Johnson: Elizabeth Warren welcome on Banking Committee

In his weekly conference call with South Dakota reporters, Sen. Tim Johnson said he has no objections to senator-elect Elizabeth Warren serving on the Banking Committee he chairs if, as widely reported, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid appoints her to it.

"I would welcome her to the committee if that’s what she wants," Johnson said.

Warren, who was instrumental in setting up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under the Dodd-Frank Act, has drawn the ire of some in the banking industry for her outspoken comments:

"She has been hostile to Wall Street," said Michael Farr, president of money management firm Farr Miller & Washington. "She has been the criticizer in chief of the banking system."

Johnson said he wasn’t worried.

"The choice is up to leader Reid about who else will join the committee," Johnson said. "I think she will be balanced off by a couple conservative Democrats."

Johnson hits the spotlight

Bloomberg reports on Sen. Tim Johnson, about to hit the center of attention as he questions JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon tomorrow about the bank’s $2 billion in trading losses.

Johnson “aides and allies” tell Bloomberg that he likes to stay above the fray and not demagogue issues.

The article also notes a “revolving door” between Johnson’s office and JPMorgan, but one that hasn’t netted Johnson much campaign money in recent years. (Not that Johnson has raised much money from anyone in recent years.)

The question of Johnson’s ties — or lack thereof — to banking interests is perhaps the most interesting part of the article:

Johnson has also had to battle perceptions that he himself is too cozy with financial interests.

“The assumption was that I’d be in the pocket of the credit card industry, yet I’ve supported Cordray and the consumer bureau all down the line,” Johnson said.

Give the whole thing a read.

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