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CONTACT: Project On Government Oversight
Secretary Geithner Sends Wrong Message on Oversight by Opposing Elizabeth Warren
WASHINGTON - July 16 - The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is troubled by reports that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is opposing the nomination of Elizabeth Warren to head the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Although Treasury officials have since stated that Professor Warren is "exceptionally well-qualified" to head the Bureau, an earlier report by The Huffington Post cited her "persistent oversight" as Chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel as a major reason for Secretary Geithner's opposition.
"If Secretary Geithner is serious about protecting consumers, he should be calling for a tough and relentless watchdog to head up the Bureau," said POGO Executive Director Danielle Brian. "Opposing Elizabeth Warren for her persistent oversight undermines the spirit of Congress's reforms, and sends the wrong message to the millions of consumers who are still reeling from the financial crisis."
Professor Warren has been a tireless advocate on behalf of American consumers, and is one of the nation's top experts on consumer financial products. As Chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel, she has also been a highly effective watchdog of the Treasury Department's bailout programs, questioning the government's bailout of AIG and holding the administration accountable for failing to assist homeowners facing foreclosure.
Secretary Geithner has made previous statements in support of a strong consumer protection watchdog, promising that it will have an "independent seat at the table in our financial regulatory system." Appointing someone with the right experience and qualifications to head the Bureau is the only way to ensure that it operates with enough independence to protect consumers from risky financial products.