Warren: Time to ‘Get to Work’ on Consumer Agency

Posted September 17, 2010 at 5:00am

Updated: Sept. 21, 5:08 p.m.

Elizabeth Warren said Friday that she “enthusiastically agreed” with President Barack Obama’s request that she play a special advisory role in leading the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an agency that she said will require everyone “to pull up our socks and get to work.”

“Over the past several weeks, the president and I have had extensive conversations about the vital importance of consumer financial protection. The president asked me, and I enthusiastically agreed, to serve as an Assistant to the President and Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury” on the CFPB, Warren wrote in a blog on the White House website Friday morning.

Obama will formally appoint Warren, a Harvard University law professor, to the post at a 1:30 p.m. event in the Rose Garden. Warren currently heads the oversight panel for the Troubled Asset Relief Program and has been a leading candidate to become the consumer bureau’s director. She is largely credited with the idea for the agency, which was created in financial regulatory legislation that became law in July.

“The president and I are committed to the same vision on CFPB, and I am confident that I will have the tools I need to get the job done,” she said.

Warren’s comments mark the first time she has publicly discussed her role in shaping the agency. Some Senate Democrats feared she might be too liberal to clear the Senate confirmation process to become the CFPB’s director. Obama’s decision to give her an advisory role instead of appointing her as the agency’s chief allows him to avert that process. The president is expected to nominate a permanent leader later, and Warren may still be under consideration.

Obama will praise the role of the agency as “a watchdog for the American consumer” during his afternoon remarks, according to excerpts released by the White House.

“Never again will folks be confused or misled by the pages of barely understandable fine print that you find in agreements for credit cards, mortgages and student loans,” Obama will say, according to the prepared remarks.