Dodd doubts Warren's confirmability for job of consumer guardian

Elizabeth Warren might not have the votes to win confirmation as head of a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency, Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) suggested Monday.

Dodd, the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, said he sensed rumblings among colleagues that Warren, the chairwoman of the panel overseeing the 2008 Wall Street bailout program, might not get the 60 votes necessary to win confirmation.

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"I think Elizabeth would be a terrific nominee," Dodd told NPR's Diane Rehm on Monday. "The question is, 'Is she confirmable?' And there's a serious question about it."

Liberals have pushed Warren's name as a possible choice to lead the new agency, which was created in the Wall Street reform bill, legislation Dodd helped to author. Her record as chairwoman of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) oversight board has caused those on the left to be optimistic that she would add some teeth to the new agency.

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) has circulated a letter that backs Warren as head of the consumer agency.

Dodd said it was conceivable Warren could win the 60 votes necessary — meaning one Republican would have to cross the aisle if all 59 Democrats voted together — but cautioned she wasn't the only qualified candidate for the position.

"The question is, can we get someone who is confirmable? She may be, but that's not the only potential nominee — there are many fine nominees," he said.

Dodd explained he wasn't aware of the source of the rumors about confirmability, though.

"I don't know, I'm just telling you what I'm picking up," he said.