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Warren’s Outrageous Treatment at Oversight Subcommittee

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UPDATE II: Congressman John Yarmuth’s office has posted a clip of his comments on the tone of today’s hearing. Video embedded at the bottom of this post, definitely worth watching.

UPDATE: We reached out to the press team in Chairman McHenry’s office. We were not able to reach someone immediately. We await their reply and, should we get one, will share it unedited with you.

Well, that was… ummm… interesting. Not sure I’ve ever seen a hearing end quite like this one did. Chairman McHenry basically ended the meeting by accusing Elizabeth Warren of outright lying. This is representative of the treatment she received throughout the hearing.

Transcript below the fold…

WARREN: You are causing problems. We had an agreement for a later hearing. Your staff asked us to move around so that we had to change everything on my schedule to try to accommodate your time…

MCHENRY: I certainly appreciate that but the original hearing was 2:00..

WARREN: … the agreement was that I would be out of here at 2:15 because there are other things now scheduled at 2:30.

MCHENRY: That was a request but we moved the hearing so that you could actually get the questions in.

WARREN: Congressman (pause) you told us one thing…

MCHENRY: I did not tell you anything…

CUMMINGS: We have no one here to ask questions, Mr. Chairman. We have no one here to ask questions.

WARREN: I have other obligations I committed to based on the representations of your staff, and our effort to try to accommodate you and rearrange our schedule to accommodate you.

MCHENRY: Look, Ms Warren, it was a simple request. Your staff had a request, my staff said we’re trying to accommodate you. We’re going to get you out of here in ten minutes if you just…

WARREM: No, Congressman, we had an agreement.

MCHENRY: You had no agreement.

WARREN: We had an agreement for the time this hearing would…

MCHENRY: You’re making this up, Ms Warren…

CUMMINGS: Oh, please…

MCHENRY: This is not the case. This is not the case.

CUMMINGS: Mr Chairman, you, you just did something that I, I’m trying to be cordial here, but you just accused the lady of lying…

MCHENRY: She’s accusing me of making an agreement that I never made.

CUMMINGS: I think you need to clear this up with your staff…

MCHENRY: I have…

CUMMINGS: That may have moved this thing around 50 million times and she’s got to go to another hearing.

WARREN: Congressman, not to another hearing, to another meeting. Congressman, I would be glad to answer questions for the record. We can do that if you’ll just send us questions for the record we’re glad to answer them and they’ll be a matter of the public record.

It was a messy and confusing ending for all watching. Warren had stated that the Chairman’s staff and her, after a late-night, last-minute schedule change, had agreed to let her leave by 2:15 to meet other obligations. You can see the look of shock on her face when he outright calls her a liar.

This video, recorded live, comes from the Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s livefeed.

See Congressman Yarmuth’s comments on the tone of today’s hearing below:

Transcript provided by the Congressman’s office:

I apologize to the witness for the rude and disrespectful behavior of the chair, the snarky comments about a Senate race, and the questioning of your veracity when there is documented evidence that you are being totally truthful indicates to me that this hearing is all about impugning you because people are afraid of you and your ability to communicate in very clear terms the threats to consumers and the threats to our constituents and possibly very, very effective ways to combat them. In one respect, I congratulate you for instilling such fear in the committee – the Majority side – and some aspects of the business community because they understand how effective you are in getting the message out to the American people that there are better ways to do things.

  • Jeff Barnett

    Congressman Yarmuth is exactly right. The GOP is afraid of how effective Warren would be in protecting the interests of consumers. Conservatives in America have tilted too far towards the financial industry. In the Great Recession, for example, banks have recovered while one-fifth of average homeowners struggle with underwater mortgages. Warren wants to level the playing field, which petrifies the financial houses. In my opinion, Warren was far too “nice” in this hearing. She should go on the offensive with GOP legislators who were primarily responsible for leading America into recession and the federal government into deficit.