Previewing a hearing he’s holding today on the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) told Fox Business yesterday that he plans to grill Professor Elizabeth Warren, who is setting up the Bureau as a special assistant to the president and could be nominated as its first director. Bank lobbyists and predatory lenders have lined up to generate opposition to Warren, who is a noted consumer advocate.
Issa’s hearings, as well as several GOP proposals to limit her power or scuttle her nomination, are viewed as part of an industry-led campaign to cripple Warren’s ability to rein in abusive practices in the credit card, mortgage, and related lending businesses. During the interview, Issa let his sympathies be known to world when he said that he feared Warren could “bully” the banking industry:
ISSA: As you know, we’re very concerned that this is essentially an entity funded around Congress and yet it has the ability to bully banks.
FOX HOST: Well I was going to ask you. Do you have a problem with her or the entity?
ISSA: Our big problem is with the entity.
When it comes to consumer financial issues, Issa should be investigating the mortgage lending industry, abusive for-profit schools, car title loans, and other forms of usury that have saddled Americans with debt and economic ruin. Instead, he hopes to embarrass the one person most likely to provide oversight over predatory lending.
Issa’s stand for the banks against “bully” Elizabeth Warren places him in line with other major GOP legislators working on behalf of Wall Street. Issa’s colleague, House Financial Services Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-AL), has openly said his job is to “serve the banks.” Bachus has also admitted that all of his anti-CFPB legislation is really just an effort to take down Warren.