Massachusetts Senator-Elect Elizabeth Warren wrote a column in Huffington Post last week on her thoughts before heading to Washington.In it, she mentioned what she wanted to do on day one. Don’t worry Wall Street, it’s not “add 200 pages to Dodd-Frank” or “call Jamie Dimon down to D.C. again to grill him just for fun.”
It’s way more wonky than that. On day one, Warren wants to reform the filibuster process.
Senate Republicans have used this type of filibuster 380 times since the Democrats took over the majority in 2006. We’ve seen filibusters to block judicial nominations, jobs bills, political transparency, ending Big Oil subsidies — you name it, there’s been a filibuster.
We’ve seen filibusters of bills and nominations that ultimately passed with 90 or more votes. Why filibuster something that has that kind of support? Just to slow down the process and keep the Senate from working.
I saw the impact of these filibusters at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. 40-five senators pledged to filibuster any nominee to head that new consumer agency, regardless of that person’s qualifications. After I left the agency, they tried to hold Richard Cordray’s nomination vote hostage until the Senate agreed to weaken the agency to the point where it could no longer hold the big banks and credit card companies accountable.
What she’s saying is that Democrats would be able to achieve their goals more quickly without a Republican filibuster, so we’re sure that gives her detractors some cause for alarm.
But this definitely isn’t Wall Street’s worst nightmare … yet.
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