Now that Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) was elected against all of Scott Brown’s Wall Street money (5.5 million from the financial services industry alone), the woman one banker called “akin to the antichrist” may get to sit on the powerful Senate Banking Committee. That is, if the powers waging a quiet war against her don’t get their way.
On the Senate Banking Committee, Warren could do some serious damage (read: regulation) to the banking industry. The Senate Banking Committee oversees banking, insurance, financial markets, securities, housing, urban development and mass transit, international trade and finance, and economic policy. They write the legislation focusing on our banks. From theirwebsite:
The U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs is one of twenty Senate committees tasked with conducting Senate business related to specialized areas of legislative interest.
Warren, who created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and was chair of the Congressional TARP oversight panel, campaigned against big banks and lobbyists. She’s a natural fit for one of the two open seats on the committee, but as a freshman Senator (freshwoman?), it’s not a given that she’ll get one of them.
Even though Warren hasn’t said yet if she wants the spot, lobbyists and staffers who serve senators on the committee are fighting against her already. They don’t want her on the Senate Banking Committee, because she might actually push for change that would be beneficial to the people.
President Obama said of Warren, “Elizabeth Warren will be a strong, tireless and determined advocate for the people of Massachusetts, building on her remarkable record of working to help middle class families get ahead. Her life’s work has been helping ordinary Americans get the fair shot they need and deserve. Elizabeth’s passionate advocacy on behalf of consumers led to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The agency is now protecting people from being taken advantage of by powerful companies.”
Warren has been dubbed the “New Sheriff of Wall Street” by Time magazine and the Boston Globe defined her as “… the plainspoken voice of people getting crushed by so many predatory lenders and under regulated banks.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, along with Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee, will make the appointment. If you want to push back against the lobbyists and the entrenched powers that be, let Harry Reid know that you want him to appoint Warren to the Senate Banking Committee. Yes, there’s a petition for that.
Image credit: Reuters/Gretchen Ertl