With the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) set to officially launch on July 21, 2011, rhetoric surrounding the nomination of a director of the agency is gaining steam. Elizabeth Warren who has been the de facto head of the agency during its establishment phase is believed to be the person President Obama would most likely want to tap to lead the agency, but questions surround her ability to survive a confirmation hearing.
At the same time, reports have suggested that possible candidates on the short list for the position are stating that they do not want to be considered for the post. The most common suggested candidates besides Warren, Senator Ted Kaufam and former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, reportedy have already informed the administration that are not interested in the position and support the appointment of Warren.
Warren is widely credited with creating the idea of CFPB, championing it through the legislative process, and leading the implementation of the office while serving as a special assistant to the President and the Treasury. She has been the visible face of the agency since its inception. Her public presence has likely been aimed to combat negative impressions that could have an impact on a confirmation hearing should she be nominated.
Bloomberg reports that the President could also use a controversial recess appointment in order to put a director, presumably Warren, prior to the July 21 launch date. Under such a move, the President could appoint a director while Congress is out of session, and that person could serve without confirmation through the next session of Congress including all of 2012.
There is also a bill in Congress, H.R. 1121, that seeks to change the leadership structure from a single director to a five-person commission. The bill is still in committee and is likely to be taken up in early May.