Elizabeth Warren in line for Senate bank role

Reports described lobbyists’ opposition

Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren has been a staunch critic of big banks.
Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren has been a staunch critic of big banks.

Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren, one of the fiercest critics of big banks, will probably be named to the Senate Banking Committee when she joins Congress next month, according to two Senate aides.

The appointment has not been formally announced by Senate leaders and will not be final until an official vote on assignments by the members. The pending appointment was described to the Globe by aides who requested anonymity because Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, has not made a formal announcement.

Warren’s office had no immediate comment.


There had been speculation over the appointment since Warren’s election last month, including several media reports that lobbyists were working to keep the Massachusetts Democrat off the committee. The Huffington Post first reported Warren’s appointment Tuesday.

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Warren, a Harvard Law School professor and consumer advocate, has been vocal in her beliefs that big banks — which are backed by the US government — should be regulated in the amount of risk they are allowed to take.

She has testified before Congress, researched financial issues from her perch at Harvard University, and campaigned on behalf of the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul bill.

Her tough talk against Wall Street helped build her national profile, creating a campaign fund-raising base that allowed her to spend $40 million in the election, more than any other congressional candidate this year.

Warren also helped create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as part of the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory act. She wanted to lead the agency, but Senate Republicans threatened to block her appointment. That led her to seek her own Senate seat.


Representative Barney Frank, a Newton Democrat retiring next month after coauthoring Dodd-Frank, has been a key ally of Warren. Last month, he said in an interview that keeping Warren off the Banking Committee “would be nuts.”

“She’s so obviously well qualified,” he said.

The financial industry, especially in Massachusetts, has been trying to improve its relationship with Warren now that she has been elected.

Noah Bierman can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @noahbierman.