U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren said the political system is still “rigged” by lobbyists and special interests who work to keep the public “in the dark.”
“I’ve been in the Senate for nearly a year and believe as strongly as ever that the system is rigged for powerful interests and against working families,” Warren said today in remarks prepared for speech at a National Consumer Law Center conference in Washington.
Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, said lobbyists have worked to undercut gun control measures and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which she helped create. Warren, a critic of Wall Street, rose to prominence by highlighting “tricks and traps” of credit-card disclosures and creating a consumer bureau as part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act.
Warren said despite progress by the consumer bureau and confirmation of its director after a two-year delay, lobbyists for the financial industry continue to fight it and consumer groups shouldn’t let down their guard.
“We all know that the fight isn’t over and that the lobbyists are still working to undercut the agency’s work,” Warren said. “And we know the progress we’ve made didn’t happen because reform falls out of the sky. It didn’t happen because the industry learned its lesson and called for a tough new watchdog.”
She compared the CFPB to government agencies that test the safety of physical products like cribs and paint, and said the bureau’s work on the safety of financial products will become just as valued by the public.
“You tell me: When was the last time you heard someone call for regulators to go easier on companies that want to use lead paint on our children’s toys or leave the safety switches off toasters?” Warren asked. “The CFPB was designed from the very beginning to cut out tricks and traps in consumer finance and add transparency to the marketplace.”