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Rep. Barney Frank

Republicans have made killing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau a primary goal in their efforts to undo everything President Obama and Democrats managed to accomplish in the first two years of his term. To that end, Senate Republicans have vowed to filibuster any candidate for the CFPB unless the agency is gutted and made essentially powerless.

In the wake of that threat, Rep. Barney Frank, co-author of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform bill that became law last year, says it's likely President Obama will make a recess appointment to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Frank, speaking to reporters, said the announcement by the Republicans has freed President Barack Obama to ignore them and name a CFPB director during a Senate recess, which would avoid the difficult confirmation process. "I assume they will now make a recess appointment," he said.

A panel in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives last week approved a bill that would weaken the CFPB. Like much of the GOP's anti-Dodd-Frank agenda, the measure was expected to stall in the Democratic-controlled Senate, with Obama's veto pen looming in the background.

Warren has made tremendous inroads, particularly with community banks. Here's Roger Beverage, president of the Oklahoma Bankers Association, who was exceedingly skeptical of the idea of the bureau, and of Warren, admitting he "had this vision that she was akin to the Antichrist.".

Today, Beverage considers himself a Warren convert. He openly praises Warren—who was appointed by the White House to get the bureau up and running but has not been nominated to head it—saying she is "far and away" the most qualified person to become the bureau's permanent director. "Ms. Warren has demonstrated that she is willing to work as hard as possible for the benefit of consumers, consumers' families, and community banks," Beverage says. "She would be an outstanding director, and I have encouraged both of our US senators to look past political rhetoric and look at what the woman has done."

It's not just Beverage.

This week, Camden Fine, president and CEO of the influential Independent Community Bankers Association, told a gathering of 1,000 bankers that the odds Obama would nominate Warren were "better than even," later remarking to American Banker that "you would have to look favorably on a [Warren] nomination because clearly she understands our model." Frank Keating, the head of the American Bankers Association, told a reporter that the ABA would support Warren if she were confirmed as CFPB director by the Senate. And Robert Palmer, who heads the Community Bankers Association of Ohio, captured the mood of small banks when he told Bloomberg Businessweek that if Warren "leaves, and the direction changes, we're not going to be very receptive."

All of which suggests that even though Republicans and the Chamber of Commerce would shriek bloody murder should Obama recess appoint Warren, it wouldn't be a controversial move in the entire financial community. Given the popularity in the general public of a strong CFPB and of Warren, and the general desire of the base to see Obama fight on the important stuff, a recess appointment of Warren would be a smart move.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu May 12, 2011 at 07:45 PM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement and The Amateur Left.

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Comment Preferences

  •  it's time for the pres to play some political (16+ / 0-)

    games as well. Republicans have made it clear they're not going to work in the interest of democracy on multiple occasions, so Obama should stop pretending like they're worthy of attention.

  •  There was a story a few weeks back (12+ / 0-)

    about how the WH was having Warren meet with Finance Committee Dems, which apparently was to prepare for a recess appointment. WH wanted all Dems on board for a recess appointment, so that's why they had Warren meeting with them.

  •  Yes, (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zinman, askyron, COBALT1928, OK, mon, Matt Z


    Sooner rather than later would be good.

    "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

    by Sybil Liberty on Thu May 12, 2011 at 07:57:35 PM PDT

  •  The CoC is going to spend every penny... (15+ / 0-)

    to defeat President Obama no matter what he does so why not appoint Warren?
    When do we accept the republicans' intentions and realize they will oppose the President no matter what he does?

    Or are we still betting on bipartisanship?

    I whip my hair back and forth...

    by dclawyer06 on Thu May 12, 2011 at 08:05:07 PM PDT

  •  I just like the name "Beverage" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aspe4, flitedocnm, Matt Z
  •  that is good news (7+ / 0-)

    Consumers need,

    an actual Consumer Advocate!

    Got Time?
    Take ten, to find something else informative and fun to read. Thx.

    by jamess on Thu May 12, 2011 at 08:08:02 PM PDT

  •  What's to stop them from doing the (0+ / 0-)

    "we're not really in recess" maneuver that the Dems did at the end of Bush's term?

    •  They don't control the senate (6+ / 0-)

      Thank god

      •  But can't they have someone stay and do (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        whatever would count? Or if Harry says we are in recess, we are? I recoiled when I first heard of Barney saying this because I feared them finding a way to block it.

        Hoping Harry doesn't make another deal like he did in a recent break, promising no recess appointments

        Remember that in late 2010?

        Last night, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid decided he'd hold multiple weekly pro-forma Senate sessions during the election-season recess, which will prevent Obama from legally recess appointing his stalled nominees.

        Well that was before election, maybe he was just sucking up.
        Please God, let the appointment happen.

        I kind of think it will. This was something Obama really pushed, actually called Dodd to the office after Dodd spoke of dropping or weakening it to get republican votes. There was even a diary on it here

        And damn, what an easy thing to defend, refusing to back down to republican demands to weaken protecting us little folks

  •  We welcome their hate. (7+ / 0-)
    All of which suggests that even though Republicans and the Chamber of Commerce would shriek bloody murder should Obama recess appoint Warren

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Thu May 12, 2011 at 08:11:08 PM PDT

  •  I'm sorry (0+ / 0-)

    There's just something about Barney Frank that I don't trust.  Maybe it's his involvement in Fannie Mae or some of his pretty incendiary statements along his career...don't know.  Just don't trust him to be ingenuious and straight up without a ton of political spin and deception.


    -- **Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.**

    by r2did2 on Thu May 12, 2011 at 08:18:59 PM PDT

  •  Every day I read of more important appointments (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mon, flitedocnm

    held up.

    Like appointments to the Federal Reserve

    "Don't fall or we both go." Derek Hersey 1957-1993

    by ban nock on Thu May 12, 2011 at 08:24:57 PM PDT

  •  I've heard this from other reliable sources (0+ / 0-)

    I'm surprised it hasn't already happened.

    Ok, so I read the polls.

    by andgarden on Thu May 12, 2011 at 08:25:26 PM PDT

  •  No brainer (0+ / 0-)
    Given the popularity in the general public of a strong CFPB and of Warren

    considering the ink spent trying to trash both, this (recess appointment) should be a no brainer.
  •  We also need a recess appointment for the CFTC (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    phonegery, mon, Aspe4, Matt Z

    Commissioner Michael Dunn term will expire in June. He is a Democrat that has been voting with the two Republicans and preventing the CFTC from making changes. Below is a quote from a Bloomberg article that you can find here

    President Barack Obama said he will nominate Mark P. Wetjen, senior policy adviser to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid since 2004, to become a member of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

    Wetjen, whose nomination is subject to Senate confirmation, would replace Michael V. Dunn, a Democrat whose term expires June 19. The CFTC, which is writing derivatives regulations under the Dodd-Frank Act, currently has three Democrats including Chairman Gary Gensler and two Republican members.

    This appointment will be held up the same as Warren unless President Obama makes a recess appointment. With his appointment we can finally get the CFTC to make changes and bring commodities like oil under control from speculators.

    •  Good Point About the Commodities Futures Trading (0+ / 0-)

      Comm. Too bad Obama appointee Gary Gensler is former co-head of finance at Goldman-Sachs. That would probably explain why the CFTC is delaying speculation position limits until 2012 although Dodd-Frank required a January 2011 deadline. They're probably waiting for the current oil bubble to burst. It's sickening how much representation the banksters have in gov't.

      "With those taxes in there, no damn politician can ever scrap my Social Security program."-Franklin D. Roosevelt

      by Aspe4 on Fri May 13, 2011 at 03:54:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Futures Markets (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        It seems to me that the only purpose of the futures market is for people to make money by doing nothing and keep the middle class down. If it has an actual purpose other than I stated, please let me know.

        Just as prostitution is the world's oldest profession, religion is the world's oldest scam.

        by Agent420 on Fri May 13, 2011 at 08:27:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Futures Market has Some Benefits (0+ / 0-)

          if it isn't allowed to dominate. It helps buyers plan ahead for their businesses that rely on commodities like corn or wheat that are affected by the forces of nature like drought or flooding. Oil, on the other hand, is extracted by mechanical means though it can still be affected by hurricanes hitting off shore rigs. The problem is we allow too much speculation. It's the same old story of banksters lobbying to end depression-era laws that were designed for this purpose.

          "With those taxes in there, no damn politician can ever scrap my Social Security program."-Franklin D. Roosevelt

          by Aspe4 on Fri May 13, 2011 at 04:37:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Should have been done months ago n.t (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    phonegery, Aspe4, Matt Z

    "We've had the GOP tax cuts, where are the jobs?" -- ahumbleopinion

    by Black Max on Thu May 12, 2011 at 10:00:40 PM PDT

  •  Stick it to them. We all know where the repubs (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    phonegery, Matt Z

    stand, it's not like they can hate anymore than they already do.

  •  Rinse and Repeat (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    phonegery, Odysseus, joy bit, flitedocnm

    The Republicans oppose consumer protection.

    The Republicans are against protection for consumers.

    The Republicans are strongly against consumers making educated choices and decisions.

    The Republicans are actively fighting to make consumers less safe.

    The Republicans don't want you to be protected from rip-off artists.

    The Republicans don't want you to have the ability to fight against those who make and sell shoddy (poor quality, dangerous) products.

    The banking industry apparently actually regards Warren as the "antichrist," which only shows how dangerously rotten the banking industry is.  

  •  A smart move indeed. (0+ / 0-)

    Which only guarantees that it won't happen. Smart moves and standing on principle are not President Obama's strong points. Making grandiose speeches and capitulating before a fight are.

  •  The republicans have been a big solid wall of NO (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    flitedocnm, Matt Z

    since the first day of President Obama's presidency. They have stated unequivocally that they will filibuster and absolutely prevent Warren's, or probably anyone else that President Obama would nominate for appointment if it is brought to them. They view her as the antichrist as she does not serve their masters. Her concern is with ordinary Americans, not the executives of financial industry aka the masters of the republicans.  

    President Obama has the option of making recess appointments. I do not view it as playing political games when/if he makes recess appointments since the republicans have effectively blocked so many of his potential appointments and the country ends up suffering. How many appointments are still being held up by the republicans and thus, how much less functional is government as a result? It's a record number. And the republicans are not going to change course and begin to allow for these posts to be filled, not with their approval at any rate. It's just not going to happen if the republicans have their way. They want the government to be disabled and dysfunctional if they think it gives them political advantage.

    In order for the President to have the government be fully functional, he should make as many recess appointments as he deems necessary. He should exercise that right as fully as he wishes. It would be best for his administration, for the government as a whole, and for the entire country. If there is a way around the wall of NO that the republicans represent, it should be used, as frequently and as much as necessary. The president and the country deserve to have a fully functional government. Why should one party be allowed to hold the government hostage? Why should that ever be tolerated?  

    I hope the president does indeed make a recess appointment of Elizabeth Warren to the consumer protection board. He should likewise fill all the positions that he deems necessary to make the government as fully functional as he wants it to be. And he should do this during one of the many recesses that the republicans very generously give themselves while they control the house. Who says government has to stop even though congress ceases to function so frequently for breaks? Government can and should continue to function. And I hope it does. Liberally.

  •  ....but..... but .... but what about the small (0+ / 0-)

    businessman the GOP claims to care about.... DOH!!!!

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy;the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness

    by CTMET on Fri May 13, 2011 at 04:37:33 AM PDT

  •  If he doesn't he's a fool. Also sends a message (0+ / 0-)

    to GOP that if they're not going to participate in these processes in a constructive way, we'll just figure out a way to go around you.

  •  Community bankers didn't cause market crash (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Because they invest their own money and not someone else's, community banks were not involved in CDOs and other nefarious transactions which triggered the housing crisis. Moreover, until major banks started: a) gobbling up small and medium-sized local banks; and B) underwriting mortgages all over the country, consumers would invariably get their mortgages at their local banks.

    Moreover, since local, small community banks didn't cause the problem and are often painted w/ the same brush as scumbags like BofA, they don't seem to have any problem w/ Warren.

  •  She is a sweetheart (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    One of the few people in Washington that really cares about anybody making less than a couple hundred thousand a year. She is one of the very few people in Washington who does not spend her day on her knees sucking up to "powerful people" and that is what makes her so different from the "Others" whose goal is to sell their souls for a bit of campaign money with strings hanging all over it. I am not so much pissed at them selling out for money, but what I am pissed off about is THEY ARE SO FUCKING CHEAP. Selling profitable contracts and laws for the commercial interests, but they are so CHEAP! These corporate interests are getting billions for thousands in bribes. Come on! If you are going to get bribes, have some self respect and make them pay through the nose to get the perks.

    Just as prostitution is the world's oldest profession, religion is the world's oldest scam.

    by Agent420 on Fri May 13, 2011 at 08:12:38 AM PDT

  •  Not only a smart move -- a necessary one. (0+ / 0-)

    The CFPB is a cornerstone for reform and for fixing our economic mess, to restore some semblance of economic fairness and protection, for the betterment of everyone.

    Everyone, that is, except partisan Republicans whose Goal #1 is to make sure that the economy does NOT recover, and that consumers continue to be screwed as much as possible, not only to continue the destruction of a viable middle class, but most especially to ensure that Barack Obama does not get a second term.

    The R's have given Obama a golden opportunity to justify a recess appointment. Now -- will he do it?

    "But there is so much more to do." - Barack Obama, Nov. 4, 2008

    by flitedocnm on Fri May 13, 2011 at 08:41:44 AM PDT

  •  Warren is one of my favorite people in all of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z


    I am incredibly excited for her to have the ability to do some good, and cant wait to watch her move up the ladder.

    I could be misguided, but she seems like one of the few straight shooters out there.

    Keep On Keepin On EW! I will stand up with you!

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