Warren defends consumer bureau on 'Daily Show'

elizabeth-warren-daily-show.top.jpgWhite House adviser Elizabeth Warren, left, defends the consumer financial protection bureau in an appearance on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart." By Jennifer Liberto, senior writer


WASHINGTON (CNNMoney) -- Using a familiar, friendly forum, White House adviser Elizabeth Warren went on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" to criticize a congressional effort to delay and weaken the consumer bureau created by Wall Street reform.

"Now the game is, let's just see if we can stick a knife in the ribs of this consumer agency," she told host Jon Stewart in one of her strongest defenses of the bureau.

Warren, a consumer advocate and Harvard University professor working with both the White House and the Treasury Department, explained in the broadcast that aired Tuesday that she is helping put the new bureau together. She said she's also playing a lot of defense to keep the bureau strong and alive.

The consumer bureau is a new federal agency that has its own funding and will regulate financial products such as mortgages and credit cards starting July 21.

The House Financial Services Committee is considering bills to prevent the bureau from flexing new powers until it has a Senate-confirmed director and to make it easier to overturn and veto new consumer bureau rules. Republicans say the bureau puts too much power in one individual and complain the bureau lacks enough oversight.

In defending the agency on the show, Warren harkened back to the plain-spoken, heartfelt attacks that won her such broad public support as a consumer advocate.

"Right now there are bills pending in Congress to delay the agency, to defund the agency, to defang the agency, make it toothless, so it won't get anything done," she told Stewart. "And bills to kill the agency outright before it is ever able to take one step on behalf of middle class families."

Since Warren went to work for the federal government last year, her public appearances have been more carefully choreographed and less frank.

But her appearance on the "Daily Show" showcased the Elizabeth Warren that consumers love, especially with her comparisons of attacks on the bureau to dark alley knife fights.

In her talk with Stewart -- who abandons his often critical view of public figures when she appears on the show -- Warren talked about the bureau's purpose, usually in an earnest way. But she got a few laughs.

"It wants to make risks clear, it wants to get rid of the fine print -- the 'word barf' in the middle of these financial contracts -- so you can actually make direct comparisons," Warren said.

Stewart asked her a lot of questions about why the financial industry and those in Congress are fighting to weaken the consumer agency.

"Could you say to Goldman Sachs (GS, Fortune 500), you are no longer in the financial business, you now make hats?" Stewart asked her.

"No, I'm afraid all we can do with this consumer agency is really be pretty straight forward. This is about families being able to tell costs and risks," Warren answered.

An extended version of the interview appears on the "Daily Show" website. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,827.75 12.81 0.07%
Nasdaq 4,787.32 29.07 0.61%
S&P 500 2,072.83 5.80 0.28%
Treasuries 2.23 -0.03 -1.15%
Data as of 7:51pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Kinder Morgan Inc 42.32 1.57 3.85%
Apple Inc 119.00 1.40 1.19%
Facebook Inc 77.62 1.99 2.63%
Pfizer Inc 31.10 0.63 2.07%
Bank of America Corp... 17.11 0.01 0.06%
Data as of 4:04pm ET

Sections

At malls and department stores across America, the faithful are lining up and camping out for deals. More

At malls and department stores across America, the faithful are lining up and camping out for deals. More

Two pilots encountered drones while flying over college football games and another pilot saw one while flying over the Hollywood sign. More

Natalie's Cakes and More has raised $84,000 through GoFundMe after protests trash store. More

Retailers are promising big deals this Black Friday, but are the savings actually worth the shopping mayhem? Test your deal-sniffing skills. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.