President Barack Obama met earlier this week with Elizabeth Warren, a leading contender for heading the Consumer Financial Protection Board, a White House official confirmed Thursday.
“Elizabeth Warren is a respected advocate, and she was meeting at the White House Tuesday, but no decision has been made about the consumer agency,” White House spokeswoman Amy Brundage said.
The White House has dodged questions for weeks about who they want for the post and when to expect a decision, although White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Tuesday that he “can’t rule out” that an announcement could come this week.
This week’s meeting is Warren’s first with the president, although she met last month with White House advisers David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett to discuss the possibility of her overseeing the new federal agency charged with policing the loans that banks sell to individuals.
Liberals have pressed for Warren to get the job after her tough questioning of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner during hearings before the Troubled Asset Relief Program oversight panel that Warren heads, as well as her previous criticism of big Wall Street banks. Warren is also widely credited with the idea for the consumer agency in financial regulatory reform legislation.
But Warren’s candidacy has met some resistance on Capitol Hill, where some Democrats, including Banking Chairman Chris Dodd (Conn.), have warned that she is too liberal to win Senate confirmation. Geithner has tried to defuse reports that he wants to sabotage Warren’s chances for the job because of her criticism of large Wall Street firms.
“She is one of the most effective advocates for reform in the country,” Geithner said in July. Noting that Warren saw the problems in the financial markets early on, he called her “ahead of most of the country.”