(Photo: Edward Kimmel/Flickr/cc)
Mar 02, 2018
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 we lose the final vote next week, we'll be paving the way for the next big crash. It's time for the rest of us to fight back and demand that Washington work for us, not the big bank lobbyists."
--Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)
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.
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.
\u201cThe Senate \u2013 with the support of some Democrats \u2013 is set to start debate on a bill to roll back regulations on the same big banks we bailed out a few years ago. If we lose the final vote next week, we\u2019ll be paving the way for the next big crash. https://t.co/i7HO3AvNJ9\u201d— Elizabeth Warren (@Elizabeth Warren) 1520002441
\u201cWe\u2019ve been down this road before. Whenever things are going ok in the financial system, the lobbyists flood the halls of Congress & convince politicians to roll back the rules \u2013 because what could possibly go wrong? https://t.co/7rUKIajJ8Q\u201d— Elizabeth Warren (@Elizabeth Warren) 1520002441
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.
\u201cThe Senate should be working to #EndGunViolence. Instead, Mitch McConnell is teeing up legislation on what he thinks is a much more pressing issue: fulfilling the wish lists of big bank lobbyists.\u201d— Elizabeth Warren (@Elizabeth Warren) 1520002441
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.
"It's a whose-side-are-you-on moment. 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?"
--Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio)
As Talmon Joseph Smith observed in an article for TheNew Republic on Thursday, "Nine of the 12 Democrats supporting the deregulatory measure count the financial industry as either their biggest or second-biggest donor."
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.
"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?"
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