* Republicans, Wall St oppose consumer bureau
* Warren is candidate to be the bureau's first director
By Dave Clarke
WASHINGTON, May 24 Testimony by White House
consumer adviser Elizabeth Warren before a House subcommittee
broke down into acrimony when the panel's Republican chairman
accused her of lying about the terms of her appearance.
Warren testified on Tuesday before a House of
Representatives Oversight and Government Reform panel about her
efforts to set up the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,
an agency Republicans and Wall Street do not like and want to
The hearing focused on disputes over the scope of the
agency's power, but her appearance ended in heated wrangling
over how long she would testify.
About an hour into the hearing Republicans sought to
temporarily adjourn for votes. Warren objected to sticking
around for more questions upon their return, saying her
afternoon was packed with meetings and that the committee had
agreed she would only stay an hour.
"Congressman, we had an agreement," she told Republican
subcommittee Chairman Patrick McHenry after some
"You had no agreement, you are making this up, Ms. Warren,"
The committee's lead Democrat, Elijah Cummings, jumped in,
telling McHenry, "I'm trying to be cordial here, you just
accused the lady of lying."
Tuesday's mini-drama of Democrats vs. Republicans vs.
Warren has played out for months and would escalate if the
Obama administration formally nominates her to become the
director of the consumer agency.
Warren, a Harvard law professor who previously served as a
watchdog for the government's $700 billion financial system
bailout, has run into strong opposition from Republicans, who
say she would be too confrontational with the financial
Warren has been acting as an adviser to President Barack
Obama and the Treasury Department while setting up the agency,
which was created by last year's Dodd-Frank legislation and is
set to open its doors on July 21.
The hearing focused on Republicans' contention that the new
bureau, which will regulate products like credit cards and
mortgages, was given too much power.
Warren disagreed, saying that there are several checks on
the agency, including veto power from the new Financial
Stability Oversight Council.
After the dust-up, cooler heads prevailed and McHenry
allowed Warren to leave and submit written answers.
But McHenry got in a parting shot, releasing a statement at
the end of the day: "I was shocked by Ms. Warren's blatant
sense of entitlement."
(Editing by Steve Orlofsky)