After 16 Senate Democrats voted to advance a Wall Street deregulation bill, Elizabeth Warren said it was like a “stab in the heart.”
Warren’s colleagues voted for the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act that eases regulations on 25 of the 32 largest banks in the U.S., according to The Intercept_. The bill also removes many protections for consumers and rolls back reporting requirements, which were put into place after the Great Recession.
While 10 of the 16 Senate Democrats co-sponsored the bill, Warren spoke out about the betrayal she felt by her colleagues at a Congressional Progressive Caucus strategy retreat in Baltimore on March 9.
“Just this week we lost the first round in the battle of a bad banking bill – a bill that would take the reins off of Wall Street’s most reckless actors and put as greater risk of another financial crisis,” Warren said. “When I saw a handful of my Democratic colleagues vote for it, it felt like a stab in the heart. Not for me, but for all the homeowners who were cheated and all the taxpayers who bailed out those banks. That is wrong.”
Warren said at the gathering of progressive lawmakers that “this isn’t a story about economics,” rather it’s a “story about power.”
“In this relationship between lender and borrower, the lender has the power,” Warren said.
The bill that Warren so openly opposes will “exempt banks valued at under $250 billion from abiding by some regulations imposed by Dodd-Frank, intended to help prevent against the kinds of systemic risk that led the last recession to spiral,” The Intercept_ reported. It will also “exempt small banks from following the Volcker Rule” and “loosening restrictions on the U.S.-subsidiaries of foreign-based banks.” The de-regulations also allow for discrimination, in particular against rural borrowers and people of color.
“It is so hard to fight against all the money and all the lobbying,” Warren said. “It is so hard to fight when we fight and lose. It’s worse when some of our teammates don’t even show up for the fight.”