When the House Financial Services Committee drafted its version of the legislation, it rejected an amendment by Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) that appeared designed to prevent Warren from heading the agency. His proposal would have required the agency's director to have at least a year of experience working for a financial services company or a banking regulatory agency.
"This agency would have the potential for limiting credit availability and limiting consumer choices," Garrett said. "Put somebody in there who has all but established that as her agenda, and you just amplify the magnitude in a negative manner that this agency can have on the economy."
Republicans aren't Warren's only potential problem. She has ruffled feathers at the Treasury Department as chairwoman of the TARP panel. In that job, she aggressively questioned Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and other officials about the use of the money.
"She's been an outspoken critic of the TARP program, which has been largely administered by Secretary Geithner, so I don't think it's surprising that he would not be her biggest fan," said Jaret Seiberg, a financial policy analyst at Concept Capital's Washington Research Group.
"She takes intellectual credit for the concept of a consumer financial protection agency. Whether she's the best candidate to lead it, I think there are a lot of questions," Seiberg said.
A Treasury spokesman said Geithner believed that Warren "is exceptionally well qualified" and would support her nomination. Obama and other top administration officials also have praised her contribution to the legislation and her abilities.
"Elizabeth Warren is a great, great champion for consumers and middle-class families across the country," White House senior advisor David Axelrod said. "So she's obviously a candidate to lead this effort."
Obama acknowledged her efforts Wednesday after signing the legislation by stepping down from the podium and personally congratulating Warren and other key supporters of the legislation.