Consumer Financial Protection Bureau & Elizabeth Warren

On July 17, 2011, President Obama nominated Richard Cordray to head the CFPB. Read more about Public Citizen’s reaction to Cordray’s nomination on our blog.

In July 2010, Congress passed Wall Street reform. The creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is one of the bill’s hardest won and most meaningful reforms. But whether the new bureau delivers on its promise depends in large part on who runs it.

President Obama now faces a choice: Appoint Elizabeth Warren to run the agency or side with the Big Banks who want to kneecap the agency before it is up and running.

The agency is set to become fully operational on July 21, 2011 — but only if a director is in place. President Obama must appoint Warren now.

Harvard Law professor Elizabeth Warren would be an extraordinary leader for the agency. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was her idea. She’s tough, knowledgeable and an unparalleled communicator on the imperative of consumer protection.

Republicans aiming to undermine the agency say they will block any nominee to run the bureau, and will prevent President Obama from making a recess appointment. The Obama administration should welcome a fight over a Warren nomination, which would feature their best spokesperson advocating for consumers against Wall Street. If the Republicans block a vote on Warren’s confirmation, the president can make a recess appointment. Contrary to many reports, Republicans do not have the power to stop a recess appointment, as a Public Citizen constitutional analysis shows.

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