News & Politics

Elizabeth Warren Slams Democrats for Helping Gut Financial Regulations

The Massachusetts senator refuses to let a "Bank Lobbyist Act" pass without a fight.

Photo Credit: Evan El-Amin / Shutterstock

Cooperation between Republicans and Democrats has become something of a rarity in today's polarized political environment—except when it comes to a select handful of objectives, like enriching Wall Street banks.

If passed, the legislation—derisively labeled "The Bank Lobbyist Act" by Warren and other critics—would make it more difficult to combat racial discrimination by big banks, provide regulatory relief for more than two dozen of the nation's large financial institutions, and eliminate many consumer protections put into place after the 2008 financial crisis.

In a Twitter thread on Friday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) called attention to a massive bank deregulation bill (S.2155) that could reach the Senate floor for a final vote next week, and highlighted the fact that a dozen Democrats are providing crucial support for the measure.

In addition to Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), the 12 Democratic senators currently co-sponsoring the deregulation measure are: Doug Jones (Ala.), Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Jon Tester (Mont.), Mark Warner (Va.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Tim Kaine (Va.), Gary Peters (Mich.), Michael Bennet (Colo.), Chris Coons (Del.), and Tom Carper of Delaware.

In a video posted to Twitter on Friday, Warren explained that this bipartisan effort to fullfill "the wish lists of big bank lobbyists" goes a long way toward illustrating how Congress works for the wealthiest at the expense of the majority of the public.

Watch:

Dubbed the "Bailout Caucus" by the advocacy group Rootstrikers, the Democrats backing the deregulation bill—introduced by Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) last November—have deep ties to the financial industry.

Earlier this week, a coalition of advocacy groups—including Rootstrikers, Public Citizen, and CREDO—delivered 450,000 petition signatures to members of Congress demanding that they reject Crapo's measure.As Talmon Joseph Smith observed in an article for The New Republic on Thursday, "Nine of the 12 Democrats supporting the deregulatory measure count the financial industry as either their biggest or second-biggest donor."

"Do not collaborate with Donald Trump and Trump Republicans to deregulate big banks," CREDO's petition reads. "We need to finish the job of Wall Street reform and end a dangerous and rigged system that puts our economy at risk, not roll back the reforms already in place."

Warren is hardly the only Democrat who has joined advocacy groups in opposing the deregulation bill, which would gut the already limited Dodd-Frank regulations put in place by the Obama administration following the 2008 crash.

"It's a whose-side-are-you-on moment," warned Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) in an interview with the Huffington Post. "Are you with the big banks and the Wall Street operators who wrecked the economy and got big bailouts, or are you with families and workers?"

Don't let big tech control what news you see. Get more stories like this in your inbox, every day.

Jake Johnson is a staff writer for Common Dreams. Follow him on Twitter: @wordsofdissent