Sen. Elizabeth Warren Says Anti-Corruption Proposal Will Stop 'Revolving Door' Of People Looking To Make Themselves Rich

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks at Dillard University in New Orleans, Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. (Gerald Herbert/AP)
Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks at Dillard University in New Orleans, Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. (Gerald Herbert/AP)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren has laid out a proposal that would put a lifetime ban on members of Congress from getting hired as lobbyists after they leave public office. She also wants to ban lawmakers from owning or trading individual stocks, while in office.

Warren argues that it is time for new rules on lawmakers, judges and corporations.


Elizabeth Warren, Democratic senator for Massachusetts. She tweets @senwarren.

Interview Highlights

On how to ensure that investments will be conflict-free

"If people invest in mutual funds that are just index funds that reflect where the stock market is going, then I don't think we have the same kind of conflict.

"The problem we had is in the Trump administration, someone who heads up health and human services and has a lot to do with who the winners and losers are in health care was trading in individual health care stocks. That's that's the kind of thing where Americans quite reasonably wonder ... when he makes that decision, is he making that decision because he thinks it's the best thing for the American people, or is he just making it because that's what's going to make him richer?

"If you want to be an elected official — and by the way, this is more than just Congress, if you want to head up one of the Cabinet departments or you want to be the head of one of the agencies — you don't get to hold individual stocks and trade in those stocks. You've got to put your money in big mutual funds, or else, don't take the job."

On whether it is realistic to garner support in Washington for the proposal

"I understand people here in Washington are comfortable with the system to a lot of people who make a lot of money in this system. There are a lot of people who are not going to like these proposals, frankly, including some of my own friends. It would require all of us in Washington to change, including me. ... The whole point is that we're supposed to be down here in Washington working for the people back home. I'm supposed to be here to work for the people of Massachusetts. Other senators are supposed to be working for the people of their home state. That's what I'm trying to do, rather than being here to work for big oil, big drug companies, big student loan outfits, because they're the ones who flood this place with money and call the shots."

On whether her bill hints at a presidential platform

"We have midterms coming up in 77 days. We have critical issues in front of us right now. [A] Supreme Court nominee that's sitting right now in front of Congress. We have a budget that we're working through. And I think we have serious issues we need to talk about about corruption in this government. The idea of focusing on just what's going to happen once every four years ... I think it just takes people away from the importance of these midterms. Right now, the Republicans control the House, they control the Senate, they control the White House. Democrats are making a good, hard run for their seats both in Massachusetts and all across the country. That will make a difference in how this country operates going forward, and I think that's where we need to keep our focus and that's certainly what I'm focused on."

This article was originally published on August 21, 2018.

This segment aired on August 21, 2018.


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