Big mo? Two more Senators call on Obama to appoint Elizabeth Warren
Heads up: Add Dick Durbin and Carl Levin to the list of Senators backing Elizabeth Warren as Obama's key consumer cop on Wall Street. That makes a total of 15 Senators supporting her. Is momentum building in her favor?
The left has been mounting a campaign to pressure the White House to appoint Warren as head of the newly-created Consumer Financial Protection Agency, which is central to the success of the just-passed Wall Street reform bill. There's ample evidence she's well qualified for the job, and appointing her would throw a big bone to liberals, who strongly support Warren and want to see Obama take a stand on something they care about.
And yet, the White House appears to be waffling on the appointment -- perhaps because bigfoot administration insiders don't like her or perhaps because they don't think she can get 60 votes in the Senate.
Now the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which is organizing the campaign to get Warren appointed and has been whipping Senate support, are set to announce the support of senators Durbin and Levin. Durbin, who is a particularly interesting addition because he's a close ally of the president, came out for Warren in the middle of a speech on the Senate floor last week that passed unnoticed, strongly endorsing her as "aggressive" and "intelligent":
"It is critical that the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection be put in place with a director who is aggressive, intelligent, and understands the challenge they will face; a director who is fair, one who believes in the power of the marketplace but understands that markets work better if everybody participating in those markets benefits; a director who will listen to what bankers are saying but can see through them when they try to slant lending markets too far in their favor; a director who thinks, first and foremost, about how American families can thrive in today's complicated economy.
"Fortunately, there is a person who can fill that job effectively. Her name is Elizabeth Warren."
And Senator Levin came out for Warren in a letter to the President.
"The success of the Bureau, a key accomplishment of the financial reform bill, will depend to a significant degree on its first chief," Levin wrote, telling Obama that she would help "bring to fruition one of the important accomplishments of your presidency."
The Progressive Change Campaign Committee, you may recall, successively whipped dozens of Dem Senators into supporting the public option. That provision, of course, died a quiet death before health reform passed. But the noise in favor of it unquestionably got far louder than anyone expected. Looks like the same could happen with Warren.
UPDATE, 2:25 p.m.: Speaking of making noise, PCCC reports they've compiled over 200,000 petition signatures for Warren with Credo Action and has sent over 3,000 phone calls to Senators since Thursday.
August 9, 2010; 2:11 PM ET
Categories: Senate Dems , economy
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