Sen. Gregg: Elizabeth Warren Will Pursue ‘Social Justice Agenda’ in New Post

By Maya

Sep 16, 2010 2:41pm

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: With President Obama set to name Elizabeth Warren to a newly created post that will allow her to help launch the federal consumer protection agency, a leading Senate Republican today blasted that decision, saying that he fears Warren would use agency “for the purposes of promoting social justice.” On ABC’s “Top Line” today, Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., said the president is trying to circumvent Congress by avoiding appointing Warren to a job that would require Senate confirmation. “It's a terrible adulteration of the process,” said Gregg, the ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee and who accepted a nomination to become Obama’s Commerce Secretary before withdrawing his name shortly after the 2008 election. “This position, as it's structured under the financial reform bill, is going to be one of the most powerful positions in Washington. It creates a person in charge of an agency, which is going to have almost a billion-dollar budget, which is not overseen by the Congress.” Asked why he thinks Warren is wrong for the job, Gregg said: “My concern is that she would use the agency for the purposes of promoting social justice versus for the purposes of promoting better credit and having a stronger financial system,” he said. “When you separate the credit process from the banking regulatory atmosphere, you're creating a basic conflict there. And if you've got somebody in charge there who's going to have to supply credit — who's got a social-justice agenda versus an agenda of getting credit out to people who can actually pay it back and making sure that those people are told what the cost of their credit is — you've got a problem for the banking system. And we've already been through a banking-system problem. We don’t need another one.”
Gregg also criticized the president for blaming Republicans for holding up tax cuts, rather than focusing on government spending that he said is driving the nation toward bankruptcy. “To begin with, this president [and] this Congress are spending money like it’s going out of style. Why don't we start where the problem is? The problem is spending. This nation is being bankrupted by a Congress and a president that genuinely believe that you can grow the government radically and increase its size and spend money like there's no tomorrow, and pass those bills onto our kids and then expect our kids to have a high standard of living.” “Secondly, you don't raise taxes in a recession, obviously. We're in an economic slowdown of significance. You're not going to go out and raise taxes, especially when taxes aren't really the issue. Revenues aren't really the issue right now. What's the issue right now is the profligate spending of this Congress and this presidency.” Gregg, who is retiring at the end of this Congress, saw the GOP nomination for his Senate seat go to Kelly Ayotte this week. Granite State primary voters narrowly chose Ayotte – who had Sarah Palin’s backing – over tea party favorite Ovide Lamontagne. Gregg said he didn’t see the vote as a statement on the strength of the tea party in New Hampshire. “Kelly is a pretty conservative candidate — a strong candidate. She was a superb attorney general and one of the leaders in our state in law enforcement. She really brings a lot of talent and ability to our party. Ovide Lamontagne finished very close, also a quality guy, also a conservative. So I don't think this was really a conservative versus something else fight. This was basically two people who had very strong opinions who were pretty close on the issue of ideology and it was just a question of who do you like better. It was nice people, good people, and quality people.” As for Palin’s impact on his state, Gregg said: “My view is that outside endorsements have virtually no impact on an electorate. People go and vote on the basis of what they know, especially in small states where people actually physically meet and know on a personal level most of the candidates. So I happen to think Kelly is going to run a very strong race on her own accounts and she will be an extremely strong candidate.” Watch the full interview with Sen. Judd Gregg HERE. Also on today’s “Top Line,” we checked in with Karen Tumulty for our “Post Politics” segment, to talk about the GOP’s efforts to come together after the divisive primary in Delaware, plus the emergence of Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., as a force inside the Senate Republican caucus. Watch the full discussion with Karen Tumulty HERE.

You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus