The Congressional Progressive Caucus has urged New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to name Rep. Brad Miller, D-N.C., as executive director of the Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities (RMBS) Working Group. Schneiderman is one of the co-chairmen of the working group, which was created earlier this year but does not have an executive director.
‘Rep. Miller has the best mix of skills and experience to steer this new working group,’Â wrote the caucus members in a letter to Schneiderman, noting Miller's authorship of the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act of 2009, which was later folded into the Dodd-Frank Act. They also cited his pre-Congress career as a civil litigator.
However, in an interview with The Nation, Miller says that he was in discussions with Schneiderman about the executive director's position, but that he would not be offered the job due to political pressure from Republicans and the financial services industry.
‘[One reason] was that Republicans were watching the work of the task force very closely and very critically, and that they would oppose my playing that role,’ Miller says. ‘And presumably, they would be speaking for the industry.’
In its letter to Schneiderman, the caucus also noted recent press reports that the working group was understaffed and did not have an office set up in Washington, D.C.
‘We understand that the task force is leveraging pre-existing enforcement efforts and staff at participating agencies, but we remain concerned that the working group has not independently established a robust infrastructure commensurate with the charge of investigating this component of the 2008 financial crisis,’ the caucus continued. ‘With three months having passed since the initial announcement of the creation of the RMBS Working Group, we fear that this group's efforts may be stalled. The best way to reignite this important undertaking is to hire a qualified, aggressive and committed executive director, and give them the power and budget to hire the necessary support staff. Without quick action in this regard, public confidence in the working group may be at risk.’