When President Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act last year, one of the things it did was establish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. An arm of the Federal Reserve, the bureau is tasked with writing and enforcing rules governing how loans and other financial products are offered, according to The Wall Street Journal. But some legislators and banking industry advocates think the bureau has too much power.
Harvard Law School's Elizabeth Warren is the presidential adviser in charge of getting the CFPB up and running. As The Hill reported Monday, she is ready for those critics. In prepared testimony for her Tuesday appearance before the House Oversight Committee, Warren said, in part:
I have been told that if you say anything in Washington often enough, it is eventually treated as fact-regardless of whether it is true or false. While making baseless claims might be shrewd tactics for those who want to undermine the bureau's work, they are flatly wrong.
Some would suggest the bureau's budget should be brought under congressional control, and that its director position - for which Warren is expected to be nominated - should be replaced with a bipartisan commission to ensure the financial industry's position on the issues addressed by the bureau are considered. Warren considers these suggestions attempts to undermine the CFPB before it even gets started. The bureau's power is "carefully limited."
For instance, according to The New York Times, the bureau has no control over insurance and investments. Moreover, Warren said:
The bureau is the only bank regulator whose rules can be overruled by a council made up of other federal agencies.
If Warren is tapped to be the CFPB's first director, it's certain she won't back away from a challenge.