2020 Hopefuls Expected to Face New Scrutiny on Banks

Harris spoke in Selma.

March 5, 2018, 10:53 a.m.

“Democratic presidential hopefuls are scrambling to come out against the first big bipartisan legislation of the Trump era, positioning themselves as hardliners on Wall Street regulation and free from the influence of banks.

“It’s a sign that on a national political scale, many Democrats are betting there will no longer be any room with voters for nuance on the issue of Wall Street—or any appetite for bipartisanship. Ahead of a potentially bruising Democratic primary, some of the country’s top Democrats are apparently hoping to shed any perception that they are cozy with Wall Street donors.

“A dozen moderate Democrats from red and purple states are using the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act—which rolls back some Dodd-Frank regulations for small and medium-sized banks—as a chance to burnish their bipartisan credentials. Eleven have signed on to cosponsor what is expected, after a vote this week, to be the Senate’s first major bipartisan bill in more than two years.

“But virtually all of the Senate’s most high-profile Democratic politicians have taken the opposite route, sharply criticizing the bill and saying they’ll vote against it. That includes past recipients of large sums of financial industry money, like Sen. Kamala Harris, as well as Kirsten Gillibrand and Cory Booker, two East Coast politicians who have raked in Wall Street cash and have been seen as more friendly to the banking industry.”

“The chorus of opposition from so many prominent Democrats and left-wing groups points to a shift in the Democratic Party, said Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who has long been one of the party’s loudest voices for Wall Street regulation. ‘More and more, elected Democrats are standing up for working people—even when it means their Wall Street friends are unhappy,’” she said. “The real energy of the Democratic Party is in the grassroots.” (BuzzFeed)

GUNS. “All of the prospective 2020 Democratic candidates in the upper chamber”—Warren, Gillibrand, Harris, Booker, Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Chris Murphy (D-CT)—“are all co-sponsors of Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-CA) legislation to ban assault weapons.” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) “has also said he favors banning assault weapons. ‘These weapons are not for hunting,’ he said. ‘They’re for killing human beings.’

“Support for the ban on assault weapons has grown among Democrats over the last 11 years. In 2007, 67 Democrats supported a ban. That number continued to grow in 2013 with 83 Democrats co-sponsoring legislation. The number grew to 149 in 2015 before settling on 167 co-sponsors this year.” (The Hill)

HARRIS. Harris “was front and center for several events Sunday” in Selma, Alabama, “to remember civil rights marchers who were tear-gassed and beaten 53 years ago. … ‘It is about being a patriot because it is about a love of country and fighting for the best of who we can be,’ Harris said. ‘That’s what this movement has always been about, fighting for the ideals of the country we love.’

“Harris spoke about facing and combating drug use, gun violence, immigration fights and high levels of incarceration. ‘We are indeed living yet again in difficult times,’ Harris said. ‘When it looks impossible … look to Selma for inspiration.’”

“While President Trump’s name was rarely mentioned specifically, and the delegation of representatives who attended Sunday’s events was bipartisan, speakers hinted heavily at his policies all day. A women’s rights group and a group of ‘Dreamers’ … joined the hundreds of people lining up to march over the Pettus Bridge.” (Los Angeles Times)

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