Faced with a rapidly growing groundswell for Elizabeth Warren to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Agency, the Senate Republican leaders employed the ultimate obstruction on behalf of their Wall Street donors. It's up to us to make sure the public knows whose side they are on.
On Thursday, the Campaign for America's Future delivered 20,000 petition signatures to the White House, urging the President exercise his constitutional authority to appoint Warren during next week's Senate recess, circumventing the Senate GOP's stated intention to block any nominee to the post. A broader coalition effort, led by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which includes CAF, has garnered more than 150,000 signatures.
Seeing momentum take off, Republicans have successfully prevented the Senate from officially adjourning next week. No recess. No recess appointment. The filibuster of any nominee to advocate for financial consumers continues.
Republicans can argue they are not doing anything that Democrats didn't do under President George W. Bush. True enough. After years of horrible appointments, Democrats used legal parliamentary maneuvers towards the end of Bush's second term to prevent more right-wing damage to the country. The public was not angered, because no nomination was blocked that the public was demanding.
This time is different.
Sure, Republicans have the right to employ the same procedural moves. But that doesn't mean the public has to sit back and take it. If Republicans are going the extra parliamentary mile at the behest of unscrupulous bankers and not the broader public, they may face blowback even fiercer than what they have suffered over their plan to dismantle Medicare.
The question still is: why are Republicans so scared of Elizabeth Warren?
All she has done is stand up for middle-class consumers who don't deserve to be swindled, while reassuring responsible bankers that she wants to get rid of shady fine print, not destroy banks' ability to make a profit. The American Bankers Association isn't even opposing her nomination.
One can only conclude that there are enough irresponsible bankers out there who know they can't get very far publicly opposing Warren, but are more than happy to see Republicans do their dirty work for them.
It may appear today that Republicans are holding an ultimate procedural trump card. But that won't be true if we speak up even louder, and make them pay a political price.
Just as western New York voters made Republicans pay a price for trying to dismantle Medicare.
Originally posted at OurFuture.org