July 18, 2019

In Case You Missed It: Workers Join Warren, Members of Congress to Stop Wall Street Looting of American Businesses

Warren: "The days of having a Wall Street that just keeps sucking value out of the rest of the economy, the days of having a government that helps that, are coming to an end."

Video (Facebook)

Washington, DC ­- Today, workers from retail, hospitality, and newspaper industries joined United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Democratic Members of Congress to discuss the introduction of the Stop Wall Street Looting Act, a comprehensive bill to fundamentally reform the private equity industry.

The Stop Wall Street Looting Act was introduced today by Senators Warren, Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Ranking Member of the Senate Banking Committee, and Representatives Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) and Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.). Joining the lawmakers in introducing the legislation are Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representatives Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Jesús "Chuy" García (D-Ill.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), and Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.).

More information about the legislation is available here, and a full video of the press event can be watched here.

A full transcript of Senator Warren's remarks at the event is below.

Transcript: Remarks by Senator Elizabeth Warren at Press Event Unveiling the Stop Wall Street Looting Act 
July 18, 2019
U.S. Capitol Visitor Center

Video (Facebook)

I want to thank all the folks who are here today to put the human face on a new way that Wall Street just keeps sucking profits out of our economy.  Look, there is a part of Wall Street that has figured out that they can make millions of dollars, billions of dollars, by going into businesses that are already established, that are up and running, suck all the value out of them, sell the pieces off for parts, leave the employees behind, leave the pensioners behind, leave the communities behind, line their own pockets, and roll on out of town and go to the next business and the next business and the next business.

We have proposed a bill today to stop Wall Street looting the rest of our economy. Shopko is the perfect example of this. It is time for the American people to say that Washington should work for them instead of for private equity, instead of for Wall Street, instead of for the folks who already have all of the money and all of the connections. And that's what this is about today.

I just want to add one other part to this. Back when I was a girl, my daddy had a heart attack, and our chance in life to save our family was my mother's full-time, minimum wage job at Sears. Sears was a proud old company that went through a lot of ups and downs. But back when I was a girl, it was a company that at least provided a minimum wage opportunity that was enough to support a family of three, was enough to keep families on their feet. Sears is also one of those companies that private equity took a look, scooped in, sold off the valuable parts, sucked out as much money as they could of the corporation, and then left an empty shell that imploded. Thousands of workers were put of business, just like at Shopko.

This is not a one-off.  This is a part of how Wall Street operates, a part of how Wall Street continues to make its profits. And, here's the deal. What's happening here in Washington -- Washington keeps helping them! They give them special tax breaks, loopholes, multiple ways that they can take more value out of these corporations, put it in their own pockets, and leave everyone else behind.  The days of having a Wall Street that just keeps sucking value out of the rest of the economy, the days of having a government that helps that, are coming to an end. And that's our job and that's why I'm so glad to be here with the Shopko workers, to be here with the people who say enough of Wall Street ripping off and looting our businesses and leaving our employees behind.

I also want to say a very special thank you to Senator Tammy Baldwin, to Senator Sherrod Brown, to Congressman Mark Pocan, and to Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal who jumped in on this and are the lead cosponsors. These are the people who are willing to stand up to Wall Street. These are the people who are willing to say to our colleagues here in Washington: enough of working for Wall Street, it's time to work for the American people. So, thank you all for being here, I really appreciate it.  You know, this is how democracy works. So thanks for being a part of it.