The speech that may make Elizabeth Warren president

Elizabeth Warren gave quite a speech on Friday night after the US Senate passed a trillion dollar spending bill that repeals a key part of the Dodd-Frank law, and lets billionaires donate even more money to political parties.

They also blocked marijuana legalization in DC, and blocked new rules to limit sodium in school lunches because, well, you can guess why — someone bought off some Senators.

Interestingly, much of the reporting on this doesn’t actually tell you what any of the amendments actualy do. I was able to find some of what we’re looking for in The Hill:

The bill includes language repealing part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law that will allow banks covered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to directly engage in derivatives trading.

elizabeth-warren-doddThis set off the biggest political storm for the legislation, as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) led a liberal insurrection against the White House, which decided not to fight Republicans over the measure.

Wall Street lobbied for the change, and the bill will be sent to Obama with the language in it.

Campaign finance

The bill also raises the limits on what people can give to political committees each year, greatly increasing the money wealthy people can donate. The provision would allow a wealthy donor to contribute a total of more than $1.55 million to a national party.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) lambasted the change in a floor speech in which she broke with the White House over the bill.

DC marijuana

The bill prevents Washington, D.C., from implementing a new referendum that legalizes recreational use of marijuana.

D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton complained that it was another example of Congress stepping on local rule, but she won few allies for her position in Congress.

Warren’s speech particularly took on the Dodd-Frank repeal, and the fact that taxpayers will now be on the hook for more bailouts in the future. Here’s the video of Warren, and below that is some of the transcript thanks to HuffPo.

Here are some of the key parts of Warren’s speech:

Democrats don’t like Wall Street bailouts. Republicans don’t like Wall Street bailouts. The American people are disgusted by Wall Street bailouts.

And yet here we are, five years after Dodd-Frank with Congress on the verge of ramming through a provision that would do nothing for the middle class, do nothing for community banks, do nothing but raise the risk that taxpayers will have to bail out the biggest banks once again…

So let me say this to anyone who is listening at Citi[group]. I agree with you Dodd-Frank isn’t perfect. It should have broken you into pieces!

If this Congress is going to open up Dodd-Frank in the months ahead, then let’s open it up to get tougher, not to create more bailout opportunities. If we’re going to open up Dodd-Frank, let’s open it up so that once and for all we end too big to fail and I mean really end it, not just say that we did.

Instead of passing laws that create new bailout opportunities for too big to fail banks, let’s pass…something…that would help break up these giant banks.

A century ago Teddy Roosevelt was America’s Trust-Buster. He went after the giant trusts and monopolies in this country, and a lot of people talk about how those trust deserved to be broken up because they had too much economic power. But Teddy Roosevelt said we should break them up because they had too much political power. Teddy Roosevelt said break them up because all that concentrated power threatens the very foundations up our democratic system.

And now we’re watching as Congress passes yet another provision that was written by lobbyists for the biggest recipient of bailout money in the history of this country. And its attached to a bill that needs to pass or else we entire federal government will grind to a halt.

Think about that kind of power. If a financial institution has become so big and so powerful that it can hold the entire country hostage. That alone is reason enough to break them up.

Enough is enough.

Enough is enough with Wall Street insiders getting key position after key position and the kind of cronyism that we have seen in the executive branch. Enough is enough with Citigroup passing 11th hour deregulatory provisions that nobody takes ownership over but everybody will come to regret. Enough is enough Washington already works really well for the billionaires and the big corporations and the lawyers and the lobbyists.

But what about the families who lost their homes or their jobs or their retirement savings the last time Citigroup bet big on derivatives and lost? What about the families who are living paycheck to paycheck and saw their tax dollars go to bail out Citi just 6 years ago?

We were sent here to fight for those families. It is time, it is past time, for Washington to start working for them!

You can donate to Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign here.

CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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