Axelrod: Elizabeth Warren an obvious candidate to lead new consumer agency

Elizabeth Warren, the Harvard professor who has championed a new consumer financial protection agency, is "obviously a candidate" to lead the office set up by sweeping financial legislation, the White House said on Friday.

David Axelrod, senior White House adviser, praised Warren as a "great champion of consumers and middle-class families across the country.

"She is obviously a candidate to lead this effort," Axelrod said. "There are other candidates as well. But Elizabeth is certainly a candidate."

Congress on Thursday finalized a sweeping 2,315-page bill to overhaul financial regulations, with the consumer agency at the heart of efforts to beef up oversight of products like home loans and credit cards. President Obama is planning to sign the bill into law next week.

Republicans sharply criticized the consumer protection agency as a government overreach, and Warren would probably face tough opposition if she were nominated to lead the agency.

Warren campaigned hard in testimony, press interviews and public statements for lawmakers to create the new agency. Warren is also the head of a congressional oversight panel over the $700 billion financial bailout.

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