March 24, 2013

Springfield Republican: Senator Elizabeth Warren, encouraged by nonbinding vote, says time to end subsidies for 'too big to fail' banks

Buoyed by a nonbinding U.S. Senate vote to eliminate billions in subsidies for "too big to fail" banks, Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren called the measure a step toward "leveling the playing field" between megabanks and their smaller competitors and customers.

The Senate, in a unanimous 99-0 vote Friday, passed the measure to eliminate the subsidies that big banks receive through lower borrowing costs because of the "implicit guarantee they will be bailed out by the government in a time of crisis," Warren said Sunday.

The Senate pulled an all-nighter Friday, passing its first budget in four years and voting on more than 50 amendments - including paycheck fairness for women and assistance for the beleaguered New England fishing industry. "It was an action-packed night," Warren said.

Even though the banking measure, sponsored by Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown and Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter, was not binding, it's an "important step forward," Warren said. "I'm glad that Republicans and Democrats can agree: 'Too big to fail' needs to end, and these big-bank subsidies make no sense."

More work needs to be done to level the playing field between big banks and their smaller competitors and consumers, "but we're making progress," she said.

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