Big banks and their army of lobbyists better watch out. News outlets reported Tuesday morning that U.S. Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren, a former Harvard Law School professor and champion of the liberal left, will likely be appointed to the Senate Banking Committee when she takes office in January.
Citing anonymous aides, the Huffington Post and the Boston Globe wrote that Warren's appointment to the prominent committee only awaits Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's formal announcement. Any appointment must also be voted on and approved by the incoming members of the Senate, but such approval is generally a mere formality.
The chief overseer of the TARP bailout program and the intellectual force behind the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Warren has dedicated her career in academia and government to protecting consumers from fraud.
Given her resume and national stature, Warren's potential appointment to the Banking Committee has not been without opposition. Republicans have spoken out against such an appointment, and reports have surfaced of financial industry lobbyists working actively against her appointment.
Warren had taught at Harvard for more than 15 years until she defeated Republican U.S. Senator Scott Brown in November. During that race, backed by almost $40 million in campaign cash, Warren pledged to end Bush-era tax cuts on the rich, end tax loopholes for big business like the oil industry, and stiffen regulations on banks and businesses whose risky practices helped fuel the economic recession.
Far from the fray of Washington, where Congress and White House are wrangling for a deal that would help avoid looming sequestration, Warren has spent much of the last week tour Massachusetts to thank voters and listen to their concerns.