A group of House Democrats sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to appoint Elizabeth Warren to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau during the upcoming congressional recess.
A recess appointment would allow Obama to elevate Warren without a vote. Republicans have pointedly stated their intentions to block Warren, who has been helping to set up the agency as it prepares to formally begin doing business on July 21. Warren has earned the adulation of progressives and the scorn of conservatives for her embrace of the new bureau's mechanisms to regulate credit cards and mortgages. Where one side sees protection from predatory financial institutions, the other sees government overreach.
Republicans have sought to dilute the new agency's authority, with 44 senators stating that they will not confirm anyone unless its powers are scaled back. The letter to Obama, which was signed by 89 representatives, defied that opposition.
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, the members wrote. If Republicans in the Senate indeed refuse to consider her, we request that you use your constitutional authority to make her a recess appointment.
The Republicans said that the agency concentrated too much authority in the hands of its director, who would be appointed for a five year term. They also objected to regulations that they said would be too costly and burdensome.
This authority will directly affect every American household by limiting their choices when purchasing financial products, restricting the availability of credit to consumers, and increasing the cost of goods or services purchased using credit, the senators wrote in an earlier letter to Obama.