WASHINGTON (CNNMoney) -- House Democrats are calling on President Obama to appoint Elizabeth Warren to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau during the next Senate recess.
Eighty-nine House Democrats have sent the president a letter dismissing a Senate Republican threat to block any nomination of a director to the new consumer bureau. They urged the president to "nominate Professor Warren as the CFPB's first director anyway," the letter released Thursday stated.
If Warren was appointed to run the new bureau during a Senate recess, it would give her the job through the end of 2012.
Last month, 44 Senate Republicans threatened to block any nomination to the consumer bureau unless Congress passes certain scalebacks of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Democrats say that gives the president a free pass to make a recess appointment to sidestep the Senate confirmation process.
"(Republicans) are the ones who have said confirmation is over," said Rep. Carolyn Maloney, a New York Democrat. "We are telling the GOP that we will not be taken hostage."
While 89 is impressive, it's slightly less than half of the 193 Democrats currently serving in the House. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday that Republicans were "pretty unenthusiastic about the possibility of Elizabeth Warren."
He also said that Republicans are not happy about the new bureau and want changes, because they think it threatens the financial system.
Rep. Barney Frank, whose name adorns the law that established the consumer bureau, said senior White House officials intend to make an appointment -- if necessary, a recess appointment -- to get a director running the bureau.
"It's their intention to appoint someone," said Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat. The White House hasn't publicly indicated what they intend to do.
The consumer bureau officially launches July 21. But if the new agency lacks a director, some of its power to regulate mortgages and credit cards could be on hold.
Warren is the top candidate for the job. The Harvard University law professor has been running the effort to get the bureau operating, working as an adviser to the White House and Treasury.
Two left-leaning progressive groups have launched an Internet campaign to get Warren appointed. CREDO Action and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee set up a website pushing for a Warren nomination. They're touting 256,000 electronic signatures calling for the president to appoint Warren.
"We need an appointment and we need it quick," said Rep. Keith Ellison, a Minnesota Democrat.
One problem: It's unclear when the next Senate recess will be. Republicans were able to prevent the Senate from going into recess during this week's Memorial Day break. The Senate is technically in a so-called "pro-forma" session, in which no major business will occur.
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