon, but you got to light a fire under the Democratic leadership. They are killing us.

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      See Mitchell, we do agree sometimes.

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        Never thought we were on complete opposite ends of the political divide otherwise. When the subject is not Dudley, we may agree more than we disagree.

        Which raises the question as to why you are so adamant in defending Dudley?

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          I hope this doesn't come off a "preachy," it's just my honest view:

          What I see happening to the Dems, through BO and other places, is what happened on the right and created the teabaggers: supporters living in an echo chamber.

          I see people watching, reading and listening only to people who reinforce their beliefs. They ignore and attack anyone who isn't in lock step with their views. I see the world as beyond Blue/Red and I am doing what I can to bring some degree of discourse to various topics.

          I don't believe that Oregon is well served by a group of D's sitting around bashing Dudley all day. It is not making Oregon better.

          My wish, if I had the power to do so, would be to get all middle class Americans to stop fighting about abortion, gun rights, gay marriage and global warming for 10 year and focus on restoring some economic balance back to this country before there is no middle class.

          Thank you for taking the time to read this. You may now return to bashing Dudley :-)

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            MIchael, if the GOP were at all the sane, moderate GOP of Oregon's past I would heartily agree. But that is not the reality of it. Look at the GOP screaming "Obamacare", and worse, over what is essentially Mitt Romney's healthcare program which the Heritage Foundation endorsed in MA, on a Federal level.

            When proven polices of always cut taxes, cut spending, deregulate, have been proven to be verifiable, and beyond dispute, disastrous as what undergirds even the last vestiges of "moderate" pretense of the GOP in the here and now, sorry but there is no substantive discourse between the parties.

            The Overtone Window has been moved so far to the right that Ronald Reagan (he of illegal alien amnesty fame) and Bush Sr. (raised taxes) would be roundly drummed out of what passes for "dialogue" from the overwhelmingly horrible media "conservatively" framed sphere of conversation.

            Add to that, that the GOP candidate for Governor has never even been elected dog-catcher, has nothing but vague slogans and no real qualifications, record or substantive platform to put in front of voters, won't debate until after the ballots are in hand (and even then only one time) and vast amounts of out-of-state, agenda driven money being the core of his candidacy which would hand power at a critical juncture to a party that has ZERO competence (and have proven time and time again in recent decades) to be trusted with the levers of power… sorry, but I have real problems with that.

            Particularly when there is a clear alternative of a proven candidate, with a long and solid record of doing not just a competent job, but spearheaded moving real and positive policy forward, from the Oregon Health Plan when he was a legislator to the Oregon Children's Plan when he was a Governor (despite having a slash-and-burn GOP legislature the entire time he was Gov.). A candidate who, I might add, presided over eight years of significant economic growth, helped create over 125,000 jobs, is known to not be an extremist but grounded workhorse Governor who we know and has already proven can do the job, and do it well.

            To me it is the equivalent of being handed the choice between voting for a really tall (and older) Justin Bieber (he is popular and likable from what I hear) but with zero qualifications to the job or an experienced leader with a proven record of accomplishment.

            Where we are economically (as a nation and as a state) cannot afford the risk of a unqualified enigma representing a party that has damn near destroyed the nation being handed the keys to the top slot in the state. Particularly when we have the option to choose someone who not only has proven themselves to be a rock solid Governor, who throughly understands the issues, understand policy, understands the job and is also bold enough to take on the big challenges we face. He's been there. He has proven he can do the job and do it well.

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              How did the "sane, moderate GOP of Oregon's past" end up where they are today. Isn't that my point.

              Maybe we just view "experience and qualifications" differently. I have done many things where I had no experience or wasn't "qualified" to do, yet things turned out pretty well if I do say so myself.

              I believe that hard work and the pursuit of knowledge can overcome what people lack in experience.

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                Movement conservatism and it's embrace of fatally flawed ideology predates the advent of the internet or the blogosphere and, the demand (like failed unreformed Marxists) double down on it and demand purity and adherence to failed ideology.

                Democrats and the ever increasing NAV voters (where the sane GOP has gone by and large) have no legitimate reason to try and find a middle ground with lunatic ideologues.

                And as I said before, there is zero reason to consider an inexperienced candidate who has shown no serious interest in public policy or electoral optics, representing a party with nothing to offer except obstructionism and.or already proven to fail ideologically driven policies when there is an experienced leader with a proven record of accomplishment to choose instead.

                Particularly when there is far too much at risk given the disaster that the polices of the GOP (albeit with conservative Democratic "third way" help on the national level) have caused.

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                  When I read Dudley's policy papers, nothing in them jumps out to me as right-wing GOP crazy. Just sound conservative fiscal policy.

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                    "Just sound conservative fiscal policy."

                    That is a proven oxymoron. How many times does failed "conservative" policy need to be tried before it is finally thrown on the ash-heap of history as the abject failure it has proven every time it has been tried?

                    BTW, none of Dudley's "plans" are specific nor do they pencil out.

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                      little "c" Mitchell, little "c"

                      Since you have anointed yourself a policy expert, and for all I know you might be, could you give us a detailed, item by item comparison of Kitz's and Dudley's economic policies.

                      You'll forgive me if I don't take you at your word. It's not like you're partisan or anything :-)

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                        Kinda hard to do since unlike Kitzhaber's plans, Dudley doesn't give numbers for his and most of his 26 point plan are vague generalities. In fact most of his 26 plan is spent trying to attack Kitzhaber instead of putting any meat on the skeleton of his "plan".

                        But this is rapidly devolving into an OT discussion on a thread about Senator Merkley and the much needed Warren nomination to a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau which is part of the critically needed financial reform law that was passed (and I freely admit my guilt in derailing the topic, mea culpa).

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                  Mitchell thats the same argument I would make to anyone crticizing the GOP for being the party who stood up and said no to most of the change Obama tried to jam on everyone. There is no middle ground on policies and an agenda to destroy everything that made this country great. While I understand that you truly believe what you are saying the fact is a majority of americans don't agree with you. The only thing that has failed everytime it has been tried are the liberal policies and agenda because #1 we can't afford them and #2 even if we could it's not the govt's job. Don't forget that it was progressives who gave us such thoughtless ideas like segregation, and legal theories like the "rational basis test'.

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                The missing component might be a desire and willingness to admit the need do the hard work and pursue the knowledge.

                I see way too many people with really limited world views who are quite happy with their ignorance. After all, whether based in religious or secular faith, their POV is proudly static. That is both scary and depressing to those of us who see the world as a bit more complex.

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    Good for Jeff. He's been solid on this and a lot of progressive issues. But do the administration political guys think that pissing on the heads of the Dem grassroots for two years followed by an appointment of Warren on October 29th is going to mollify everybody and get 'em on board the Big Compromise Train?

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    It's happened. Elizabeth Warren is being appointed as special advisor to the president to set up and oversee the Consumer Financial Protection Agency. She will avoid the filibuster and the confirmation fight but have the power and access. Good move by Obama!

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      Let's hope that this will not shut off her being nominated to the head position as well after the elections, and that this isn't a way to deflect the issue for the Democratic netroots.

      Also a little troubled that this move may put her in an advisory role under Geitner at Treasury such that she can be corralled and be sidelined (ala Romer).

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    I completely agree with Kari's post here, but do want to launch a mild defense of Chris Dodd.

    My understanding of Dodd's position on this is that he sees the financial reform bill as his last major accomplishment after a long career in the Senate. He worries that a controversial appointment will gum up the whole process and ultimately doom the agency.

    It is not an indefensible position. If you are starting a completely new regulatory agency that has to compete for policy influence with the Fed and Treasury, it better have muscular policy tools AND a strong and politically nimble leader.

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      Except that the set up is under Treasury, not outside of it. As Warren being appointed as special advisor this afternoon to set-up the agency shows (she report through Geitner which is how they avoid a nomination fight over her for now).

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        To clarify, Treasury is tasked to set it up (and Warren will be heading that effort) and though the CFPB is actually placed within the Fed, it operates independently. The Fed is prohibited from interfering with matters before the Director, directing any employee of the Bureau, modifying the functions and responsibilities of the Bureau or impeding an order of the Bureau.

        Jake Tapper's reporting over at ABC News is that Warren will report directly to the President and to Geitner in her role of special advisor setting up the CFPB. This is also a good sign if it is correct in that she would not be reporting only through Geitner, but directly to the President as well so that she has a channel to be able to work independently enough to not be under Geitner in a way that might freeze her out which is what appears to have happened to Romer.

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    Be carfeful what you wish for because Liz Warren is going to turn up the heat on big financial supporters of the democrat party which is the only reason (other than appearances) that Obama wants to be in the loop. she is like a poodle with a mohawk and a very bad attitude about and towards the people the left has been bailing out and protecting for a very long time and I think that she will do a great job right up until the time comes that Obama will tell her to look the other way and then it will get very interesting to see what happens


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