A group of nearly a dozen Senate Democrats is teaming up with President Donald Trump and the GOP in an aggressive push to gut Wall Street regulations, and thanks to a new campaign launched on Friday by the anti-corruption organization Rootstrikers, this group has a name: "The Bailout Caucus."
"This bill increases the risk of another taxpayer bailout, and I will continue to challenge supporters of this bill—from both parties—to explain why they stand on the side of big banks instead of working families."
—Sen. Elizabeth Warren
In total, 11 Democratic senators and Angus King (I-Maine) are joining hands with Republicans to push through GOP-crafted legislation (S.2155) that progressive Democrats and Wall Street critics say will undermine crucial post-financial crisis regulations, roll back consumer protections, and open the door to another crash.
In an email on Friday, Rootstrikers noted that it is working alongside several other advocacy groups to pressure Democrats to "drop their support of the bill," which is expected to hit the Senate floor for a vote as early as next month.
Refusal to do so would be "a shocking betrayal of the constituents who put them into office," Rootstrikers campaign director Kurt Walters concluded in a statement. "This breakaway #BailoutCaucus may think their support of this bill will fly under the radar—only noticed by bank executives and lobbyists giving campaign contributions. They are wrong."
In addition to King, the Democratic senators who are co-sponsoring and providing significant "momentum" for the deregulatory legislation first introduced by Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) are: Tom Carper (Del.), Chris Coons (Del.), Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), John Tester (Mont.), Mark Warner (Va.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Tim Kaine (Va.), Gary Peters (Mich.), and Michael Bennet (Colo.).
As part of its pressure campaign, Rootstrikers began circulating a petition urging constituents of King and the 11 Democratic senators to demand that they oppose a bill that, if passed, would "give the green light to Trump’s team of deregulators to eviscerate the other rules on Wall Street."
Echoing the concerns of activist groups, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has been a vocal critic of Crapo's legislation and her Democratic colleagues who have decided to co-sponsor it.
"This bill increases the risk of another taxpayer bailout, and I will continue to challenge supporters of this bill—from both parties—to explain why they stand on the side of big banks instead of working families," Warren said in an interview earlier this month.