CFPB's Elizabeth Warren meets often with Republicans
The New Year began with Elizabeth Warren, the controversial architect of President Obama's Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, holding meetings with Republicans, including a key critic of the bureau. The CFPB will play a key role in policing mortgage disclosures and the entire lending industry through the Truth in Lending Act. Warren conducted several meetings with Republican lawmakers in January, according to a recently released calendar. One of those meetings was with one of the CFPB's chief critics, Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas). While Warren's crowded schedule for the month of January is now live on the CFPB website, the bureau, itself, does not go live until July. The irony of seeing many titles with "R" designations on Warren's calendar was not lost on The Hill, which painted it as an over-the-aisle reach by Warren. Warren, who technically cannot serve as head of the bureau, functions as assistant to the president and special adviser to the Treasury Secretary on the CFPB. Since the start of the year, Neugebauer has said Warren's bureau lacks oversight and needs to be moved from the shadows of the Federal Reserve to the Treasury Department, where Congress can provide the needed oversight. When asked about his meeting with Warren, Rep. Neugebauer's spokesman said the congressman felt the two had a very "productive meeting" in January. The spokesman added, "it's not usual for heads of agencies to make house calls" like the ones listed on Warren's schedule. The congressman "liked Warren personally and feels she is highly intelligent," the spokesman said. However, Neugebauer remains concerned over the CFPB's role in the general economy and the amount of power the stand-alone bureau will have over major financial markets, including the mortgage lending sector, according to the representative's team. Write to Kerri Panchuk.