WASHINGTON – With the Senate likely to approve a financial regulation overhaul next week, attention is starting to turn to one of the key new positions created in the legislation: head of the new Consumer Finance Protection Bureau.
One likely pick would be Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren, who proposed creating the bureau in the first place. Warren has declined to comment on whether she would accept the position.
“I think, frankly, that Elizabeth Warren would be a terrific head of that agency,” Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley said yesterday on Fox Business Network, when asked if she herself would be interested in the new post. “She’s thought a lot about the consumer protection piece.”
(Separately, Coakley was how she thought Senator Scott Brown was doing. “He’s enjoying it, he’s working hard,” she said, adding that she had marched in a July 4 parade with the man who surprisingly defeated her for the senate seat. “You know, he’s dealing with what happens in Washington and trying to decide how you vote.”)
The new head would be appointed by the president, and confirmed by the Senate. Until the first director is confirmed, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner would have authority over the agency.
For average Americans, the bureau is likely to be one of the most visible aspects of the massive financial overhaul. The bureau is designed to protect consumers, and will oversee some of the everyday transactions involving credit cards, checking accounts, and mortgages.
This is not the first time Warren's name has surfaced for a prominent appointment: she was also mentioned among the possible nominees to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. That ended up going to one of Warren's former colleagues at Harvard, the former law school dean Elena Kagan.
Matt Viser can be reached at email@example.com.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.