Elizabeth Warren, who is directing efforts to set up the new consumer agency, criticized those who want to weaken the agency before the ink on the bill is barely dry.
"Following the Great Depression, it took 50 years before anyone started chipping seriously away at the new reforms that had been put in place to protect us," she said in an interview on MSNBC. "Now here we're coming out of--we hope coming out of--another Great Recession, we've passed serious reform, and it's just a matter of months until people are talking about how to undercut this new consumer financial protection agency.''
Warren, who is an adviser to President Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, is setting up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was created by the regulatory overhaul bill that Congress passed this summer. It will be housed inside the Federal Reserve and is scheduled to begin operations next year.
"This new agency has not yet drawn breath and yet there are those who are saying let's do what we can to weaken it to make sure that it's never able ... to be an effective voice for middle class families,'' Warren added.
But Warren isn't likely to be named to head the agency. Outgoing Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) reiterated his belief that she lacks the votes to be confirmed by the Senate.
"It doesn't matter if you are qualified, you gotta produce the necessary 60 votes...and I'm suggesting based on my observations that that would pose some difficulties," he said at a conference of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association.