Elizabeth Warren Rips Wall Street and Shreds House GOP Over Government Funding Bill

elizabeth warren dodd frank provision government funding bill

During remarks on the Senate floor, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) encouraged a Democratic rebellion while ripping and shredding Wall Street and House Republicans for trying to weaken financial protections will giving Big Banks a huge gift in the government funding bill.

Video:

Sen. Warren said,

I come to the floor today to ask a fundamental question. Who does Congress work for? Does it work for the millionaires, the billionaires, the giant companies with their armies of lobbyists and lawyers, or does it work for all the people?

People are frustrated with Congress and part of the reason, of course, is gridlock, but mostly it’s because they see a Congress that works just fine for the big guys, but it won’t lift a finger to help them.

Now, the House of Representatives is about to show us the worst of government for the rich and powerful. The House is about to vote on a budget deal. A deal negotiated behind closed doors that slips in a provision that would let derivatives traders on Wall Street gamble with taxpayer money and get bailed out by the government when their risky bets threaten to blow up our financial system. These are the same banks that nearly broke the economy in 2008 and destroyed millions of jobs.

….

And now, no debate and no discussion, Republicans in the House of Representatives are threatening to shut down the government if they don’t get a chance to repeal it. That raises a simple question. Why? If this rule brings more stability to our financial system. If this rule helps prevent future government bailouts. Why in the world would anyone want to repeal it? Let alone hold the entire government hostage to ram through this appeal. The reason unfortunately is simple. It’s about money, and it’s about power. Because while this legal change could pose serious risks to our entire economy, it will also make a lot of money for a handful of our biggest banks.

….

Now, I know that House and Senate negotiators from both parties have worked long and hard to come to an agreement on the omnibus spending legislation, and Senate leaders deserve great for preventing House leaders from carrying out some of their more aggressive fantasies about dismantling even more pieces of financial reform, but this provision goes too far. Citigroup is large and it is powerful, but it is a single private company. It shouldn’t get to hold the entire government hostage, to threaten a government shutdown, in order to rollback important protections that keep our economy safe.

This is a democracy and the American people didn’t elect us to stand up for Citigroup. They elected us to stand up for all the people.

I urge my colleagues in the House, particularly my Democratic colleagues, whose votes are essential for moving this package forward to withhold support from it until this risky giveaway is removed from this legislation. We all need to stand and fight this giveaway to the most powerful banks in this nation.

Warren also explained during her remarks that the provision in the legislation was written by Citicorp lobbyists. Democrats and Republicans are divided within their own parties on this bill. The left is in full rebellion over this provision, and if enough Democrats withhold their support, the bill won’t pass the House.

It is estimated that 50-60 House Republicans will vote against the bill because they are displeased with the lack of action over Obama’s immigration executive orders. Boehner needs House Democrats in order to pass this bill. If he doesn’t get the Democrats, the bill will die.

Democrats must keep the pressure on. Boehner will drop the provision from the bill because he will do almost anything to avoid a government shutdown. Sen. Warren was correct. If they keep the heat on, they can prevail. The first fight is in the House. A victory by Warren and the other congressional liberals would be the biggest sign yet that the left is going to be a force in the next Congress.

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29 Replies to “Elizabeth Warren Rips Wall Street and Shreds House GOP Over Government Funding Bill”

  1. This might sounds nuts to a few, but I’d love to see another government shutdown. WHY? Simple, because the GOP will again be (RIGHTFULLY) Blamed, and assuming this goes into the next year (Jan 3, 2015) It WILL weaken the right’s power lock in both houses of congress and that will give the President the upper hand. Remember,the GOP is a way with us, so I’m all for a shutdown assuming they get the full blame!

  2. Its not just the teahadist who put this item into the budget. If we are to be honest with ourselves then we must place blame on wall street Sen. Charles Schumer.

    He was the one neogiating with them and this is his gift for his bagmen. It is time to clear the deck of corporate Democrats. Because just wait, they cant wait to get their hands on the safety net and then turn around and blame the gop

  3. look hillary is a great lady, her career is one for the history books. but, i will be a part of drafting sen warren for prez. actually, i do think she is positioning herself for a go, shes raising her profile, and shes the only one except sen sanders doing for progressives. and she’s real. i would hate to see another clinton v bush election. sen warren is the cons worst freakin nightmare, and rove/ailes/luntz/et.al know it…

    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/prosecute-full-extent-law-all-parties-responsible-use-torture-outlined-cia-report/17ZgKTtB

  4. Jeebus double h christ here is another nugget in this budget

    A controversial cost-cutting panel created by ObamaCare would see its budget cut by $10 million if the nearly $1.1-trillion spending bill released Tuesday night passes in its current form.
    The Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), though it has not been convened, is strongly opposed by Republican lawmakers.
    That would be the panel intended to review increases in Medicare spending and advise Congress on potential cuts or changes that could be made.

    The only note here is that we’ll pay over $80 million to two guys for advice on how best to torture captive foreigners, but $10 million to review Medicare spending is too much. Our torture money has to come from somewhere, and sometimes tough choices need to be made.
    http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/226608-ipab-budget-under-fire-in-spending-bill

  5. This is where the rubber meet the road. Now we will see who a true Dem. or corp. Dem.. If Reid got the ballz to stand-up and fight or his caucus cave to Wall Street party.

  6. “When you have them by the short and curlies, their hearts and minds will follow.” – old diplomatic saying.

  7. I would like to know why they can’t just have a straight forward funding bill without attaching all kinds of crap to it. Is that too much to ask for?

    Taxpayer’s being held accountable for the banks trading in derivatives? The very thing that darn near threw us into a depression? As it is the taxpayers bailed out the banks and nobody went to jail for what was essentially fraud.

    Then we have the Republicans inserting a rider to allow corporation to deny women birth control if it was against it’s religious belief. What the hell does this have to do with funding the government?

    The Boehner needs Democrats to pass this farce? Tough. Take out all the riders, all of them. Quit using the government budget as your personal wants.

  8. Per usual, it is Elizabeth Warren that explains this best:

    You will hear a lot of folks say that the rule that will be repealed in the Omnibus is technical and complicated, and that you shouldn’t worry about it because smart people who know more than you about financial issues say that it’s no big deal. Don’t believe them. Actually, the rule is pretty simple. Here’s what it’s called – the rule that the House is about to repeal – and I’m quoting from the text of Dodd-Frank – “PROHIBITION AGAINST FEDERAL GOVERNMENT BAILOUTS OF SWAPS ENTITIES.” What does it do? The provision that’s about to be repealed requires banks to keep separate a key part of their risky Wall Street speculation so that there’s no government insurance for that part of their business. As the New York Times has explained, “the goal was to isolate risky trading and to prevent government bailouts” – because these sorts of risky trades – called ‘derivatives’ trades – were “a main culprit in the 2008 financial crisis.”

  9. Great post!

    Elizabeth Warren is a Godsend! However, as much as I’d like to see her as President, she is very much needed in the Senate where she can fight hard for “We the people…” and for our democracy!

    We need her in the Senate, now more than ever!

    God bless her and I bless her.

  10. What are the Democrats doing, do they want to lose most of there supporters? Vote NO on this bill! If the
    Democrats don’t stop this give away to the banks they will LOSE my vote and ALL my family and friends. Shut it Down!!!!!

  11. The teahadist just gave a big middle finger towards democracy

    Congressional Republicans are once again showing their concern for local control by including a provision in the spending bill that would block Washington, DC, from legalizing marijuana. Residents of the District voted overwhelmingly for legalization in November, but it is within Congress’ power to say “screw them,” and that’s just what Maryland Rep. Andy Harris is saying.

    “That’s the way the Constitution was written,” Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) said in an interview Wednesday. “If they don’t like that oversight, move outside of the federal district to one of the 50 states that is not covered by the jurisdiction of Congress as a whole.”
    http://www.politico.com/story/2014/12/dc-marijuana-republicans-113489.html?hp=l1_3

  12. House Republicans are preparing a backup plan in case they fail to pass a spending bill that would fund the government through September. The backup plan would involve passing a one-week stopgap bill and using that week to pass just a three-month bill. They’re presenting this as a threat to Democrats—fall in line, vote for the bill that would let big banks engage in risky behaviors and let rich people dramatically increase their contributions to political parties, or who knows what we’ll force through in three months
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/12/11/1351016/-House-GOP-makes-backup-plan-in-case-spending-bill-fails

  13. What consequences did they suffer from the last shutdown? Look at the midterm results. They know that their base has about a 30 second attention-span and they count on that.

  14. I have actually had a few of my Republican friends on Facebook post things about Warren, and they were positive. I’m just fairly sure that she means it when she says she isn’t going to run for the Presidential nod. Unfortunately.

  15. Dead on with this one. The FDIC is already severely underfunded for normal banking customer deposits. If this goes through, even the “so called” rich in this country will stand in the bread line behind the big Wall Street interests who will be lined up to get first dibs on tax-payer funded federal insurance money for their failed derivitives. It’s the big club, and you and I are not in it.

  16. Actually Cyprus style bail-ins are not too far behind. Depositors (customers) for banks are considered unsecured investors in the big banks. That means, the banks WILL use your deposits to bail out their phony and criminal junk investments when they go sour.

  17. Democrats to take a stand. VOTE AGAINST THIS BILL. I have thought long and had about this. I am a loyal President Obama supporter. I understand and accept, to a point, his statement that Americans voted for a divided government, which means compromise. Then, I ask, on what significant issue have the Republicans compromised with the President since he took office in Janaury 2009? One significant issue???
    Now, in a bill to keep the government running for several months, is a provision to allow the “big banks” to invest depositors money in risky derivatives WITH THE KNOWLEDGE THAT THOSE RISKY INVESTMENTS WILL BE COVERED BY THE GOVERNMENT, which is…ummm….US!!! So, they can fail, with no risk to their institutions, only to the American taxpayers. These provisions were written, not by those we elected to serves us, but by ….would you believe, lobbyists representing those very big banks.
    A shutdown is minor compared to the financial crises that could well repeat itself.

  18. “..To determine if someone is an adherent of the regulatory fallacy ask this question: Do you believe that given the degree that the tax burden was shifted from the rich to the middle class, was there any type of regulatory policy which would have prevented the financial crisis? If they answer yes, they are adherents to the regulatory fallacy.

    A slight variation on the regulatory fallacy is the financial innovation fallacy. As with the regulatory fallacy, both left and right versions, there is a miniscule grain of truth to it. Financial innovations such as credit default swaps and regulatory changes like repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act slightly affected the exact timing of the onset of the depression.

    It is the compounding year after year of the effect of the shift away from taxes on capital income such as dividends over time as the rich get proverbially richer which is the prime generator of inequality…”
    http://seekingalpha.com/article/1543642

  19. Since Warren was in charge of SEC the last time Americans got ripped off by the banking bailout, and it earned her a seat transfer from Havard to Congress, how can Americans be expected to believe that she may be the Wyatt Erp Wall Street needs?

    Big talk is attractive, but when action doesn’t follow the talk, it’s just grandstanding, isn’t it?

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