Obama: Announcement on Consumer Board Head Coming “Soon”….But Not Yet

By Josh

Sep 10, 2010 5:26pm

 From Sunlen Miller   While he has had conversations with Elizabeth Warren, one of the top contenders to head the Consumer Financial Protection Agency, President Obama said today his decision has not been made yet.    ”I think what's fair to say is, is that I have had conversations with Elizabeth over the course of these — over these last couple of months, but I'm not going to make an official announcement until — until it's ready,” the president said of Warren today crediting her with the coming up with the ideas of the agency which was created when the president signed the Consumer Financial Protection bill into law.   President Obama met on Tuesday with Warren at the White House, and she has had other meetings with White House aides. On Thursday White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said that the president has “options to look through” in advance of an announcement, implying that other candidates were still being considered – one of whom – Assistant Treasury Secretary Michael Barr  — Gibbs confirmed was still in the running for the position, among others.   Warren chairs the Congressional Oversight Panel of the Troubled Assets Relief Program and has been seen by many on the Left as a force for greater accountability and transparency, and a check against the forces in the Obama administration that are closely allied with the financial sector, most notably Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.   One administration source said that it would be a "bloody battle" in the Senate to get her confirmed, since she would be opposed so strongly by Republicans and conservative Democrats.   Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) expressed doubts about her  ability to be confirmed in July.

"Elizabeth, I think, can be a terrific nominee. The question is, 'Is she confirmable?'" Dodd said in an interview on National Public Radio. "And I think there's a serious question about it."   While the president said today his announcement would be made soon, he was asked if the holdup is because of the concern that Warren may not be able to pass through Senate confirmation. The president said that he is concerned about all Senate confirmations these days, not just the possibility of Warren’s. “It's very hard when you've got a determined minority in the Senate that insists on a 60-vote filibuster on every single person that we're trying to confirm, even if after we break the filibuster it turns out that they get 90 votes.”   At his late morning press conference Mr. Obama filled in another recently-vacant economic position within the administration, announcing Austan Goolsbee to replace Christina Romer to Chair the Council of Economic Advisors.   “He’s one of the finest economists in the country,’” Obama said of Goolsbee, “He’s not just a brilliant economist, he’s someone who has a deep appreciation of how the economy affects everyday people, and he talks about it in a way that’s easily understood.”   Goolsbee has already been confirmed by the Senate to serve as one of the three economics on the CEA, making one less confirmation the president needs to worry about.   -Sunlen Miller

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