Big banks vs. Elizabeth Warren

I don’t think any of us are all that surprised, but it might help to sign one of the petitions out there:

Not even two weeks have passed since Democrat Elizabeth Warren rode a wave of grassroots support to victory in the US Senate race in Massachusetts, ousting Republican incumbent Scott Brown. Senator-elect Warren has not yet hired her staff. She has not yet moved into her Senate office. But the banking industry is already taking aim at her, scurrying to curb her future clout on Capitol Hill.

Lobbyists and trade groups for Wall Street and other major banking players are pressuring lawmakers to deny Warren a seat on the powerful Senate banking committee. With the impending departures of Sens. Herb Kohl (D-Wisc.) and Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), Democrats have two spots to fill on the committee before the 113th Congress gavels in next year. Warren has yet said whether she wants to serve on the committee. But she would be a natural: she’s a bankruptcy law expert, she served as Congress’ lead watchdog overseeing the $700 billion bank bailout from 2008 to 2010, and she conceived of and helped launch the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

But the big banks are not fans of Warren, and their representatives in Washington have her in their crosshairs. Aides to two senators on the banking committee tell Mother Jones the industry has already moved to block Warren from joining the committee, which is charged with drafting legislation regulating much of the financial industry. “Downtown”—shorthand for Washington’s lobbying corridor—”has been going nuts” to keep her off the committee, another Senate aide says.

Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), a banking committee member, has been angling to get Warren on the committee, “but there are many bank lobbyists pushing to keep her off,” a top Democratic Senate aide told Politico’s Morning Money tipsheet. But the aide added, “If she really wants banking, it will be very tough politically to keep her off.”

Several banking trade groups—including the American Bankers Association, Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, and the Mortgage Bankers Association—declined or didn’t respond to requests for comment. A spokesman for Warren also declined to comment.

3 Responses to Big banks vs. Elizabeth Warren

  1. imhotep November 19, 2012 at 2:54 pm #

    Committee assignments aside here’s some legislation Warren could introduce and get passed: 1) A Carbon Tax Bill. Charge $20.00 per ton and collect $100 billion dollars per year in new taxes. Based on current levels of consumption. 2) Capital Gains Tax Increase. It is currently at 15% and should be raised to the 28% level charged on ordinary income. That would raise billions in new revenue each year. 3) Shift the $48 billion dolars given to big oil and big coal in tax credits each year away from them and into renewable energy companies. If Warren could accomplish those three item she would be the president in 2016.

  2. Ron November 19, 2012 at 6:37 pm #

    I agree. She’s got my support. Not on everything, but far more than most Congress-critters. And Obama’s not even in the game. Got any directions to those petitions??

  3. lless November 19, 2012 at 6:41 pm #

    She’s already vetted. The industry lobbyists hate her, so she’s good to go.

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