Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) took to the floor of the United States Senate on Friday evening to deliver a passionate speech in objection to the massive “cromnibus” spending bill that was passed by the House on Thursday. Warren’s main objection to the bill is that it contains provisions that weaken the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. Those provisions were largely written by Citigroup, the parent company of Citibank.
Warren calls out members of both parties in her fiery speech, according to Raw Story. But Warren saves most of her criticism in the speech for Citibank, an entity that she says wields far too much power in Washington. She points out that current Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is a former Citibank employee. Warren has accused the Treasury Department of blocking an amendment to Dodd-Frank, known as Brown-Kaufman, in 2010. That amendment would have forced the breakup of the country’s six largest banks, including Citibank.
An unnamed Treasury Department official told New York Magazine in 2010, “If we’d been for it [Brown-Kaufman], it probably would have happened. But we weren’t, so it didn’t.”
CNN Money reports that the provision of the spending bill that has Elizabeth Warren incensed has to do with “swaps.” The Dodd-Frank legislation restricted swaps, which are transactions where traders sell risky loans. Swaps were one of the things that led to the 2008 economic collapse. Dodd-Frank removed those swaps from federal bank insurance protection. The provision written by Citigroup in the spending bill restores federal deposit insurance protection for them.
Warren had attacked the provision prior to her speech on the Senate floor.
According to CNN Money, Warren said, “This provision is all about goosing the profits of the big banks. People are frustrated with Congress…. If big companies can deploy their armies of lawyers and lobbyists to get the Congress to vote for special deals that will benefit themselves, then we will simply confirm the view of the American people that the system is rigged.”
Warren’s objections to the Citigroup-written swaps provision caused a minor revolt among progressive Democrats in the House, which threatened the “cromnibus” bill. In the end, the bill passed, after 57 Democrats joined with most of the Republicans to approve it, on Thursday evening.
Elizabeth Warren says she is not running for president. The Inquisitr previously reported that Warren has disavowed the “Ready For Warren” super PAC supporting her candidacy. However, there is a growing “draft Warren” movement that is unhappy with the thought that Hillary Clinton may be the anointed nominee of the Democratic party in 2016. Will speeches like the one delivered by Elizabeth Warren on Friday evening make a Warren candidacy more likely?
[Screen capture via MSNBC]