Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman nominee Jay Clayton is sworn-in on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, March 23, 2017, prior to testifying at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking Committee. (AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) rallied against President Donald Trump’s nominee to head the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Wall Street lawyer Jay Clayton, alongside other progressive leaders late Wednesday.
Clayton, a corporate lawyer who helped Wall Street defy regulators and get billions of dollars in government bailout funds during the financial crisis, is “the embodiment of the greed that nearly destroyed the economy,” Sanders charged in his fiery speech.
The senators urged progressives to resist the SEC pick ahead of his confirmation hearing Thursday.
“Mr. Clayton has spent his career providing get-out-of-jail-free cards to Wall Street executives,” Sanders said:
— Public Citizen (@Public_Citizen) March 22, 2017
“How many people seriously believe that someone who has spent 25 years hobnobbing with these giant, Wall Street bankers is suddenly going to get tough on his buddies?” Warren told the crowd, according to Politico.
— AFR (@RealBankReform) March 22, 2017
Sanders concurred: “We need somebody who is prepared to confront the system, not someone who is part of the system.”
In a statement, Sanders further noted:
Clayton helped Goldman Sachs get a $10 billion taxpayer bailout from the Treasury Department during the financial crisis. He represented Valeant Pharmaceuticals, a company that increased the price of its lead poisoning drug from $950 to $27,000 over a two-year period.
“We need an SEC Chair who is willing to stand up to Wall Street and to end its greed and illegal behavior,” the senator told the crowd.
Leaders of advocacy groups such as Public Citizen, Americans for Financial Reform, Our Revolution, and others, also spoke, arguing that Clayton is yet another example of Trump’s failure to abide by his promise to “drain the swamp,” and his nomination is part of Trump’s concerted efforts to hand regulatory powers over to Wall Street.
The groups urged people to sign up to take part in resisting Clayton’s nomination.
Watch Clayton’s confirmation hearing Thursday on CSPAN here, and follow along with the resistance to it on social media under the hashtags #CorporateClayton and #HostileTakeover:
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