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CNN Pundits Insist 'Elizabeth Warren Caucus' Is Too Small To Have Any Influence On Spending Bill

The talking heads on CNN did their best to dismiss any influence Elizabeth Warren might have on whether this godawful "cromnibus" spending bill is passed or not. Let's hope she proves them wrong.
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From this Thursday's New Day on CNN, Inside Politics host John King and guests Tamara Keith from NPR and The Atlantic's Molly Ball did their best to try to dismiss what they called the "Elizabeth Warren caucus" in the Democratic party and her ability to potentially put the brakes on this godawful "cromnibus" spending bill that Congressional leadership and the White House are doing their best to ram through before anyone has a chance to see what's in it.

As we've already discussed here, "there are a lot of reasons why this budget deal shouldn't happen, but gutting Dodd-Frank might be one of the biggest" but you'd barely know it from listening to the pundits on CNN. Rather than focus on whether Warren has a point about how damaging it would be to dismantle the protections that were passed in Dodd-Frank and how unbelievable it is that anyone would want to stick the taxpayers with the cost of another bailout that all of these politicians continually pretend they're opposed to, it was all politics with these people.

They'd rather compare Warren to Ted Cruz, dismiss her objections because they don't believe the progressive caucus in the Democratic party is large enough to have any influence, and then paint her objections as just another fundraising ploy for liberal groups that would like to see her throw her hat in the ring and run for president.

Transcript via:

AMARA KEITH, NPR: It seems entirely likely, and if it doesn't pass, it won't be because of the Republicans; it will be because of the Democrats.

The Congressional Republicans, House Republicans, somewhere in the neighbhorhood of maybe 70, 80 of them, are going to peel off and not vote for it. 30 of them would never have voted for it, no matter what it did. Democrats are upset, too, though. They don't like provisions that were tucked in about campaign finance, the Dodd-Frank consumer -- the financial reforms that were -- are being pulled back.

So there's something for everybody to hate in this. But it seems like they're right up against this deadline and they're going to find a way to cobble together the votes.

JOHN KING, CNN HOST, "INSIDE POLITICS": And so I guess to that point if there's somebody for everybody to hate. Molly Ball, is there enough for everybody to like to get it through? Is that the idea?

MOLLY BALL, "THE ATLANTIC": Yes. I mean, depending on how you look at it, this is either the definition of compromise, something for both sides to hate, or it's one of these you know, Washington typical goody-filled bills on things that have nothing to do with the actual proximate goal, which is to get the government funded.

And that's the kind of thing that everybody hates about Washington is every senator and representative gets to throw their little thing into the bill as it gallops across the deadline and nobody can muster the will to object because we've got to get the government funded.

But the leadership does believe they will be able to cobble together the votes as Tamara said, some Republicans will peel off. Nancy Pelosi is opposed to the bill because of the provisions that Tamara mentioned.

But she is not whipping actively against it it's expected enough Democrats will fill the gap that it will get majority in the House.

KING: Enough Democrats think I don't like this, I don't like this, but we have to keep the government up and running.

You mentioned Dodd-Frank was the big financial reform bill that was passed after the financial collapse in 2008. Set new rules on banks, supposed to protect the little guy, put the banks under more of a watchdog status. Nancy Pelosi doesn't like the proposed changes to that.

Neither does Elizabeth Warren, who took to the floor of the United States of the Senate yesterday blaming the House of Representatives even though this bill starts in the House. It will come to the Senate. Listen to Elizabeth Warren saying no way.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: The House of Representatives is about to show us the worst of government for the rich and powerful. The House is about to vote on a budget deal. A deal negotiated behind closed doors, that slips in a provision that would let derivatives traders on Wall Street gamble with taxpayer money.

And get bailed out by the government when their risky bets threaten to blow up our financial system. These are the same banks that nearly broke the economy in 2008 and destroyed millions of jobs.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: She's obviously a rising star in the Democratic caucus in the Senate. Some liberal groups are begging, pushing, pleading for her to run for president on the Democratic side in that sound bite is a little bit of everything. That behind closed doors, deal that helps the rich bankers, screws the little guy, powerful speech, but not enough to stop this?

KEITH: Well, she's very good at that populism thing and she's sort of pulling a Ted Cruz here. She's standing over in the Senate and telling the House, stop this thing, don't do it. The reality is that her colleagues in the Senate actually negotiated this. And so, she can stand on principle, but it looks to be pretty hard to stop.

KING: You've had a lot of liberal groups raising money off Elizabeth Warren with these polls. You know should Elizabeth Warren run for president, move on says it's going to spend $1 million to encourage her to draft her to run for president.

Guess what? They're hoping to raise more than $1 million. They're supposed to get their money back by having that out there and pushing it around. But is there any reason to believe that because something she objects to profoundly is about to happen, that she would change her thinking?

BALL: Well, the problem with the Elizabeth Warren caucus is it's too small. Whether you're talking about in the Senate, in the House, or in the base of the Democratic Party, in real polls, Elizabeth Warren is not getting anywhere near the support that Hillary Clinton is even among the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, where Hillary tends to do very well.

So I have yet to see any reason to believe that the, that the Warren percentage is more than a minority at this point. It's just a very loud vocal and angry minority.

It's not a minority of the country that agrees with her. It's the majority. Most Americans didn't like the bailouts and don't want to see another one whether the talking heads on our cable "news" shows or the politicians want to pay attention to them or not.


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