Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are not impressed.
And they were not alone Tuesday as outrage and disgust erupted among consumer watchdogs and progressives after Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) and sixteen Democrats joined with 50 Republicans in the U.S. Senate to advance a bill that critics say is just another handout for Wall Street banks—one that also sets the stage for the next major financial meltdown.
With a vote of 67-32, including the 17 Democrats who voted yes, a “motion to proceed” received enough support to send the ‘Bank Lobbyist Act’—technically the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, or S. 2155—to the floor for debate, possible amendments, and then a final vote later this week or next.
Kurt Walters, campaign director at Demand Progress’s grassroots anti-corruption wing Rootstrikers, said those 17 members of the Democratic caucus who voted to advance the bill in the Senate have simply no defense.
“Voters have seen this movie before. It didn’t work out in 2008 and it’s no wiser today. There is simply no excuse for a Democrat to add their name to Wall Street deregulation,” Walters said following the vote. Identifying members who voted in favor as “the Bailout Caucus,” he said those lawmakers have now sent a very clear message: “I work for my bank donors, not my constituents.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who like Sen. King caucuses with the Democrats, also appeared to have a had a hard time understanding those who supported the bill:
At a time of massive concentration of ownership in the financial sector, now is not the time to deregulate banks that have more than $3.5 trillion in assets and lay the groundwork for another massive financial collapse.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) March 6, 2018
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