Obama Appoints ‘Tough Cop’ Warren to Protect Consumer Rights
September 18, 2010
(ChattahBox Political News)— Elizabeth Warren is now officially, an Assistant to the President and Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Yes, that’s a mouthful of a title, but what it means is simple: Elizabeth Warren has your back. Not the back of Wall Street Banks, but of struggling middle class Americans trying to make some sense of the “tricks and traps in the fine print.” Warren describes her role, as a “tough cop on the beat” looking out for consumers.
Before her appointment on Friday, Warren, a janitor’s daughter from Oklahoma, who rose to become a Harvard professor and passionate consumer advocate, posted a short statement on the White House website, writing she “enthusiastically agreed” to assist President Obama in setting up the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
“President Obama understands the importance of leveling the playing field again for families and creating protections that work not just for the wealthy or connected, but for every American. The new consumer bureau is based on a pretty simple idea: people ought to be able to read their credit card and mortgage contracts and know the deal. They shouldn’t learn about an unfair rule or practice only when it bites them—way too late for them to do anything about it. The new law creates a chance to put a tough cop on the beat and provide real accountability and oversight of the consumer credit market. The time for hiding tricks and traps in the fine print is over. This new bureau is based on the simple idea that if the playing field is level and families can see what’s going on, they will have better tools to make better choices.”
Warren, in her no-nonsense way, says “It’s time for all of us to pull up our socks and get to work” for middle class Americans.
During President Obama’s brief remarks on Friday, with Elizabeth Warren at his side, flanked by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and senior adviser Valeria Jarret, he described Warren, as a woman who came from humble beginnings and knows first-hand, the struggles of average Americans.
She’s a janitor’s daughter who has become one of the country’s fiercest advocates for the middle class. She has seen financial struggles and foreclosures affect her own family.
Obama pointed out that the idea of a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was first introduced by Warren.
And three years ago she came up with an idea for a new independent agency that would have one simple overriding mission: standing up for consumers and middle-class families.
The President went on to provide a laundry list of reforms the new agency would provide for Americans.
“Never again will folks be confused or misled by the pages of barely understandable fine print that you find in agreements for credit cards or mortgages or student loans. The bureau is going to crack down on the abusive practices of unscrupulous mortgage lenders. It will reinforce the new credit card law that we passed, banning unfair rate hikes and ensure that folks aren’t unwittingly caught by overdraft fees when they sign up for a checking account. It will give students who take out college loans clear information and make sure that lenders don’t game the system. And it will ensure that every American receives a free credit score if they are denied a loan or insurance because of that score.
Basically, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will be a watchdog for the American consumer, charged with enforcing the toughest financial protections in history.”
While progressives are cheering today, Republican critics assailed Warren’s appointment as a “czar” without accountability. But if the dysfunctional Senate actually performed its “advise and consent” role, instead of blocking and delaying hundreds of the President’s appointments for political gain, the Obama administration wouldn’t be forced to appoint special assistants to ensure the work of the government for Americans is carried out.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, responded to the “czar” criticism yesterday:
“Asked if naming Warren to an interim position was a way of undermining the Senate’s “advise and consent” authority, Gibbs said nearly 200 nominations are pending and that, because of partisan bickering, the confirmation process has “virtually ground to a halt.”‘
‘”Nobody was going to be confirmed anytime soon,” he said, adding that Obama did not want a months-long delay in getting to work on the bureau. “There is certainly an advise and consent, a very important provision. It is not advise, delay and consent. It should not be that way.”‘