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Liberal group stands with Warren against bipartisan regs reform package

Liberal group stands with Warren against bipartisan regs reform package
© Greg Nash

Liberal activist organization Credo Action has launched a petition aimed at destroying a regulatory reform package that the group says would weaken Wall Street watchdog agencies.

The petition, which has 6,410 signatures so far, asks Senate Democrats to stand with Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenTrump's SEC may negate investors' ability to fight securities fraud Schatz's ignorance of our Anglo-American legal heritage illustrates problem with government Dems ponder gender politics of 2020 nominee MORE (D-Mass.) against bills that it says would sabotage financial regulation.

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The New York Times reported last week that the package, being worked on by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, is likely to include a measure to subject independent agencies such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Securities and Exchange Commission to a strict cost-benefit analysis and review process for major rules.

Credo Action said the bills would undermine regulators that are needed to make sure capitalism works.

"They make sure markets are fair, protect our air and our water, and ensure that we’re not taken advantage of giant corporations or gouged by Wall Street banks,” the group’s petition said. “We need to reform and strengthen our regulators and make sure they are always working for us, not tie up their hands.”

In a statement to The Hill, Warren said federal rulemaking is broken because there are too many opportunities for powerful industry groups to rig the process.

"Reform is badly needed, but this package heads in the wrong direction, giving lobbyists and lawyers more chances to block outcomes they don't like," she said. "Reform should focus on a level playing field for working families and small businesses, not more ways to tilt the game for the rich and powerful.”

But Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), who is part of the rule-writing process, said the bills aim to create a more efficient regulatory process that ultimately produces better regulations.

“Many regulations provide certainty to the marketplace and provide us with clean air and water but, unfortunately, too many federal rules are unnecessarily burdensome to families and businesses,” he said in a statement to The Hill. “Through many hearings and conversations with stakeholders, it is apparent that the regulatory process needs updating to prevent bad regulations from raising prices on consumers.”

In addition to Lankford, Sens. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonTrump spars with GOP lawmakers on steel tariffs Overnight Regulation: Trump unveils budget | Sharp cuts proposed for EPA, HHS | Trump aims to speed environmental reviews | Officials propose repealing most of methane leak rule Trump budget seeks savings through ObamaCare repeal MORE (R-Wis.) and Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntRussian assault on 'American idea' enables Trump to take tough action Eleven lawmakers have used campaign funds to pay NRA dues: report Kimmel writer tweets amount NRA has given lawmakers in response to shooting prayers MORE (R-Mo.), Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampSenate rejects Trump immigration plan Cramer to announce North Dakota Senate run on Friday Senate Democrats not sold on bipartisan immigration deal MORE (D-N.D.), Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinPavlich: The claim Trump let the mentally ill get guns is a lie Toomey to introduce bill broadening background checks for firearms Scott Walker backs West Virginia attorney general in GOP Senate primary MORE (D-W.Va.), Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerLawmakers worry about rise of fake video technology Mueller indictment reveals sophisticated Russian manipulation effort GOP cautious, Dems strident in reaction to new indictments MORE (D-Va.) and Angus KingAngus Stanley KingLawmakers are failing in duty to respond to the American people Congress fails miserably: For Asian-Americans, immigration proposals are personal attacks GOP senators float fallback plan to protect Dreamers MORE (I-Maine) are reportedly working on the package.  

The support from Democrats has outraged Credo Action.

“Conservatives have promoted ‘cost-benefit’ analysis as a way to paralyze the people who keep us safe, and Democrats should not be helping,” the group said in its petition.

While the legislation package will likely be introduced in the coming weeks, Lankford’s press secretary said Lankford is focused on the three regulatory bills he introduced with Heitkamp that the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved in October.

Those bills include the Smarter Regulations Through Advance Planning and Review Act, which would require agencies to plan for and conduct regular mandatory retrospective reviews on their most expensive rules; the Early Participation in Regulations Act of 2015, which would allow Americans to participate in the regulatory process earlier; and the Principled Rulemaking Act of 2015 that would ensure that agencies propose rules that address verifiable problems.

This story was updated at 2:48 p.m.