Today Elizabeth Warren is in California talking about the special role technology will play in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, according to a blogpost on the White House website. Warren touts that she was asked by the president “to get to work starting the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. He was clear about his goal: Level the playing field for American families and fix the broken consumer credit market—and do it as quickly and effectively as possible.”
That’s the goal of CFPB — but what is Warren’s role? The White House has refused to appoint Warren as interim director of the Bureau, even though the legislation creating the agency requires a Senate-confirmed director to begin the process of forming it. Well, for now, she’s in “California to continue conversations with families, financial industry leaders, consumer advocates, and others about the challenges and opportunities of setting up the new agency.” Sounds an awful like… being the director.
Oh, but don’t let that fool you. She’s not the director. Even if, as Politico’s Morning Money reports, she’s going to have an office at CFPB in addition to the one she has at Treasury:
We also hear that while Warren is out west, her Treasury office is getting a makeover (Warren will have digs both at Treasury and the CFPB’s L Street headquarters). That’s something of a rarity for Treasury officials, who usually leave their offices as-is. There is much internal debate as to exactly what color it is that is going up on Warren’s walls. One person called it “Arizona sunset,” another “terra cotta.”
Congress created an agency that will have a director the Senate needs to confirm. The Senate is unlikely to confirm Warren. Pretending like the Senate doesn’t matter in this is sort of like pretending that the agency itself doesn’t exist either.