Dodd, DeLauro see consumer advocate appointee differently

Sen. Christopher Dodd and Rep. Rosa DeLauro don’t usually part ways on political questions. But the president’s appointment of Elizabeth Warren to help set up the new consumer protection agency had DeLauro cheering, while Dodd wasn’t quite so pleased.

Warren would protect consumers from “the greed and excess that was the downfall of our economy,” DeLauro said in a statement after the White House announced that Warren, the outspoken Harvard professor, would oversee the creation of the powerful new consumer watchdog agency.

Dodd, meanwhile, offered a few words of praise for Warren and then got to the question still percolating around Washington: whether Warren will end up not just setting up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau but also running it. The White House’s appointment of Warren as a special adviser was seen as a way to give Warren outsized influence over the CFPB, while still avoiding a possibly bruising confirmation battle that would have come by nominating her as its chief.

Dodd said that while Warren was a fine choice to get things rolling, he did not see this announcement as the be-all end-all news, as so many liberal groups and Warren backers (like DeLauro) did. “Until a director is at the helm, this new bureau will not have the teeth that it needs to put strong protections in place, and could leave the entire bureau in jeopardy,” Dodd said.