President Obama faces growing pressure to appoint Elizabeth Warren to head the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, but even some Senate Democrats are wary of her nomination and Senator Dodd has already warned that she may not have the 60 votes required to avoid a filibuster on her nomination.
The White House, however, may be able to pick up Republican Senators Scott Brown of Massachusetts, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine, and Chuck Grassley of Iowa in support of Ms. Warren. As Noam Scheiber of The New Republic reports, the banks may not even oppose Ms. Warren if she becomes the nominee:
for the moment, what’s interesting is the banks’ silence. Three industry officials I spoke with took care to assure me that their organizations aren’t actively opposing Warren. One defied me to find someone in the industry who was. Another reflected that, from the banks’ perspective, Warren might actually be preferable to Michael Barr, an assistant Treasury secretary who is also a leading candidate for the position.
Further complicating the matter is the upcoming midterm elections. New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote in his blog today that President Obama’s failure to nominate Ms. Warren may have significant repercussions for the upcoming midterm elections:
Leave aside the merits of appointing Warren, which are considerable, and think about the politics. At this point, not appointing Warren would be seen by the base as a slap in the face, and would seriously dampen enthusiasm going into the midterms. And Democrats need every bit of enthusiasm they can muster to avoid a Republican takeover of the House.
Not surprisingly, the White House is taking its time and no selection appears imminent at this time.