Politics & Money

Elizabeth Warren back in the Congressional hot seat

Professor Elizabeth Warren, known as the driving force behind the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, has another date with Congress Thursday. Warren’s meeting with the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform left tongues wagging since her last date with Congress turned into an ill-fated affair, with one lawmaker accusing the Harvard Professor of lying to Congress about her role in the development of a massive settlement with mortgage servicers. The good news is today’s meeting was called by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who seems to be approaching today’s Q&A session with a lighter touch and a more inquisitive tone in which he hopes to learn more about the CFPB itself. Issa told Fox Business News he wants to know more about the agency’s inner-workings and what Warren’s role will be if she ends up serving as director. While other names of potential directors have been thrown around the House, including the name of CFPB employee Raj Date, the agency remains director-less a week before its launch. Perhaps, a good question would be: Who is going to run the agency, given its launch date is July 21? While Warren was accused by lawmakers of lying about her involvement in the mortgage servicing settlement during her last testimony in front of Congress, Issa told Fox Business that line of questioning is unlikely to surface in today’s CFPB discussions. Issa said he’s more concerned about the entity itself since it lacks Congressional oversight and “has the ability to bully banks.” Warren released her talking points yesterday, which suggests she is ready and willing to jump back into the hot seat. Warren’s prepared testimony is relatively staid, with the professor offering Congress an outline of the steps the CFPB has taken, thus far, to create prototype mortgage disclosure forms and prepare for the bureau’s July 21 launch. The real question is what will happen when the prepared testimony ends, and the ‘question and answer’ session with lawmakers begins? We’re still waiting for that moment to begin. Stay tuned for Elizabeth Warren goes to Congress—part Deux. Actually as Prof. Warren points out in her own talking points this will be her third appearance before a Congressional panel. Write to Kerri Panchuk.

3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

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