Elizabeth Warren is again making her presence known in Washington. She garnered instant attention at a Senate Banking Committee hearing last Thursday when she held regulators accountable for not taking financial institutions to trial. Regarding big financial institutions, Warren stated, “If they can break the law and drag in billions in profits and then turn around and settle, paying out of those profits, they don’t have much incentive to follow the law.”
Warren, the first female senator in Massachusetts history, is advancing the role of women in politics. Not only has she become a powerful force in Washington in her own right, but she has been a strong voice for women in the Senate as well. When she was elected to the Senate last year, she voiced her concern that, in 2012, the fact that women made up only 20% of the Senate was underwhelming. She noted, “The fact that in this campaign, in this Congress, there were debates over equal pay for equal work, over insurance coverage for birth control, tells us that there is still a lot of room to travel here.”
Warren’s effectiveness stems from her willingness to say what she believes, call anyone out, and use her platform to make waves and actually incite change. She has proven that she’s not afraid to speak her mind, in her words, “… regardless of political party, regardless of how powerful someone is.” In her book, released in 2003, “The Two Income Trap,” Warren accused Sen. Hilary Clinton of “bowing to big business” by supporting a revised version of the bankruptcy bill that Clinton had previously helped to defeat in 2000. It has been speculated that the two women could face off in the 2016 election, and while Clinton has been accused of backing down from controversial issues, it seems that Elizabeth Warren will not be following in her footsteps in that respect.
Despite critics and those questioning her ability to effectively work well with others due to her blunt, no-holds-barred approach, Elizabeth Warren has shown that she truly intends to be a watchdog for consumers whether it wins her popularity votes or not.
Alisha Mims is a writer and researcher for Ring of Fire.