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Senator Al Franken Speaks Out Against Wall Street Links, Manufacturer Tax

Senator Al Franken

Amid growing doubt around the confirmation of U.S. President Obama’s nominee to serve as the Treasury Department’s undersecretary for domestic finance, liberal senators such as Elizabeth Warren and Al Franken have taken direct aim at the former investment banker’s close ties to Wall Street, with senators across the ideological spectrum seemingly ready to do battle with the White House over the issue, The Washington Times said.

Some on the left, led by Warren and also powerful progressive organizations outside Capitol Hill, now feel more emboldened to take on both the administration and so-called Wall Street Democrats, the report said.

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They argue the administration must move to the left, particularly on financial matters, and needs to break associations the Democratic Party has with powerful banks and other financial institutions, the Times said.

The report quoted Warren as claiming that the overrepresentation of Wall Street banks in senior government positions tells people that only one point of view will dominate economic policymaking, and that whatever goes wrong in the economy, the Wall Street banks will be protected first, which is yet another advantage that Wall Street just doesn’t need.

In recent weeks a number of other Democrats have voiced similar criticism, including Sens. Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, Al Franken of Minnesota and even Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, the Times said.

Meanwhile, an article on the convening of the 114th Congress said Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, a leading Democrat, is principal backer of one of the first new pieces of legislation supported by Senate Republicans, namely a measure to repeal a tax on manufacturers of medical devices that is part of the Obamacare program.

She is joined by other liberals, including Al Franken of Minnesota and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, from states where these manufacturers are headquartered, said.

Appearing on the ABC program “This Week, ” Klobuchar said there would be “floating coalitions” involving different groups of Democrats joining with the Republican caucus on different issues, the website said.



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