Sen. Warren Rankles Fellow Dems with Criticism of Dodd-Frank Reform Bill
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D- MA), the chief architect of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), drew the ire of some this week when she called out members of her own party on twitter and in the press for supporting a bipartisan bill expected to significantly reduce compliance burdens for small banks by reforming sections of the Dodd-Frank Act. Warren took to the Senate floor to voice her displeasure at a bill she has dubbed the “Bank Lobbyist Act.”
In a post at Medium, Warren argued that she does not work for big banks, but rather the people of Massachusetts. She wrote, “The people of Massachusetts didn’t send me here to fight for big banks. They sent me here to fight for them. And so long as I am privileged to hold this job, that’s exactly what I’m going to do.”
The changes being put forth by the Democratic coalition mirror a previous bill brought before the Senate Banking Committee in 2015. The amendments to Dodd-Frank would focus on reducing the compliance burden for many smaller and fiscally-responsible financial institutions by limiting bank stress tests and exempting smaller banks from expensive and burdensome oversight requirements.
Warren’s frustration over consumer protection and banking regulation has steadily grown in the months since Richard Cordray resigned as CFPB Director. The announcement that Cordray was leaving the Bureau to run for governor of Ohio has only created more regulatory uncertainty as our two main political powers jockey for position at the agency.
It began just after Thanksgiving when Cordray and President Trump both appointed acting directors on the same day. Although a federal court sided with the President and installed Mick Mulvaney as acting director of the CFPB, Cordray’s pick, Leandra English, has vowed to take her case as far as she can.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce CEO Thomas Donohue recently lashed out at what he felt is a growing partisan divide in Washington that threatens to hamper economic growth and business development. In particular, he singled out former presidential advisor and Breitbart editor Steve Bannon, along with Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA).
Sen. Warren quickly responded on twitter, referring to Donahue as a “big business lobbyist.” At the same time, Sen. Warren railed against current activity at the agency she helped establish, the CFPB.
The bipartisan Dodd-Frank reform bill was scheduled for a vote earlier this week, but senior leadership in the Senate pushed it back to next week. Warren and her colleagues have requested more than 80 amendments to the bill.