Elizabeth Warren, the architect of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, jumped into the political fray Tuesday to protect the bureau from what she calls lawmaker attempts to defang the agency. In a statement, Warren specifically referenced two House bills — H.R. 1315 and H.R. 1121 — as well as a drafted bill that aims to postpone the transfer of regulatory powers to the CFPB until the agency has a director. The CFPB is set to open July 21, but has yet to name a director. When the bureau does open, it will be the mortgage industry’s top cop, creating protective guidelines under the Truth in Lending Act and implementing new prototypes for mortgage applications. Warren, who is currently a special adviser to President Obama and Treasury Secretary Geithner, is reportedly still in the running for the director post. A mark-up of the bills takes place Wednesday, which prompted Warren’s office to issue a statement. “Many in Congress have made clear their intention to defund, delay and defang the consumer agency before it can help one family,” Warren said. “These bills are about preventing the CFPB from operating effectively — a dangerous game to play in light of recent lessons in the marketplace and how quickly financial threats to consumers emerge.” Warren also is pushing back against H.R. 1315 and H.R. 1121. The two bills outline proposals to replace the CFPB director with a five-person commission and to strengthen oversight over the agency. Since January, lawmakers have publicly criticized the make-up of the CFPB, claiming the agency lacks congressional oversight. Write to Kerri Panchuk.
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