WASHINGTON — Sen. Elizabeth Warren said this week that Republicans would be making a grave mistake if they try to gut the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, saying that the agency embodies the same populist wave that helped elect Donald Trump.
"You try and take the legs out from under the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — I think that is not only a problem for Donald Trump and the Republicans, I think this is something that the American people will say, Enough," the Massachusetts Democrat told a group of business executives Tuesday at a Wall Street Journal CEO Council meeting.
While the country might be divided on ideological issues, the CFPB is "doing the people's business," Warren said.
"On these core economic issues — how we build a strong middle class going forward — we have a lot of consensus in this country," she said.
Warren was also asked what parts of the Dodd-Frank Act she would like to see changed or modified as Republicans look to roll back the 2010 financial reform law in the next Congress.
"What I hope happens is that we have some modification. I think that Dodd-Frank was not tough enough," Warren said. She said she would reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act, a 1930s law that separated commercial and investment banking.
She pointed to a bill she introduced with Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Angus King, I-Maine, that would reinstate a modern version of the law.
"We are going to make boring banking more boring, and if you want to take risks you can't have access to the guaranteed accounts that we have over in the traditional banking system," Warren said.
She also said that her version of Glass-Steagall would rein in the nonbank financial institutions, "so it is really about fighting the next war where many of the risks lie."
"The guy that was just elected president of the United States gave" Glass-Steagall "two thumbs up," added Warren, noting that Glass-Steagall was included in the Republican platform.
She also said that while Trump was elected on the Republican ticket, he has also tacked away from the GOP establishment.
"A lot of Republicans have dug in on the notion that we need to roll [Dodd-Frank] all back or eviscerate … that is going to be a battle that is going to be fought hard and I think it is one where it will be interesting to see where Donald Trump goes," Warren said.