Warren Sends Farewell Letter to CFPB Staff; Cordray to Face Senators on Thursday

July 29, 2011

Special Treasury Department Adviser Elizabeth Warren prepared to say goodbye Friday as former Ohio AG Richard Cordrary, President Obama’s nominee to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, prepared to testify before the Senate next week.

“I leave this agency, but not this fight,” she wrote in a letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Hill. “The issues we deal with — a middle class that has been squeezed and business models built on tricks and traps — are deeply personal to me, and they always will be…. Now it’s up to you — and I couldn’t be more hopeful about what lies ahead.”

Elizabeth Warren had been leading efforts to get the CFPB up and running before its official opening earlier this month on July 21. A polarizing figure for Republicans, she was passed over as Obama’s pick to permanently lead the bureau in favor of Cordrary, the current enforcement chief for the agency.

“It was a hard fight, but the result was a strong and independent new [CFPB] with the tools needed to make a real difference for American families,” she noted in the letter.

Of Cordrary, many Republicans, including the ranking GOP Senate Banking Committee member Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), have vowed not to confirm any nominee until changes to the CFPB’s leadership structure and regulatory authorities are made.

Warren has said she now plans to return to Harvard University, where she is a law professor. Many Bay State Democrats are hoping Warren will challenge incumbent Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) for the Senate seat once occupied by Ted Kennedy.

Cordray, a University of Chicago Law School graduate and former Supreme Court Clerk, first began working at the CFPB in December after narrowly losing a re-election bid for Ohio attorney general to Republican Mike DeWine, who had hinted that Cordray was “antibusiness,” according to the New York Times.

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