Sen. Elizabeth Warren is vying for a key economic post in President-Elect Joe Biden’s administration – but could see those hopes dashed due to her progressive agenda, similar to a setback she experienced in 2011.
Warren, D-Mass., is the mastermind behind the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which she was given the green light under former President Barack Obama to set up in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.
However, when it came time to name a lead to the watchdog agency Warren had pioneered and advocated for, she was ultimately passed over due to mounting opposition from Republicans and Wall Street.
The New York Times noted that Obama “was so convinced she could not win Senate confirmation that he did not even bother to nominate her.”
“Mr. Obama has said he has great respect for Ms. Warren and her advocacy for consumers, but he has appeared unwilling to wage a battle with the Senate to actually nominate her to direct the new bureau,” the publication wrote in another article about the bureau’s leadership.
Republicans were largely opposed to the entire idea of the CFPB, and many still are.
Richard Cordray, the former attorney general of Ohio, got the job instead, and Warren went on to run for the Senate seat she secured in Massachusetts.
Obama’s decision flew in the face of many who advocated for her leadership at the agency, and he appointed Cordray even “after receiving petitions signed by several hundred thousand people and organizations urging him to appoint Warren as the country’s top consumer watchdog.”
Warren has continued to pursue a policy agenda centered on protecting consumers and reigning in corporate America long after she was denied the top spot at the CFPB.
While running for president this election cycle, Warren centered her campaign on fighting corporate greed and breaking up some of the country’s largest companies – like Amazon – which progressives often characterize as anti-competitive monopolies. She has also been vocal about the need to raise taxes on the rich and proposed a wealth tax to break up family fortunes.
Warren is said to be eyeing the Treasury Secretary slot under Biden, but there are doubts as to whether she could secure the job given her progressive bonafides.
Warren is among a group of left-leaning Democrats that progressive groups are lobbying to see Biden take up in his administrative ranks.
Others named include Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., for Labor Secretary, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., for secretary of Housing and Urban Development; and Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., for secretary of Health and Human Services.
Politico reported earlier this week that Warren and Sanders stand little chance of securing nominations to their desired jobs because of the the partisan power dynamics in the Senate and the potential that Democrats could lose seats in the chamber if the pair were tapped to vacate their elected positions.
Both lawmakers are from states where Republican governors would have power to fill their vacant seats.