Sanders and Mnuchin clash over Glass-Steagall

Sanders and Mnuchin clash over Glass-Steagall
© Getty Images

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and liberal Vermont Senator Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders: GOP healthcare bill 'barbaric and immoral' Sanders dodges question on FBI investigation into his wife Major progressive group rolls out first incumbent House endorsement MORE (I) engaged in a testy exchange over President Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump sends FBI director nomination to the Senate Alec Baldwin's Trump will return to SNL Carter Page questioned in FBI Russia investigation: report MORE’s campaign promise to enact a “21st Century Glass-Steagall Act,” a financial regulation separating commercial and investment banking.

Mnuchin’s first report outlining principles of financial regulation, released Monday, made no mention of an updated version of Glass-Steagall, a 1933 regulation repealed under President Bill ClintonBill ClintonJared Kushner hires Abbe Lowell for legal team Overnight Energy: Trump White House kicks off 'Energy Week' Bill Clinton: 'The water is going to keep rising’ whether US stays in Paris or not MORE.

Mnuchin told Sanders that there were, essentially, three different “21st Century Glass-Steagall” acts: the one on which Trump campaigned, the one passed in the Republican platform and one in the form of legislation recently introduced by Senators Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenSenate Dems step up protests ahead of ObamaCare repeal vote Major progressive group rolls out first incumbent House endorsement Speaker Ryan, the fate of our policy toward Russia rests in your hands MORE (D-Mass.) and John McCainJohn McCainCongress needs to support the COINS Act GOP’s message on ObamaCare is us versus them Frustrated Dems say Obama botched Russia response MORE (R-Ariz.).

ADVERTISEMENT

“During the campaign, we specifically said that we believed in a 21st-century Glass-Steagall. That was differentiated from what was the Republican Party view of Glass-Steagall,” Mnuchin began before Sanders cut him off.

“Whoa, whoa. Let me get this right. I don't mean to interrupt you, Mr. Mnuchin,” Sanders started in.

“But you are — you are interrupting me. You're not letting me finish my comment,” Mnuchin responded.

“But I have very limited time, and what you're saying is that the language that Trump put into the Republican platform is not really the language that he believed in,” Sanders said.

Mnuchin argued that Trump was not responsible for the language in the Republican party platform and that Trump opposed actions that would break up big banks, as forcing a separation between commercial and investment banking would do.

“We think that that would hurt the economy, that would ruin liquidity in the market. What we are focused on is safe and prudent regulation for the large banks so we don't have taxpayer risk,” Mnuchin said.

When Sanders noted the legislation of the same name, Mnuchin said it was "an unfortunate coincidence."

In May, Warren and Mnuchin had a similar stand-off at a hearing.

"This is like something straight out of George Orwell," Warren said at the time.