Republicans Demand Transparency and Accountability, But Only From Consumer Advocate

We may get to hear more from Elizabeth Warren here shortly:

House Republican lawmakers fired the opening salvo Monday in a war they plan against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau created by this year’s overhaul of financial regulations.

Republican Reps. Spencer Bachus of Alabama, the leading contender to take the reins of the House Financial Services Committee, and Illinois Rep. Judy Biggert, the top Republican on the panel’s oversight and investigations subcommittee, sent letters to the inspectors general of both the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve, directing them to conduct an investigation into the work being done to establish the new bureau.

Ms. Warren’s contacts with industry participants will be covered by the Treasury’s disclosure policy because she is a special adviser to Mr. Geithner. However, a Treasury official said Ms. Warren’s schedule will be more regularly on the consumer agency’s website once one is established. A treasury spokesman added that Ms. Warren is also willing to testify before Congress.

The lawmakers signaled they planned to scrutinize Ms. Warren’s every move, writing that they “are concerned that Professor Warren will be approaching this task without any experience managing—or creating—an organization of this scale and importance.”

I think she’ll hold up fine. With any luck, conservative activists can turn up a memorable one-liner (wise WASP?) and GOP House members can spend the whole hearing repeating it 5,000 times.






46 replies
  1. 1
    Maude says:

    But of course they’re going to make trouble for anything that would help just us chickens.

  2. 2
    Rick Massimo says:

    Maybe if they’re really serious about it, they could get some investigators from the Office of Congressional Ethics to take a look.

  3. 3
    Zifnab says:

    With any luck, conservative activists can turn up a memorable one-liner (wise WASP?) and GOP House members can spend the whole hearing repeating it 5,000 times.

    I can’t wait to hear what her counter tops are made from.

  4. 4

    Warren’s gonna rip these KNOW NOTHINGS to shreds in hearings.

  5. 5
    kay says:

    @Zifnab:

    I think she generally comes off well, and they, well, DON’T.

    Fire away.

  6. 6
    Paris says:

    I agree she’ll hold up fine. The real bonus is it’ll keep the Repugs focused intently on something likely inconsequential.

  7. 7
    cleek says:

    i hereby pledge not to give a fuck

  8. 8
    Lurking Canadian says:

    I hope she survives this, but if she’s lost so much as a box of paperclips in setting up her office, or if she even once bought pizza for her staff when they were working late, the story will be about the rampant corruption at the new consumer agency wasting taxpayer dollars, and about how Elizabeth Warren really ought to be indicted to send a message that graft is no longer business as usual in Washington.

  9. 9
    Dennis SGMM says:

    I now know why consumer spending has gone up: it was the GOP buying all those Klown Kars.

  10. 10
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    In theory this should be a good thing (separation of powers, Congressional oversight of the executive branch, etc.). That is how the system is supposed to work. The sad part is, we all know that this is nothing but the prelude to more bullshit soaked witch-hunting. Which just goes to show that there isn’t a single thing in our system of govt. which the Republicans can’t fuck up and ruin with their rabid partisanship and unlimited willingness to make up shameless lies and never get called on it or held accountable for any of it. At best they will succeed in nothing apart from discrediting the very idea that Congress should poke its nose into what the other branches of govt. are up to. Which will come in mighty handy the next time they hold the WH.

    Madison weeps.

  11. 11
    Kitty_Sanchez says:

    Your headline reads like one from Wonkette or The Onion.

    I welcome this. I hope she gets tons of exposure, because I think most Americans will love Elizabeth Warren, and the process will give the public clarity, instead of the distortion that rightwing noise makers want to gin up.

  12. 12
    kay says:

    @Paris:

    I think it’s a bonus anytime she’s speaking. The country needs to get re-acquainted with the idea that there should be a flat-out advocate for consumers, as well as lenders, at the table.

    I don’t think that idea used to be considered controversial, or “unfair”. Ya know, that there was ONE consumer person versus an army of lobbyists.

    Surely they can handle that, those delicate hothouse flowers in lending? Or will they threaten to get all anxious again and refuse to play?

  13. 13
    Dennis SGMM says:

    John Boehner will be on the news, brandishing that extra box of paper clips that was purchased by some GS-1 at the CFPB.

  14. 14
    MattR says:

    @Dennis SGMM: There has to be a way to work James O’Keefe into this somehow.

  15. 15

    Of course they’ll raise hell about Warren. I mean, it just makes sense (in a twisted sort of way).

    I also feel that she will be fine. I’m just hoping that this whole imbroglio will show what jerks the Repubs are…

  16. 16
    dadanarchist says:

    I agree with MikefromArlington.

    Congressional hearings for Elizabeth Warren are probably a positive thing. House Republicans are a particularly dull species and she is going to tear these idiots apart.

  17. 17
    Silver Owl says:

    Republican lawmakers meant that Warren isn’t known to blow corporate pee-pee as well as they do, ergo she may not be qualified for the job in a republican kind of way. lol

  18. 18
    Loneoak says:

    @MattR:

    O’Keefe will dress up in his Brook’s Brothers best, conduct insider trading, and then accuse Warren of anti-white racism for getting him prosecuted.

  19. 19
    Mark S. says:

    The lawmakers signaled they planned to scrutinize Ms. Warren’s every move, writing that they “are concerned that Professor Warren will be approaching this task without any experience managing—or creating—an organization of this scale and importance.”

    Oh, that’s believable. Remember the hell they rose when Bush tried to put an Arab horse breeder in charge of FEMA?

    I don’t either.

  20. 20
    kay says:

    @Silver Owl:

    Did you catch the “Professor Warren”? Only in conservative circles is “Professor” a pejorative.

    That’s to show she’s an ivory tower elitist, unlike those free market experts in Congress.

  21. 21
    Mark S. says:

    What the fuck?

    The South Korean military went to “crisis status” on Tuesday and threatened military strikes after the North fired dozens of shells at a South Korean island, killing two of the South’s soldiers and setting off an exchange of fire in one of the most serious clashes between the two sides in decades.

  22. 22
    Val says:

    @Mark S.: Ah, you beat me to it. :) Heckuva double standard, Republicans.

  23. 23
    geg6 says:

    @kay:

    Yes. This.

    However, Elizabeth Warren is a badass. She will easily show how few clothes all the little emperors in the House are wearing.

    I’d go gay for Elizabeth Warren, I love her so much.

  24. 24
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    I’m not sure why the Republicans believe they can address this by becoming stupider and angrier, but you can bet that’s what they’re going to try.

  25. 25

    Definitely this would be a briar patch moment for Elizabeth Warren. A Southern good old boy trying to second-guess the little lady? Please drag her into the spotlight as often as possible, Congressman Bachus, please please please.

  26. 26
  27. 27
    ChrisS says:

    Ah remember the uproar when the democrats took the house, which led to this from Pelosi, “Democrats pledge civility and bipartisanship in the conduct of the work here and we pledge partnerships with Congress and the Republicans in Congress, and the president — not partisanship”?

    Fuck the republicans.

  28. 28
    singfoom says:

    They should be careful. She might actually do something for the public good, and they can’t have that. It’ll totally upset the trend in private rewards balanced on the back of public risk system that has been built.

    How rude of Elizabeth Warren to try to protect consumers. I’m with many of you above, let them have at her. She’ll be able to hold her own against the know nothings….

    When I consider the scale of the arrogance and incompetence on display in Congress (regardless of which side of the aisle), I weep for our country.

  29. 29
    Ash Can says:

    Hey, it’s all good; Judy Biggert was voted one of the ten most bipartisan House Republicans by her Dem colleagues.

    Um, yeah. So much for that. (I wonder how many of the Dem reps who voted for her are still in the House?)

  30. 30
    fourlegsgood says:

    I think she’ll probably eat them for lunch.

  31. 31

    @Ash Can:

    Judy Biggert was voted one of the ten most bipartisan House Republicans by her Dem colleagues.

    Being among the 10 most bipartisan Republicans in the House is rather like being one of the 10 least painful chronic diseases. If you rank them, somebody has to come out at the top and the bottom, but that doesn’t mean much unless you have some kind of absolute scale.

  32. 32
    Poopyman says:

    Yes, Dr. Warren will kick their asses in hearings, but it won’t matter. The Rethugs will raise such hell that the White House will find it necessary to can her.

    Please, please, prove me wrong, Executive branch.

  33. 33
    Culture of Truth says:

    yes they sooo concerned she’s never run something this big because they really really want it to be effective… lol

  34. 34
    gene108 says:

    @Marc McKenzie:

    You guys do realize (kay mentioned something similar up thread) that people like the Republicans specifically because they are jerks and bullies?

    Most of the people, who support Republicans support the tough talking, macho image they try to portray.

    They have no problem with anything, no matter how mean spirited it might be, that furthers the macho-tough-guy theme.

    There are (were?) some independents, who occasionally wake up, when Republicans over reach in their grab for power and the ensuing cluster-fuck in America makes those independents seek an alternative, but I don’t see that sort of oscillation as being a feature of independents being free-spirited.

    I see it rather as proof the general sentiment of this country slips further and further to the right, with the relentless bombardment of talking points from the right-wing media and dutiful repetition by the MSM, since those independents only vote Democratic when things get bad like Iraq in 2006, the economy in 2008 and voting for Perot in record numbers in 1992, rather than Bush, Sr.

    They generally buy into right-wing talking points and ignore the bullying of Republicans, even though they don’t always approve.

    The meaner and nastier Republicans are the more their base will approve and the more right-wing talking points will saturate people’s minds to tilt them to vote Republican.

  35. 35
    Montysano says:

    As a resident of Alabama, I’m pleased to see that Bachus has his priorities straight. What could be more important?

    Note to Spencer: please do feel free to drag Elizabeth Warren into Congress and before the teevee cameras. I’ll make the popcorn. But make sure you got game. You’ll need it.

  36. 36
    gene108 says:

    @Poopyman:

    Yes, Dr. Warren will kick their asses in hearings

    But will the media bother reporting it?

    President Obama deconstructed Republican talking points last year, in front of Congressional Republicans and it did nothing to change the parroting of right-wing talking points by the media.

    The Democrats need to get control of the public discourse and the media narratives, which drives it.

    They could use these hearings to try to draw distinctions between themselves and Republicans regarding the corruption on Wall Street, but all the Democratic press releases in the world won’t matter, if the media ignores them as usual.

  37. 37
    EndOftheWorld says:

    @mikefromArlington:

    ‘sup, fellow Arlingtonian. And I’d like to agree with you, except that in congressional hearings knowledge can be a liability. Unless she can point to the bible verse mandating consumer protection (and none of that commie talk about Love Thy Nieghbor), she won’t move the Louie Gohmerts of the world an inch.

    Also she is a woman who has the temerity to know things and talk like she went to some college.

  38. 38
    Binzinerator says:

    House Republican lawmakers fired the opening salvo Monday in a war they plan against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau created by this year’s overhaul of financial regulations.

    The goopers are now putting into action their plans to protect their masters.

    I can’t help but think this is related.

    If you want to protect your wallstreet masters you need tip them off when a big investigation is going down, but you still need some cover doing it. This is where ‘accidentally on purpose’ comes into play. And bonus (the banksters love bonuses) they can blame it on an ‘eager beaver’ which gives another layer of cover: ‘shucks all he did wrong was try a little too hard to be a good agent. You don’t want to hang him out to dry just for trying to catch as many crooks as he can, do you?’

  39. 39
    rikyrah says:

    Warren will be fine; she won’t let anyone bully her – period.

  40. 40
    kay says:

    @Binzinerator:

    They’re really insufferable people. Did you see the quote when they got raided?

    “Why does it have to be so dramatic ?”

    Meaning “public”.

    They should get special-criminal treatment. A polite but firm letter from the FBI?

  41. 41
    HyperIon says:

    Thanks for the substantive post, Kay.

    I was wondering this weekend what had happened to old Elizabeth.

    I’m anticipating interactions resembling the time idiot Joe Barton ask Energy Secretary Chu to take six seconds to explain HOW ALL THAT THERE OIL GOT UNDER ALASKA.

    Jesus, Barton is one dumb Texan.

  42. 42
    Kitty_Sanchez says:

    @gene108:

    But will the media bother reporting it?

    They will if the story is easy and emotion-charged. If there’s a clear narrative that goes along with short video snips, and it conveys a simple and popular message ( such as, attractive and likeable Warren, advocate for the “little people,” being treated to vicious public attacks by smirking and arrogant Republicans ), the media will be all over it. Heck, if they chew on this narrative for awhile, they can add to the drama by pointing out all the cheering and hooting that will be coming from rightwing radio and Fox News.

  43. 43
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Binzinerator:

    Doesn’t that make the guy an accessory to any of those firms’ crimes at this point since he interfered with the investigation?

    Martha Stewart went to jail for less.

  44. 44
    Calouste says:

    @HyperIon:

    Couldn’t have Barton just have asked BP to write a 3 sentence answer to that questions on the envelope his checks come in?

  45. 45
    catclub says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    The email from the guy approached:
    “Today two fresh faced eager beavers from the FBI showed up unannounced (obviously) on my doorstep thoroughly convinced that my clients have been trading on copious inside information,” the email said. “(They obviously have been recording my cell phone conversations for quite some time, with what motivation I have no idea.) We obviously beg to differ, so have therefore declined the young gentleman’s gracious offer to wear a wire and therefore ensnare you in their devious web.”

    It would be neat if he now is wearing a wire.

    It also good to know who (our and their bosses) are allowed to call the FBI devious.

  46. 46
    AJ says:

    “The lawmakers signaled they planned to scrutinize Ms. Warren’s every move, writing that they “are concerned that Professor Warren will be approaching this task without any experience managing – or creating – an organization of this scale and importance.””

    Ahem. Two words: Michael. Brown.

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