President Obama provided few hints Friday on whether he will appoint Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenSinema's office outlines opposition to tax rate hikes The CFPB's data overreach hurts the businesses it claims to help Runaway higher ed spending gains little except endless student debt MORE to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA).
Obama said that Warren, the head of the panel tasked with overseeing the 2008 financial bailouts, is well-qualified to run the CFPA, adding that she will have a role in consumer protection whether she is appointed or not.
"I have the highest regard for Elizabeth. We have not made decisions about who we're going to appoint yet," he said during an interview with ABC's "Good Morning America" program. "But ... my guarantee is that Elizabeth is going to be working with me, working with Tim Geithner, the Treasury secretary, to help in thinking about how to make this consumer agency as effective as possible, looking out for consumers. She is going to be actively involved in that process."
Liberals have pushed Warren as a potential nominee to head the agency created by the Wall Street reform law signed by Obama on Wednesday. But Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) this week cast doubt on whether she could attract 60 votes to be confirmed by the Senate.
Many on the left believe that her tenure as head of the Congressional Oversight Panel, which oversees the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), has earned her a reputation as a tough reformer who could help give CFPA added power. That sentiment has been echoed by some lawmakers.
Obama praised Warren, who help develop the idea for a consumer protection agency.
"During the campaign, I actually brought in Elizabeth Warren to help design proposals for consumer protection," he said. "She is, I think, a wonderful voice making a very simple point, which is, if you've got a set of rules and standards in place to make sure your toaster doesn't blow up in your face, you should have some rules and regulations to make sure your credit card or mortgage doesn't blow up in your face."