Sept. 21, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Warren Brings Out the Base for Both Parties

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Elizabeth Warren has not yet been nominated to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, but opposition has lined up strongly in anticipation.

She's neither a presidential nominee nor a Senate candidate, but Congressional Democrats are using Elizabeth Warren's name to rally their base.

Warren has become a symbol of the fight between Republicans and Democrats for control in the confirmation process and particularly the debate surrounding the newly created watchdog agency the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Democrats argue the GOP is playing partisan politics and have gone so far as to accuse Republicans of gender discrimination to explain the strong opposition to Warren.

Republicans have vowed to block her from being confirmed to the post if she's ever nominated because she has built a career on consumer advocacy from her perch as a Harvard University professor.

"Warren has proven to be a perfect champion for progressives and formidable foil for conservatives," a Democratic strategist said. "She deserves a lot of credit for weathering all of the attacks from Wall Street and Republicans. They underestimated her toughness and willingness to fight back."

She will face more attacks next month when she goes for a second round before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which is reviewing the authorities of the new financial agency. President Barack Obama further inflamed the GOP by giving Warren authority over the CFPB through a White House post that does not need Senate confirmation.

Her most recent encounter with the House GOP swung from testy to outright confrontational.

It doesn't help matters for Warren in her relationship with Republicans that she was a top negotiator during last year's debate over the financial regulatory reform bill that became law and previously was in charge of Congressional oversight for the Troubled Asset Relief Program that conservatives loathe. Democrats, stoking the fury, frequently tout her background championing consumer issues and her humble upbringing in Oklahoma.

While 44 Republican Senators signed a letter last month vowing to block Warren or anyone else from leading the consumer agency, Democrats held strong. Sen. Benjamin Cardin said Obama "needs to weigh a recess appointment" and refused to consider another candidate for the agency.

"She's ideal for the position, and no one has explained to me why she shouldn't be confirmed. She should be confirmed," the Maryland Democrat said Tuesday. "I don't want to give up."

Cardin's sentiment was echoed at a press conference last week, where several House Democrats, who have no say in presidential nominations, escalated the rhetoric by calling for Obama to make Warren a recess appointment. Some even suggested GOP lawmakers oppose her because she's a woman.

"The finance world has been thought to be a male-dominated world, and this very capable woman fits the bill perfectly, and they're having a hard time seeing that," Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) said.

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