Rep. Issa calls Warren back to testify, tells her to clear her schedule

Elizabeth Warren has been called back to the House for testimony following a highly publicized spat last month. 

Warren, the architect of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), has agreed to appear again before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

In a request sent to Warren Wednesday, Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) asked for her testimony before the full committee "in the near future." He asked Warren to clear her schedule for the entire day of the unscheduled hearing, so as to prevent another dispute over the length of her testimony.

"In light of the inability of all members of the subcommittee to have an opportunity to ask you questions, and your unwillingness to provide direct and responsive answers to a number of important questions, the committee would like to further discuss your plans for the [CFPB], the design and funding of the agency, and the limited checks and balances that apply to it," he wrote in a letter to Warren.

The CFPB responded by saying Warren is "looking forward" to her next appearance before Issa's panel.

“As the former chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel, Professor Warren appreciates the importance of and value in checks and balances," said Jen Howard, senior CFPB spokesperson. "She has had nearly 100 one-on-one conversations with Members of Congress and submitted detailed written testimony about the CFPB each time she has testified.”

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The request comes after Warren got into a public dispute with Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) over the length of her testimony at an Oversight subcommittee hearing he chaired in May. At that hearing, Warren attempted to leave as the hearing recessed so members could vote. She cited an agreement reached with committee staff over the length of her testimony. 

McHenry insisted no agreement was in place, and that two members — including Issa — still had questions they wished to ask. A prolonged argument ensued, capped off with McHenry accusing Warren of fabricating an agreement about the length of her testimony. She was ultimately allowed to leave after agreeing to answer the remaining questions in writing.

In his letter, Issa said he is "ready and willing" to find a mutually agreeable time for her testimony, but made clear that all questions will be answered the next time she testifies.

"I expect you to remain before the committee until all members of the committee have had all of their questions answered and thus ask that you clear your schedule for the full day of the hearing," he wrote. "According to your publicly available calendar, your schedule looks completely free during the month of June."

The CFPB typically discloses Warren's monthly calendar several weeks after it has been completed. It is not posted ahead of time.


—This post updated at 11:32 am.