Nearly two years after Wall Street waged a successful campaign to keep consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren from running the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the incoming senator will be tapped to serve on the Banking Committee, according to four sources familiar with the situation. It’s a victory for progressives who battled to win her a seat on the panel that oversees the implementation of Dodd-Frank and other banking regulations [...]
Sources also told HuffPost that Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) will be named to the panel.
This is a layup of a give to progressives for the Democratic leadership. Elizabeth Warren deserves to be on the Banking Committee. Almost nobody in the Senate has her credentials. The decision was Harry Reid’s and Harry Reid’s alone, so there was no protracted fight with obstructionist Republicans to navigate. And she’s nicely balanced out by Joe Manchin, at this point the most conservative member of the Democratic caucus.
It doesn’t mean that this isn’t critical. Warren will be able to highlight financial issues from her perch on the Banking Committee in ways that she wouldn’t elsewhere. Ted Kaufman (D-DE), the accidental Senator (he briefly replaced Joe Biden) who tried for two years to go after Wall Street, didn’t have that Banking Committee slot, and it hurt his efforts. He didn’t have the inside track on what was happening on Dodd-Frank, for example. Warren to Banking definitely matters, however much of a bone it is thrown to the progressive base.
It will be a welcome sight to see an actual cross-examiner in committee hearings, to see Wall Street executives actually grilled by at least one member rather than the love-fests we normally see. Warren has stated that she envisions the Senate as a platform to highlight her views. I can’t think of a better foundation for that platform than the Banking Committee.