Warren Wins for Now

Seeking to avoid a bruising confirmation battle in the Senate, President Obama appears poised to create a post for consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren in which she would guide the creation of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). By making her a "special adviser" to the President and the Treasury Secretary, the President would avoid having to send Warren's name to the Senate for confirmation as the head of the CFPB. This end-run around the Senate is likely to cause consternation on both sides of the aisle. Whether the GOP takes over the Senate or not, the Senate Banking Committee is likely to keep a very close eye on Ms. Warren's activities. Numerous hearings and requests for information could well be in her future. Taking this post would complicate her chances of ever becoming the permanent head of the bureau, as the Senate would not likely be disposed to ratify this approach to installing leadership there. So this may be an effort by the Administration to reward her for her initiative in pushing for the bureau before they give the job to someone who is confirmable.

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