After the passage of Congress’s financial regulatory reform bill, a heated debate has sprung up over who will get to chair the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — which will be in charge of advocating for consumers in their dealings with financial institutions and products — with TARP watchdog and Harvard Law professor Elizabeth Warren being the favored choice of many. Last night, House Financial Services chairman Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) told MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell that while other progressive failures, like the lack of a public option in health care legislation and an inadequate stimulus package, were largely failures of Congress, nominating Warren is Obama’s choice alone. He noted that “no one can stop” the president from nominating her:
FRANK: I would say to the president, look, I sympathize with President Obama. He’s been criticized by some of my liberal friends. We didn’t get a public option and we didn’t get the other things we wanted. That wasn’t his fault. The economic recovery bill, the stimulus — it wasn’t as big as it should have been. That wasn’t his fault. He couldn’t get the votes. But with regard to appointing Elizabeth Warren, that’s his decision. No one can stop him from making it. And I hope he will appoint her.