Sen.-elect Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)—the visionary behind the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the former bailout watchdog, and no friend of Wall Street—has reportedly snagged a seat on the powerful Senate banking committee, which writes the regulations for the banking industry.
The Huffington Post, citing four sources “familiar with the situation,” says Warren has locked up a seat on the committee. Politico confirmed the news soon after. Warren’s spot on the committee must still be approved by the Senate Democratic caucus, which is expected to happen. The news comes after Mother Jones reported last month that big banks and their lobbyists in Washington were pushing to keep Warren off the committee.
Senate Democrats had two open seats to fill on the banking committee, with the upcoming retirements of Sens. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) and Herb Kohl (D-Wisc.). Warren will get one of those seats. The other, the Huffington Post reports, will go Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).
Warren’s appointment tees up a potentially vicious battle between her and the big banks. (She has a better relationship with smaller, non-New York banks, as I’ve reported in the past.) Multiple Senate aides said last month that Wall Street had been lobbying hard to deny Warren a seat on the committee; one aide told me, “Downtown”—shorthand for Washington’s lobbying corridor—”has been going nuts” to keep Warren off.
Going nuts clearly wasn’t enough.