Elizabeth Warren Hearing Turns Nasty

Congressman accuses consumer protection chief of lying
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 24, 2011 7:16 PM CDT
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau head Elizabeth Warren testifies on Capitol Hill Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)
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(Newser) – The mutual animosity between House Republicans and White House adviser Elizabeth Warren was on full display today during a testy congressional hearing on the new consumer protection bureau she is working to get running. Rep. Patrick McHenry accused Warren of overstepping authority and misleading Congress about it (she said he had his facts wrong) and generally grousing that the new agency has too much independent authority (she complained of "overblown claims about the nature of CPFB's power").

McHenry and other Republicans—who want changes in the agency's structure before approving its first official chief—repeatedly tried to pin down Warren to yes or no answers, and she repeatedly fended them off. It got worse when McHenry tried to temporarily recess the hearing, and Warren objected, saying she had agreed only to an hour:

  • Warren: “Congressman, you are causing problems. We had an agreement.”
  • McHenry: “You’re making this up. This is not the case.”
  • Democrat Elijah Cummings: “Mr. Chairman, you just did something that—I’m trying to be cordial here—but you just accused the lady of lying." McHenry then told him to "simmer."
See video at the Huffington Post. More at Politico, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal.

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