Financial Reform Watch

Ms. Warren Takes On Washington

Amid rumors that Consumer Financial Protection Bureau creator Elizabeth Warren is planning to take on one Senate Republican, it appears she’s decided to go to battle against all of them.

The former Assistant to the President and Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau published an op-ed yesterday where she announced that she has started a petition calling on Senate Republicans to confirm Former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray as director of the CFPB and to protect the interests of middle class families, rather than those of big banks.

Warren has certainly amped up her rhetoric since leaving Washington this summer and returning to Harvard Law School. The once-reserved Warren called Republican’s behavior “outrageous” and said she was “proud to have been part of the David vs. Goliath effort that led to the passage of this new agency.”

“I've made my life's work fighting for middle class families and pushing back against special interests. I know what it means to live one pink slip or one health crisis away from economic disaster, because I did. That's why I'm working so hard to change things,” Warren wrote.

Her petition, “Tell Senate Republicans: Let the CFPB Do Its Work!” states, “The big banks and their army of lobbyists couldn't stop the creation of a new [CFPB], so now they are trying to undermine its work, enlisting their Republicans friends on the Senate Banking Committee. It's outrageous — and we've got to hold them accountable."

Forty-four Senate Republicans signed a letter earlier this year, vowing to block any nominee for CFPB director until structural changes are made to the bureau.

The petition is posted on the “Elizabeth Warren for Massachusetts” website, the official website of her exploratory committee as she considers running against Massachusetts Republican Sen. Scott Brown in 2012. Sen. Brown was one of three Republicans not to sign the letter and has remained largely silent on the issue, despite being one of the swing votes to pass the Dodd-Frank Consumer Protection and Financial Regulatory Reform Act, which created the bureau. Warren has yet to announce her candidacy, but key Massachusetts Democrats say the announcement is coming soon. Sen. Brown, who defeated Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley in a special election following the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA)’s death, has been surprisingly popular in notoriously liberal Massachusetts, but recent polls suggest that Warren could give him a run for his money, polling only 9 points behind the incumbent this week.

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