This afternoon, Speaker Pelosi held a brief press availability with Elizabeth Warren, Assistant to the President and Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, prior to their meeting in the Capitol:
Speaker Pelosi. Good afternoon. This is a special day in the office of the Speaker when we can welcome Elizabeth Warren. Her appointment as an assistant to the President as we establish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a real victory for the middle class in our country. Nobody is more responsible for the Bureau being created.
In the Wall Street reform bill, we made reforms that were historic for decades, better reforms than had been done in decades to reform Wall Street. But in terms of consumer protection, it was the biggest reform in the history of our country. And I want to salute Elizabeth Warren for the role that she played in making it so.
Of course, we were very proud of her work in the TARP Congressional Oversight Panel, as well, where she was a fighter for the consumer, for the American taxpayer. So our country will be very well served for generations to come because of the leadership of Elizabeth Warren. Congratulations.
Elizabeth Warren. Thank you very much. Thank you, Madam Speaker.
When I first had the idea for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, I came to Washington to talk with anybody who was willing to listen about it. And what I was told in more than one office was: ‘You don’t understand. There is no real money. There is no real push behind this. It is a nice idea, but basically it’s a pipe dream.’
But there were those who said: ‘Maybe there is a good reason to think about significant change on behalf of middle-class families.’ And that was the Speaker. And many people here in the House of Representatives, and also those in the Senate, who took that idea and turned it into law, into something that was going to be strong and powerful and create a voice here in Washington on behalf of hardworking families who aren’t looking for a hand out, who aren’t looking for a free lunch, but who are just looking for a fair deal. And this is an agency that is designed to try and give them that over time.
I’m honored to be asked to help in getting this agency started, and I am honored to be asked to talk with the President and offer him whatever advice I can on middle-class economic issues. This is a very special moment in American history. This is a time when real gains have been made for hardworking families, and we start to feel those differences today, but they will grow bigger and bigger over time.
I’m here today with a great deal of optimism and with my thanks, Madam Speaker.
Speaker Pelosi. Thank you and congratulations to you and we’re grateful to the President for appointing Elizabeth Warren for this very important position. All consumers in our country, all taxpayers in our country, have cause to celebrate the fact that she will be bringing her considerable experience and wisdom to this task.
Congratulations and good luck.