Since taking helm as the 45th president, Donald Trump has continued to emphasize — for good or ill — his “America First” agenda: signing the sweeping tax cuts’ into law, pushing for financial regulatory rollbacks, promising to impose tariffs and taking steps to weaken the Affordable Care Act (though he pledged to repeal or replace it).
Not long after the tax cuts law kicked in, Trump touted that “over 3 million workers have gotten tax cut bonuses — many of them thousands and thousands of dollars,” but a recent Government Accountability Office report projects the tax cuts law would result in trillion-dollar deficits.
In a mid-April speech from the Rose Garden, Trump said it was imperative to call the tax overhaul “tax cuts” not tax reform, as “nobody knows what that means. That could mean a tax increase.”
In issuing his administration’s deregulatory agenda for 2018, Trump said that agencies “plan to finalize three deregulatory actions for every new regulatory action” in FY2018, and that during his administration, agencies withdrew or delayed 1,579 planned regulatory actions.
With investor protection always top of mind, it’s little wonder that Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., is among the top regulatory/political influencers this year. From standing up for the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule to cracking the whip on regulators to rein in Wells Fargo, to making sure investors get their unpaid arbitration awards, Warren hasn’t backed down.
In early 2018, Warren has taken new Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell to task to ensure Wells Fargo’s multi-pronged remediation efforts stay on track. She’s also introduced legislation to require that the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority set up a pool funded by penalties from its broker-dealer members to pay unpaid final arbitration awards — which are piling up — and require the self-regulator to track whether future arbitration awards are paid.
The force behind the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — who was appointed by former President Barack Obama to set up the agency after the Dodd-Frank Act officially created it, Warren has continued to fight back against the current administration’s attempts to dismantle the agency.