Lewis and Emerson Urge No Funding for Warren Position in the CR
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a letter sent today, House Appropriations Ranking Republican Jerry Lewis and Financial Services Appropriations Subcommittee Ranking Republican Jo Ann Emerson urged their Democrat counterparts to withhold funding for the new “Special Assistant to the President/Special Advisor to the Secretary of Treasury,” to be filled by Elizabeth Warren. This position was invented by the White House to lead the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection – a new bureaucracy that was created in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
The Obama Administration has requested $14 million be attached to must-pass “Continuing Resolution” (CR) to fund additional staff at the Department of Treasury – including the new Elizabeth Warren position – to start implementation of the Dodd-Frank legislation.
In the letter, Lewis and Emerson stated their opposition to the funding as well as to the creation of this White House position, stating that the Obama Administration circumvented the provisions laid out in the Dodd-Frank bill that require the Bureau be led by a Director who is “appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.”
“Elizabeth Warren has not been confirmed by the Senate as the law states, yet the Obama White House is now asking that the American people foot the bill for the implementation of this flawed legislation without any accountability to Congress or the public,” Lewis said.
“Even worse, they are attempting to shove the funding through Congress on a last-minute, must pass Appropriations bill. This one-two punch of fiscal irresponsibility and unprincipled rule-bending is simply astounding, and will not be supported by me, Ranking Member Emerson, or by the American people,” Lewis said.
The full text of the letter follows:
September 21, 2010
The Honorable David Obey
Chairman, House Committee on Appropriations
The Honorable Jose Serrano
Chairman, Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government
Dear Chairmen Obey and Serrano:
We are writing to request that no funding be included in the fiscal year 2011 Continuing Resolution (CR) for a Special Assistant to the President/Special Advisor to the Secretary of Treasury to lead the creation of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau).
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act requires that the Bureau be led by a Director who is “appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate”. On Friday, September 17, 2010, the President announced this new special assistant position to lead the creation of this Bureau in order to avoid a long and challenging appointment process. The Dodd-Frank bill authorizes the creation of this new Bureau to make financial institutions more accountable and transparent. However in selecting a leader for this Bureau, the Obama Administration has chosen to disregard the transparency and accountability of the Senate confirmation process.
This new Bureau could have a significant impact on how credit is made available to families and small businesses. Unemployment is at 10 percent and the economy continues to struggle, yet the Obama Administration has chosen a leader for the Bureau who is so controversial that she may not be confirmed by the Senate. The appointment of an interim czar will not promote widespread confidence among Americans that their leaders in Washington are taking meaningful actions to improve the economy.
The Obama Administration has proposed that the CR include a $14 million increase over fiscal year 2010 for the Department of Treasury’s headquarters to hire additional staff to implement the Dodd-Frank bill. We respectfully request that you reject this requested spending increase and specifically prohibit funding for this new unconfirmed czar. We should not facilitate the Obama Administration’s disregard for the confirmation process and the CR should only temporarily continue the government’s activities at the absolute minimum level necessary until we finish our work on the fiscal year 2011 spending bills.
While we are extremely disappointed in the lack of progress made on the 12 annual appropriations bill to date, we remain ready to work with you to complete to fiscal year 2011 appropriations process in an open and timely manner.
Jerry Lewis, Ranking Member
Jo Ann Emerson, Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Financial Services
and General Government