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"It's time for the rest of us to fight back and demand that Washington work for us, not the big bank lobbyists."
'Do not collaborate with Donald Trump and Trump Republicans to deregulate big banks,' reads a CREDO petition calling on Democrats to reject the deregulation bill.
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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.
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.
The Senate -- with the support of some Democrats -- 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'll be paving the way for the next big crash. https://t.co/i7HO3AvNJ9 -- Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) March 2, 2018
We've 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 -- because what could possibly go wrong? https://t.co/7rUKIajJ8Q -- Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) March 2, 2018
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.
The 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. pic.twitter.com/Lwu0SOnFSc -- Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) March 2, 2018
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.
As Talmon Joseph Smith observed in an article for The New Republic on Thursday, "Nine of the 12 Democrats supporting the deregulatory measure count the financial industry as either their biggest or second-biggest donor."