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U.S. Chamber Statement on Naming of Elizabeth Warren as Assistant to the President and Advisor to Treasury Secretary

Thursday, September 16, 2010 - 8:00pm

WASHINGTON, D.C.—David Hirschmann, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber’s Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness, today issued the following statement on the naming of Elizabeth Warren as Assistant to the President and Special Advisor to Treasury Secretary Geithner:

“By not allowing Ms. Warren’s nomination to be considered through the regular order of the full Senate confirmation process, the administration has circumvented one of the very few checks on a big new agency that already has been given an unprecedented concentration of regulatory powers. This maneuver is an affront to the pledge of transparency and consumer protection that’s purported to be the focus of this new agency. Congress has already given up its right to approve this agency’s budget and has given the director of this agency sole discretion over everything the agency does. Now we learn that the first leader of this agency will not even face Senate confirmation.

“This may be a calculated move to help fire up some groups ahead of the mid-term elections, but it undermines the credibility and effectiveness of this already politicized new agency from day one. Ms. Warren will be faced with the daunting task of building an agency that by design will be one of the most powerful and far-reaching in decades. The decisions made by the director in the first term will have an extraordinary impact on consumers and their access to affordable credit products for years to come. It is critical that the director possess the right skills, experience, and demeanor to get the job done.

“The full Senate should have the ability to ask a duly nominated director whether he or she believes the new agency should focus on effectively enforcing consumer laws and improving consumer disclosures or whether he or she believes it should use its unprecedented powers to restrict consumer choices, limit consumer credit, or otherwise politicize the allocation of credit.”

Since its inception three years ago, the Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness has led a bipartisan effort to modernize and strengthen the outmoded regulatory systems that have governed our capital markets. The CCMC is committed to working aggressively with the administration, Congress, and global leaders to implement reforms to strengthen the economy, restore investor confidence, and ensure well-functioning capital markets.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.

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