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Allies Are a Big Part of the Fight for Senate Rules Reform

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), CWA President Larry Cohen and Ed Mierzwinski, head of U.S. Public Interest Research Group and Americans for Financial Reform held a teleconference joined by 5,000 activists on the critical need for Senate rules reform.

Mierzwinski noted that the Dodd-Frank banking reform legislation, enacted to counter the economic destruction caused by the financial industry in 2008, established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) "to protect American consumers no matter where they buy their financial services."

Now, the nomination of Richard Cordray to head that agency is being blocked by Republican Senators doing the bidding of the financial services industry, he said. Several Republican Senators have said they will vote to confirm Cordray only if the banking reform measure is weakened.


A coalition of community, labor and environmental groups deliver 165,000 petitions to Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).

Below: CWA President Larry Cohen (right), joins a panel discussion on the misuse of the filibuster and the need for Senate rules reform. With him are leaders from Common Cause and Alliance for Justice and a participant from the American Enterprise institute.


Warren stressed that the CFPB already is making a huge difference for American families, from mortgages to credit cards to student loans. In fact, the agency forced credit card companies to refund half a billion dollars to consumers, she said.

We need to keep this going, but Senate Republicans want "to keep the game rigged so that it doesn't work for consumers," she said.

Cohen tied it all together, noting that it's no accident that the minority in the Senate is taking aim at both the Cordray nomination and President Obama's five nominations to the NLRB.

"The Senate majority must act now and change the rules on nominations so that they can be approved by an up or down vote," he said.

  • In California, CWA activists joined members of the CAL Public Interest Research Group, the Center for Responsible Lending, Greenlining Institute and others who met with staff from Sen. Dianne Feinstein's office.

    They delivered 165,000 petition signatures to Feinstein with this message: The Senate should stop delaying and confirm Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau right away.

  • Leaders from Common Cause, CWA, Alliance for Justice and even a resident scholar from the conservative American Enterprise Institute agreed that the Senate's misuse of the filibuster has created an unprecedented backlog of nominations to critical agencies and federal courts, and is harming our democracy.

    At a panel discussion at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., participants – CWA President Larry Cohen, AFJ President Nan Aron, Stephen Spaulding of Common Cause and Norm Ornstein of AEI – called for changing the Senate rules to stop the obstruction that has been rampant in the U.S. Senate.