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Capito, Obama, Warren and the Big Banks

There is no doubt that Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia) was doing the bidding of the big banks last Wednesday.

As chair of a powerful House Financial Services subcommittee, Capito is one of a handful of Republicans in charge of legislation governing the big banks.

And as we have pointed out in this space before, Capito's number one contributor over her Congressional career has been Citibank

And her husband has just been hired by Wells Fargo

So, she was hemmed in.

And on Wednesday, it showed, as Capito oversaw the mark up of bills that were written by the big banks to weaken, slow down, cripple, defang the agency.

Capito has said that if it were up to her, she would get rid of the agency.

But the agency and its leader -- Elizabeth Warren -- are too popular to just do away with.

So, Capito and the big banks are putting down speed bumps to make it as difficult as possible for consumers on the road to justice.

Back home in West Virginia, Capito has been unresponsive to her constituents -- who are concerned about her ties to the big banks -- and her shameless disregard for bank consumers in her district -- and her disregard of her constituents generally.

But Capito said something during the mark-up on Wednesday that rang true.

She said that President Obama has had ten months to nominate someone to head the Bureau.

And he has yet to do so.

And she called this "irresponsible."

And surely it is.

The Bureau was the brainchild of Elizabeth Warren.

Warren is a popular crusader for consumer rights.

The reason the big banks and Capito don't like Warren is because Warren understands the game.

And she can lay it out in simple language that any kid can understand.

And TV and radio love her.

She's been on Fresh Air with Terry Gross, Colbert Nation and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

So, why didn't President Obama appoint her months ago -- and then fight for her Senate confirmation?

Why are Capito and the big banks taunting Obama?

The conventional wisdom has it that -- as reported recently in the New York Times -- Obama doesn't have the votes in the Senate to confirm her.

That might be so today.

But had he nominated her ten months ago, he could have launched a nationwide campaign for her.

Obama could have made Warren his administration's star campaigner against corporate crime and for consumer justice and good government.

Instead, he buckled to big bank pressure.

But why won't consumer groups come out publicly and rip Obama for not appointing Warren?

While Capito is beholden to the big banks, the consumer groups are beholden to Obama and the Democratic Party.

Obama knows he can stiff the consumer groups as easily as he stiffed the environmental groups.

That means that the odds are against an Elizabeth Warren nomination.

Too bad.

She would have been great.

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Russell Mokhiber

Russell Mokhiber

Russell Mokhiber is editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Corporate Crime Reporter.  He is also founder of, and editor of the website Morgan County USA.

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