WASHINGTON Nov 13 U.S. Senator-elect Elizabeth
Warren would be a welcome addition to the Senate Banking
Committee, its chairman Tim Johnson said on Tuesday in his first
public statement about his preferences since Warren was elected.
Warren, a Democrat who beat Massachusetts Republican
incumbent Senator Scott Brown in last week's election, has been
a fierce critic of Wall Street's excesses and an advocate for
She was the chief watchdog of the $700 billion taxpayer
bailout of the U.S. financial system and later helped set up the
new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which oversees
products such as mortgages and student loans.
"I have a good working relationship with Elizabeth Warren
and I would welcome her to the committee if that's what she
wishes," said Johnson, a South Dakota Democrat, in a statement
"Her expertise and knowledge would be an asset to the
committee as we continue working to protect consumers and
maintain financial stability."
Congressional observers have said Warren stands a good
chance at getting a spot on the banking committee, even though
it is considered a plum assignment for a freshman senator.
A spokeswoman for Warren did not immediately respond to
requests for comment.
Senate Democrats will vote for leadership positions on
Wednesday, but negotiations over committee assignments will
continue, a Senate staffer said.
Committee assignments are chosen by Senate leadership,
though recommendations from committee chairmen, like Johnson,
carry some weight.
The progressive political blog Daily Kos has started a
petition asking Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to give Warren
a spot on the committee.