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Banking bill has nothing for Americans, Warren says

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Senator Elizabeth Warren D-Mass, left, arrives along with Senator Bernie Sanders I-Vt., upper right, and Senator John McCain R-Ariz. down right, for the Presidential Inauguration ceremony for Donald Trump on Jan. 20, 2017 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Riccardo Svi/Sipa USA/TNS)

WASHINGTON — Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., said Sunday that a bill to give banks relief from rules imposed after the 2008 financial crisis could be a forerunner to another round of government-funded bailouts and make it easier for banks to discriminate on home mortgages and charge discriminatory fees.

“I don’t think a bill like that is good for anybody in America,” Warren said on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” according to a transcript provided by the network.

The bill would change the Dodd-Frank Act, which was aimed at containing financial risk during the recession, and enforced oversight and regulatory rules on lenders. Warren spoke on the Senate floor last week, proposing 17 amendments to the bill, which she says erodes consumer protections. Warren diverges from some Democrats who support the legislation, which the Senate plans to debate this week.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, sponsored the legislation, which is widely considered a compromise because it doesn’t go as far as many Republicans and Wall Street banks would like. It generally provides regulatory relief for small and regional banks, and includes raising the bar for which lenders are considered “too big to fail.”

Democrats are divided, with support coming from those who are more moderate, including many from states that President Donald Trump won in 2016.

Warren leads the progressive wing, arguing that rolling back the rules would leave Americans at risk in another major crisis. Her proposed changes include ensuring banks that receive more than $1 billion in bailout funds remain highly regulated, imposing penalties on credit bureaus that are hacked, and preventing employers from asking job applicants for credit reports.

“This isn’t a Democrats or Republicans or blue states or red states” issue, Warren said. “I think we do better as a country and we do better as a Congress when we’re there to fight for working people and not for Wall Street banks.”

The Senate is expected to vote on Crapo’s bill this week, with amendments considered Thursday. It remains to be seen whether House Republicans will support the bill, which doesn’t offer much to large lenders.

Warren is up for re-election this year and said she doesn’t plan to run in 2020 for the Democratic presidential nomination.

“I am running for the United States Senate,” she said. “That’s where I’m focused.”

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