90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Warren Warns of Gutted Reform

Tom Asbhrook and Elizabeth Warren in Boston, June 7, 2010. (Credit: Josh Lavine for WBUR)

The fate of effective financial reform remains precarious right now, with the possibility that Washington lawmakers could produce a final bill that has “no real impact,” said Elizabeth Warren, chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel.

Warren, a consumer advocate and Harvard Law School professor who was appointed to monitor the Wall Street bailout, said that “herds” of lobbyists are trying to pick apart the pending legislation.

 “…[T]hey’re going to get one line changed, and they’re going to get one little provision dropped, and they’re going to get one more piece compromised out,” Warren said in an interview Monday night with “On Point” host Tom Ashbrook, as part of a WBUR event. “And at the end of the day, we can all congratulate ourselves that we got something that has the right title and has no real impact.”

This week, House and Senate negotiators are coming into conference committee to begin working out a final reform bill.

Warren said the odds are “good” that substantial reform, including the creation of a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency, could still come out of the Congressional negotiations. But she also warned that the process could prove a “complete waste of time.”  

“If you pick all of the worst parts from the House version and the Senate version, walk out, because it’s not worth it at that point,” she said.

Elizabeth Warren before the Senate Finance Committee in 2009. (AP)

Asked how she was dealing with pressure from Democrats who might want her to “bless” any compromise bill they produce, she said she would call it as she sees it.

“Just once in a while, there have to be independent voices that are really willing to say, ‘I’m sorry, you guys labored hard and you’ve brought forth a mouse. This one doesn’t work.’”

Ashbrook also asked her about the role of prominent women in Washington who are trying to address the financial crisis and its fallout. Time magazine recently featured Warren on its cover as one of three female “Sheriffs of Wall Street,” along with SEC chair Mary Shapiro and FDIC chair Sheila Bair.

“Let’s face it. There’s still no line in the ladies’ room,” Warren said. “My view on this is that…if you’re my age, and you get to where I am, you’re an outsider…You’ve actually either decided you’re going to get tough or die.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Dec 19, 2014
Alan Gross, waves as he and his wife Judy leave following his statement at his lawyer's office in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. Gross was released from Cuba after 5 years in a Cuban prison. (AP)

Cuba reset. Russia’s rubble troubles. School massacre in Pakistan. Jeb explores 2016. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Dec 19, 2014
Soledad, and from left, Nina Pastori, and Lila Downs perform on stage at the Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year Tribute honoring Joan Manuel Serrat at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014, in Las Vegas. (AP)

From crossover hits to hip-hop to soul, we look at a big year in the wide world of Latin music.

RECENT
SHOWS
Dec 18, 2014
A poster for the movie "The Interview" is carried away by a worker after being pulled from a display case at a Carmike Cinemas movie theater, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP)

A big Sony hack gets weirder and wider. And Hollywood and Homeland Security are on edge.

 
Dec 18, 2014
This handout photo from the Twitter account of Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. shows Alan Gross arriving at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. The US and Cuba have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and open economic and travel ties, marking a historic shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island after a half-century of enmity dating back to the Cold War, American officials said Wednesday. (AP)

Following months of secret talks the US will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba after more than fifty years.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Cosby Accuser Beverly Johnson: ‘He's A Black Man. I Had To Separate The Trayvon Martins, The Michael Browns From What Happened To Me’
Tuesday, Dec 16, 2014

Beverly Johnson accused comedian Bill Cosby of drugging her in a high-profile Vanity Fair column. She tells us why she waited so long to share her story, and why it was even harder to share now.

More »
2 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: December 12, 2014
Friday, Dec 12, 2014

On listener engagement, the meeting of trans-Atlantic royalty and the elusive origins of the chicken. (We promise this feed hasn’t been taken over the BBC…yet)

More »
Comment
 
Quinn Sullivan, LIVE In Our Studio
Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014

Fifteen-year old Quinn Sullivan is a humble, “ordinary” high school sophomore. But he’s also a blues guitar phenom. He brought his talents to the On Point studio today.

More »
Comment