Home Budget, Economy Progressives Ask Obama to Break GOP Roadblock, Appoint Warren

Progressives Ask Obama to Break GOP Roadblock, Appoint Warren

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elizabethwarren_395More than 90 House Democrats, including Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA), have sent a letter to President Obama asking him to circumvent a promised GOP filibuster by issuing a recess appointment for consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren as the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Here’s the letter:

We appreciate your leadership last year in supporting the strong financial reforms in the Dodd­-Frank bill that responded to the financial meltdown on Wall Street that led to the worst recession since the Depression.

A key element of that effort was the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau with the goals of making prices clear, risks clear, making financial markets work for families and particularly protecting service members and their families from abusive financial practices. Since you appointed Professor Warren to “stand up” the bureau, she has laid the foundation as a strong advocate for consumers – something that seems to strike fear among those who are opposed to reform.

Regretfully, Republicans in the Senate have now made it clear that they oppose reform. They have vowed that they will not allow consideration of  any nominee to head the CFPB until the bureau is weakened. They would rather hold your appointment hostage and obstruct the process than make sure consumers have a strong advocate on their side.

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. If Republicans in the Senate indeed refuse to consider her, we request that you use your constitutional authority to make her a recess appointment. We can think of  no better person to be the first Director of this incredibly important consumer financial protection regulator.

Rep. Bobby Scott’s office says he supports a recess appointment for Warren and will be adding his voice to the effort soon. Rep. Gerry Connolly’s office tells me that while Connolly supports Warren, he opposes the use of recess appointments under any circumstances. You can add your name to the Progressive Change Campaign Committee’s petition to President Obama to make a recess appointment at BoldProgressives.org.

  • Recess appointments are not ideal, all else being equal, but what else are you going to do when you’ve got one side – the Republicans – that is not acting in good faith, that simply wants to defeat everything the Democrats want to accomplish, and that ultimately wants to “break” President Obama?  More broadly, Rep. Connolly’s attitude is great in theory, but in practice, Democrats will lose to Republicans time and again if they aren’t willing to fight as hard and even play as rough. Republicans certainly have no hesitation or scruples in doing just that!

  • I’m still highly offended at the GOP filibuster of Liu’s nomination. Nothing would make me happier than the President giving him a recess appointment.

  • LiberalVA

    The GOP looks after the GOP and its friends. The American people…. not the brightest… need to see a strong leader that won’t compromise. Obama is trying to get everyone on his side. He will never do that. This wasn’t that long ago: http://www.wayofthemind.org/im… those people had kids… and they still vote….

  • jlsnook

    I don’t understand — I thought that the whole point of the Senate remaining in “pro forma” session was that they didn’t get unanimous consent to recess, because the Republicans didn’t want a recess appointment.

    What have I missed?

    Or is this one of those things where the narrative just is too much fun to let it get derailed by reality?