Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., on Tuesday slammed the Trump administration and Republicans’ deregulatory agenda, arguing that Washington’s rallying cry that regulations are “bad” for the economy is a “big, greasy baloney sandwich.”
President Donald Trump “and his team have embarked on an aggressive effort to kill the rules that protect the American people from corporate predators,” Warren said during remarks at Georgetown Law School in Washington.
Republicans “go on and on about how big government restricts freedom and makes it harder for businesses to succeed,” Warren said.
But regulations, Warren proclaimed, are “about setting the rules of the road, plain and simple. That’s all they’re about. Done right, strong, clear regulations protect the freedom of every American.”
Regulations, she argued, have three basic functions:
- Provide the basic framework that permits commerce to flourish, to ensure that we get what we’ve been promised;
- Keep thieves out of our pockets. Rules are how we make it illegal to steal your purse on Main Street or your pension on Wall Street; and
- Level the playing field for everyone competing for our business.
“The so-called war on regulation isn’t about freedom,” Warren charged. “The war on regulations is waged on behalf of giant companies that don’t want to follow any rules. So let’s call it what it really is: it’s a war on public health, a war on public safety, a war on truly free and competitive markets. A war on American workers. A war on American consumers.”
Warren took on Environmental Protection Agency Director Scott Pruitt for rolling back climate change regulations, stating that the Center for American Progress estimates that his rollbacks will cost Americans about $260 billion a year, with some of those costs measured “in hospital admissions and funeral bills.”
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Warren continued, “has delayed the rules to keep for-profit colleges from scamming students,” while Mick Mulvaney, head of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, “has rolled back the oversight of payday lenders.”
After the financial crisis, Warren stated, “we fought for a consumer financial protection bureau that would be a strong cop on the beat, making financial products safer. We fought and we won.”