Dodd Wants Obama to Install Permanent Head of Consumer Bureau

Posted September 16, 2010 at 11:39am

Senate Banking Chairman Chris Dodd leaned on President Barack Obama on Thursday to appoint someone to permanently lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, arguing that Elizabeth Warren’s special advisory role does not go far enough.

“They need to send us a director though, a nominee, so the issue is no different today than it was yesterday,” the Connecticut Democrat said. “We need a nominee who can run the place. So I don’t know what their intentions are.”

Dodd also told reporters that he was unsure what Warren’s responsibilities will be in her advisory capacity. Obama is expected to announce Warren’s new position in the coming days. She had been previously rumored to be the top candidate to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which oversees rules governing credit cards, mortgages and other loans. The bureau was created by the recently enacted financial reform law. An announcement on Warren’s installment is expected later this week.

Dodd said Obama should appoint someone who would be subject to Senate confirmation before the end of the year, warning that “anything short of that, I think you’re going to put this bureau in some jeopardy in my view.”

Warren currently heads the oversight panel for the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

Though Warren is a favorite among consumer advocates to serve as the permanent head of the consumer bureau, Republicans have opposed her installment. And Dodd has publicly questioned whether she could win the 60 votes likely needed for confirmation in the Senate.

But Warren also has her critics as an adviser to the bureau. Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said he feared Warren would be an “activist” in that role.