Dem: Don’t be scared of Warren
By Alexander Bolton – 12/13/14 11:54 AM EST
A senior Democratic House lawmaker said Saturday Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) nearly derailed the $1.1 trillion omnibus package because fellow Democrats are intimidated by the liberal star from Massachusetts.
“I think there are a lot of people who do not want to be on the right of Elizabeth Warren. They want her to represent liberal views. They know she has a grandstand. They know that their constituents are listening to her. They know they can’t explain the issue,” said Rep. Jim Moran (Va.), a senior Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, on MSNBC’s “Up with Steve Kornacki.”
“So they were willing to jeopardize $30 billion for NIH. We put more than $7 billion into Indiana health and education. We put more than $11 billion into Head Start and early child care,” he said. “If we don’t pass this bill now, we’re going to lose most of those gains.”
Moran said Warren put all those items at risk by urging House Democrats to defeat the omnibus because it included language repealing a prohibition in the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act.
Warren argued the House Republican policy rider would pave the way for future government bailouts by allowing banks that are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to trade risky derivatives.
“The provision that’s about to be repealed requires banks to keep separate a key part of their risky Wall Street speculation so that there’s no government insurance for that part of their business,” Warren said on the Senate floor this week, exhorting House Democrats to “stand and fight this giveaway.”
Moran accused her of exaggerating the impact of the financial services provision to get media attention.
“She’s demagoguing an issue that she knows the public doesn’t understand,” he said. “With this provision in the bill banks still can’t put any taxpayers’ money at risk. There will never be another bank bailout. Banks can’t use depositors money for risky investment. They can’t engage in credit default swaps.”
Moran cited former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker’s assurance that the provision would not jeopardize banks’ solvency.
He noted that 70 House Democrats voted to amend Dodd-Frank in similar fashion in October of last year.
“Because she knew that people don’t really understand I think she wanted to be out front,” Moran said. “That should not have derailed this bill.”