With Democrats reeling from the election, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who was one of the leading Trump-blasters of her party, vowed on Thursday to continue battling the president-elect—while adding that she would be delighted to collaborate with him on some of the populist issues he raised during the campaign.
Speaking at the Washington, DC, offices of the AFL-CIO union federation on Thursday, in an event shown on Facebook Live, Warren declared, “If Trump is ready to go on rebuilding economic security for millions of Americans, so am I, and so are a lot of other people—Democrats and Republicans.” She noted that on the campaign trail, Trump had criticized Wall Street’s power in Washington and promised not to cut Social Security benefits—areas of common ground. But Warren, whom Trump derided as “Pocahontas” during the election, warned that if Trump tries to tear down the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law—which overhauled the financial industry after the 2008 meltdown—or to gut the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, she would fight him “every step of the way.”
On Dodd-Frank, the war might have already begun. Trump’s transition website, GreatAgain.gov, went live on Thursday, and the entire “Financial Services” section focuses on eviscerating Dodd-Frank. “The Financial Services Policy Implementation team,” it says, “will be working to dismantle the Dodd-Frank Act and replace it with new policies to encourage economic growth and job creation.” Trump may have talked tough on Wall Street, but his crew is aiming to give Big Finance what is perhaps the No. 1 item on its wish list: killing Dodd-Frank. With the Republicans controlling both houses of Congress, preserving this chunk of President Barack Obama’s legacy could require a major effort on the part of Warren and her allies in and out of Congress.
Trump talks of draining the swamp in Washington, but on Dodd-Frank he is siding with the army of Wall Street lobbyists in the nation’s capital. And he could well do the same when it comes to the CFPB, the young agency that Warren inspired and that Dodd-Frank brought into existence. Republicans and Wall Streeters have been gunning for the CFPB since even before it opened its doors and began policing elements of the financial industry. If Trump’s early move against Dodd-Frank is any sign, Warren, to no one’s surprise, may find herself more often working against her campaign antagonist than with him.