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Warren writes: "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 once again get bailed out by the government when their risky bets threaten to blow up our financial system."

Senator Elizabeth Warren (photo: AP)
Senator Elizabeth Warren (photo: AP)

Stop the Republicans' Wall Street Giveaway

By Elizabeth Warren,

11 December 14


eople are frustrated with Congress. 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 won’t lift a finger to help them.

And 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 once again 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 this economy in 2008 and destroyed millions of jobs. The same banks that got bailed out by taxpayers and are now raking in record profits. The same banks that are spending a whole lot of time and money trying to influence Congress to bend the rules in their favor.

I’m urgently calling on Congress to withhold support of the deal today until this dangerous giveaway is removed from the legislation. Join me right now to stand up to Wall Street.

You will hear a lot of folks say that the rule that will be repealed in the Omnibus is technical and complicated, and that you shouldn’t worry about it because smart people who know more than you about financial issues say that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.”

We put this rule in place after the collapse of the financial system because we wanted to reduce the risk that reckless gambling on Wall Street could ever again threaten jobs and livelihoods on Main Street. We put this rule in place because people of all political persuasions were disgusted at the prospects of future bailouts.

And now, no debate, 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 prevents future government bailouts, why in the world would anyone want to repeal it, let alone hold the entire government hostage in order to ram through the repeal?

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’ll also make a lot of money for Wall Street banks.

Wall Street isn’t subtle about this one – according to documents reviewed by the New York Times, the original bill that is being incorporated into the House’s spending legislation today was literally written by Citigroup lobbyists, who “redrafted” the legislation, “striking out certain phrases and inserting others.”

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 credit for preventing the House 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 roll back 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 of the people.

We all need to stand and fight this giveaway to the most powerful banks in the country. Join me in calling on Congress to withhold support of this package until this risky giveaway is removed from the legislation. your social media marketing partner


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+56 # Colleen Clark 2014-12-11 18:07
Go Elizabeth. Support the people and not Citigroup.!
+11 # ritawalpoleague 2014-12-12 04:03
Let's wake up folks, and create real McCoy, sooooo needed change. The kind of change we must have comes only through behavior modification -

1. reward good and ethical conduct, such as Warren just displayed, and...

2. prosecute/penal ize constant greed and need for power over all conduct, such as Cheney has just displayed, gotten and kept in place via endless war for $$$ and oil, oil, oil, and,...

3. prosecute/penal ize any and all who do now and have employed torture/kill at will m.o. against'terrori sts' in and from the mid-East, against U.S. low income citizens of color, against truth telling whistleblowers and journalists, justice/peace/e nvironmental activists, et. al., and...

4. penalize meaningfully also vs. reward the endless robbery by Wall Street/big banks' CEO's and their endless money grabs, and prosecute them for their creation of financial disasters from which they make their zillions, etc., etc., etc..
+39 # Above God 2014-12-11 18:22
Once again. The best Congress money can buy. Unbelievable!
+17 # Old4Poor 2014-12-11 19:54
Don't forget that the White House is shamelessly lobbying for this monstrosity, citing "trade offs" with things that are good for the country as if we should be happy to give up this hard fought for protection against the modern Mafia that masquerades as Big Finance.
+17 # Old4Poor 2014-12-11 21:31
Feeling totally betrayed by the Democratic leadership in Congress, except for Warren and the others who continued to stand firm for our values.

My only income is Social Security. Had the government shut down I might have had no food or electricity (i.e., heat), etc. until things were resolved, and I still say, SHUT IT DOWN.

What a bunch of moral cowards.
+1 # Old4Poor 2014-12-13 21:43
And how did this mess pass with a simple majority vote (56-40) in the Senate when virtually every other damned thing they do requires 60?
+13 # MidwesTom 2014-12-11 18:37
I am a big fan of warren, and she is right on here, however, the democratic controlled senate is also for this bill. The only ones opposed are the liberals and the tea partners.
+37 # Stevodevo 2014-12-11 19:30
Elizabeth Warren and Chuck Hagel are the real mavericks, bucking their party line to do what is right. They are the trail blazers that hopefully other government leaders will eventually follow. Whereas Hillary is on the Dark Side, Elizabeth is a champion of good in an imperfect world.
+8 # ritawalpoleague 2014-12-12 04:18
Absolutely, Stevodevo. And, time we kick out the infiltrators and take back the Dem. party, and push hard for Sanders to run as a Dem. in '16, with Warren as his V.P., because.....

SANDERS PANDERS NOT, TO THE 1% (and neither does Warren).
+8 # tedrey 2014-12-11 20:28
Notice that underline links lead to a petition supporting Warren on this issue.; that may not be clear.
+8 # geraldom 2014-12-11 21:04
The following article came out today:

I’d like to think Obama is doing what he does best, caving in to Repub pressure, but I truly believe he’s more of a DINO, a Dem-In-Name-Onl y, than the liberal Dem he advertised himself to be in 2008.

He will ultimately destroy whatever viability that the Democratic Party has left as a political party, and the Dem politicians haven’t seemed to have woken up to that reality. They haven’t woken to the reality, at least at the legislative level, that they may self-destruct and that the U.S. may end up with only one viable political, the Republican Party, and not just because they’ve pissed off their voting base, but because they’ve allowed the Repubs to take over the whole of the federal court system and a large majority of state governments.

The Repubs once again will get their way. I’d like to say that Obama’s true colors are surfacing in his last two years as president, but those colors began surfacing even before he took office just based on his cabinet selections which reflected more the continued agenda of the Bush admin than his promise of change that we could believe in. I cannot stand Harry Reid of the Senate and Nancy Pelosi of the House. They’re not strong leaders. They never were. Their leadership, or the lack thereof, has helped decimate the Democratic Party ever since the 2000 presidential election debacle.
+6 # Saberoff 2014-12-11 21:14
First sentence: "People are frustrated with Congress." In light of November 4, 2014 I ask: How do you figure? What people?
+11 # Aliazer 2014-12-11 21:51
The parties(democra tic and/or republican) have never represented the people.

They are nothing but special interests advocacy groups who will advocate for the donating lobby, regardless of specific ideology.

I have never witnessed in my own community where either party ever pays attention to grassroot imputs or suggestions.

Decision making is typically vested with high level party hacks who decide strictly on whom is willing to purchase favors.

Continuing to believe that these parties and/or representatives (barring some exceptions) are still representing us is delusional in the extreme
+10 # walt 2014-12-12 07:26
As usual, Elizabeth Warren is right and brave enough to stand up for the people. It's no surprise so many rightfully want her to run for president.

The real problem, however, lies at the White House. Obama has shown over his entire two terms that he is controlled by Wall Street. His appointing Wall Streeters to key positions related to money is proof. Even now he's trying to appoint another one and Elizabeth Warren is opposing the nomination. Antonio Weiss is the Obama's pick to fill the vacant slot of Undersecretary of Treasury for Domestic Finance. He is also an investment banker.

Add to all this the failure of the administration to hold a single "bankster" or Wall Street criminal accountable, and it's not hard to understand how Citigroup lobbyists are be allowed to write legislation for Congress. They own them!
+4 # bckrd1 2014-12-12 17:23
"Elizabeth Warren is right and brave enough to stand up for the people."

And how many of those "liberal media" new stations has even covered it?

The Dems just do outrage as good as the Republicans can at their faux outrage. It does not make the news that counts.

She is needed in the Senate. In the Presidency she will be thwarted just like Obama. There is just not the power to shake people and slap them and tell them to shape up or ship out. Congress is a thorn in the side as Mitch McConnell so despicably demonstrated. No, the Senate she has a chance at least to call a spade a spade.
+5 # Sweet Pea 2014-12-12 07:40
We simply have a large population of people who think that it doesn't really matter who gets in office- because Democrat and Republican candidates are both bought out by the wealthy.
0 # Rockster 2014-12-14 09:27
It really only counts that we all support getting Elizabeth and her Truthtelling in front of max eyes, hearts and minds. The other chatter is not useful.

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