Tulsi Gabbard on Consumer Protections and Wall Street Reform

Ever since the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, our nation's economic fortunes have been inextricably tied to the fortunes of Wall Street. The American people assume all of the risks, yet reap none of the rewards for their gambling and reckless behavior. The Senate vote to ban class-action lawsuits against banks this week is the latest Congressional attempt to cover for Wall Street's fraud, abuse, and reckless greed.

We have witnessed egregious behavior with little accountability for the big banks since the Recession. Without Glass-Steagall's separation of commercial and investment banking, they have leveraged people's savings and assets to generate the highest possible return on risky investments. When they lose their gambles, as they did in 2008, the American people bailed them out. Millions lost their homes, jobs, pensions, and savings. As the "too big to fail" banks have grown even bigger in the last several years, the threat they pose to our economy has only grown larger. To make matters worse, our broken system of campaign finance has allowed these banks to purchase influence over public policy.

There have been far too many examples of wrongdoing just in the last several months. Wells Fargo was revealed to have secretly opened millions of fraudulent bank accounts, charged hundreds of thousands of people for unwanted auto insurance policies, and charged hidden fees to veterans who sought to refinance their mortgages. At the same time, the credit rating agency Equifax compromised the private information of nearly half of the American people - and their corporate executives sold millions of dollar's worth of stock before revealing the data breach to the public.

It is time to break up the big banks and reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act. Threadbare protections put in place following the Recession have not gone far enough, as the financial giants have stifled smaller community banks and consolidated their own power and influence. The American people have long demanded Wall Street accountability. We need to put people before profits and fight back against the nefarious influence that the big banks have extended across our government.

Senate kills rule that makes it easier to sue banks

Vice President Mike Pence cast the tie-breaking vote Tuesday night to repeal a rule that made it easier for Americans to sue their banks and credit card companies. Senators passed the measure by a vote of 51-50, handing Wall Street its first major win since President Donald Trump took office in January.