Sanders—and His Rivals—Win Warren Praise on Wall Street Issues

Bernie Sanders' Wall Street Plan in Three Minutes

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders won applause from liberal hero Elizabeth Warren a day after he promised in a New York speech to break up big U.S. banks in his first year in office.

Warren tweeted she was “glad” Sanders “is out there fighting to hold big banks accountable, make our economy safer, & stop the GOP from rigging the system.”

Lest anyone think Warren was tipping her hand in the primary—where she hasn't endorsed a candidate—she added she was glad that “ALL” the party's candidates, including Hillary Clinton and Martin O'Malley, “are fighting for Wall St reform.”

The political world was set abuzz when Warren met privately with Vice President Joe Biden last summer as he was considering a White House run. In November, 13 of the 14 female Democratic senators endorsed front-runner Clinton at a fundraiser and rally; Warren, who represents Massachusetts, was absent.

Warren has praised Clinton’s plan to prevent future attempts to water down financial regulations, saying in December Clinton “is right to fight GOP efforts to sneak financial reform rollbacks” into a broader bill funding the U.S. government.

Still, Clinton and Warren have substantial differences on Wall Street regulation. In July, Warren and Republican Senator John McCain introduced legislation to reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act, the 1933 law separating commercial and investment banking. Sanders says he supports that effort, while Clinton hasn't advocated for it. Her position, laid out in a December New York Times op-ed, is that her plan goes beyond the scope of Glass-Steagall to include “certain activities of hedge funds, investment banks and other non-bank institutions.”

On Tuesday, Sanders tried to align himself with Warren, citing his support for her Glass-Steagall bill. After coming under some preemptive criticism from Clinton's camp, he added, “Let's be clear”: Warren's legislation “aims at the heart of the shadow banking system.”

“Now, my opponent, Secretary Clinton, says that Glass-Steagall would not have prevented the financial crisis because shadow banks like AIG and Lehman Brothers, not big commercial banks, were the real culprits,” Sanders said. “Secretary Clinton is wrong.”

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