After the grilling Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) head Elizabeth Warren received yesterday from Republicans in Congress, supporters of the controversial nominee are hitting back.
The Facebook page for Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) on Wednesday was filled with angry reaction to a House Oversight Subcommittee hearing on the bureau Tuesday. During that proceeding, McHenry--who chairs the panel--accused Warren, a Harvard Law School professor whose ideas were the building blocks of the CFPB, of giving misleading testimony in March. In a particularly heated moment, McHenry accused Warren of lying about having an agreement permitting her to leave Tuesday's hearing at a designated time. (McHenry wanted her to stay.)
"You had no agreement," he said.
"We had an agreement for the time this hearing would adjourn," Warren replied.
"You're making this up, Ms. Warren," McHenry said, eliciting gasps from individuals in the hearing room. "You're simply--this is not the case. This is not the case."
You can watch video of the exchange below via The Daily Beast:
Warren supporters angered by McHenry's behavior took to Facebook to express their displeasure. By Wednesday afternoon, several posts per minute were appearing on McHenry's "wall," calling for him to apologize, casting him as arrogant and rude, and lobbing many colorful insults.
For his part, McHenry casts Warren as the one who was out of line, saying in a widely disseminated statement:
I was shocked by Ms. Warren's blatant sense of entitlement. She was apparently under the assumption that she could dictate a one hour time limit for her testimony to Congress and that we were there at her behest instead of the other way around. This is just further example of her disregard for congressional oversight.
Rep. John Yarmuth, (D-Ky.) a subcommittee member who supports Warren's candidacy, apologized during the hearing. Yarmuth told Warren that McHenry's accusation about her March testimony--that she was misleading Congress about her role in settlement talks between federal and state authorities and mortgage companies--was a tactical maneuver motivated largely by fear. The charge from the committee chairman "indicates to me that this hearing is all about you, because people are afraid of you and your ability to communicate in very clear terms the threats to our consumers," Yarmuth said.
Republicans have been embroiled in a bitter fight over Warren, whom Obama chose last September to help create the CFPB, which is charged with advocating on behalf of consumers in key transactions such mortgage lending, credit card billings and other financial matters. Many Republicans and others do not want to see government stepping in to control the financial industry in general--and especially not by granting regulatory authority to Warren, who has a record of taking on Wall Street.
Warren was an obvious candidate to become the bureau's head following its formation, but has not yet been formally nominated for the post. Senate Republicans have vowed to filibuster any nominee--a tactic that has prompted Democrats to call on the White House to use a recess appointment for Warren.
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