Gregg: Warren will promote 'social justice' at consumer agency

A top Republican on financial issues said Thursday he was concerned that Elizabeth Warren would use a position in a new consumer protection agency to promote "social justice."

Gregg, the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee and a senior member of the Banking Committee, expressed dismay at President Obama's decision to tap Warren as a key "adviser" to help set up the new Consumer Financial Protection Agency established in the Wall Street reform bill.

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"My concern is that she would use the agency for the purpose of promoting social justice," Gregg said on ABC's "Top Line" webcast. The agency, Gregg said, should promote improving access to credit, as well as other financial services.

Gregg and other Republican senators had opposed the robustness of the new consumer agency during the extended debate over Wall Street reform in the Senate. Now that the agency is up and running, Obama has been looking for a new figure to begin the agency's operations.

Warren had been the chairwoman of the oversight board for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), and had pushed in that capacity for the creation of the new bureau.

Liberals had ramped up pressure on Obama and some Democrats in favor of Warren, but Republicans and some Democrats — most notably Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (Conn.) — had raised questions about her confirmability and relative fitness for the position.

Gregg lambasted Obama for picking Warren as an unconfirmable "adviser," calling the selection a "terrible adulteration of the process."