A video of Bill Moyers interviewing Elizabeth Warren is inspiring new questions about Hillary Clinton’s well-documented relationship with Wall Street. In the interview, Warren details Clinton’s flip-flop on support for a bankruptcy bill that made it more difficult for poor Americans to discharge credit card debt.
The video resurfaced after Clinton said, during a town hall last week, “Anybody who knows me who thinks that they can influence me, name anything they’ve influenced me on.”
The Sanders campaign responded, “Senator Elizabeth Warren can certainly name at least one thing,” in a Feb. 5 email to reporters.
In 2004, Warren, at the time a college professor, revealed to Moyers that she had personally advised former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on a Wall Street-backed bankruptcy bill that Clinton ultimately voted for when she became a U.S. Senator.
After writing an op-ed in the late 1990s against a bill favored by the banking lobby that would make it harder for poor people to get out of bankruptcy, Warren was approached by staff for then-First Lady Hillary Clinton for a private meeting on the bill.
Warren said she met with Clinton and, over the course of a lunch of hamburgers and french fries, explained how the proposed bankruptcy bill (eventually called The Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2000) would hurt poor people, particularly poor women raising a family who were attempting to get child support and alimony from their ex-husbands: those women would have to compete with Wall Street banks that were trying to keep their ex-husbands out of the bankruptcy process so they could force him to pay credit card debts.
According to Warren, Clinton completely understood the argument Warren made and agreed the bill had to be stopped. Upon returning to Washington, Clinton reportedly worked behind the scenes to defeat the bankruptcy bill, which was pocket vetoed by President Bill Clinton in December of 2000.
But then, as Warren noted, Clinton was elected to Congress for New York in 2000 and, in one of her first acts in office, voted for the very same bankruptcy bill she had once opposed and her husband vetoed.
When asked by Bill Moyers for an explanation for the complete reversal, Warren suggested that then-Senator Clinton had succumbed to pressure from Wall Street as both her constituents and largest campaign donors.
That dynamic would also be in place if Hillary Clinton became president.