Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren has been hammering her Republican opponent, incumbent Scott Brown of Massachusetts, for "undermining" the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill Brown helped pass, even though Warren expressed agreement with Brown's proposed changes to the bill during the debate in 2010.
In a campaign statement Monday, Warren blasted Brown for his behind-the-scenes maneuvering to loosen the banking regulations in Dodd-Frank, after the financial regulatory bill passed.
“Scott Brown is trying to make it easier for the big banks to keep hammering consumers when we ought to be figuring out how to take away the hammer and protect consumers," said Warren in her statement, referring to the Boston Globe story that reported on the details. "Scott Brown is part of the guerrilla war that's undermining financial reform and weakening critical protections for consumers. We ought to be holding these big banks accountable, not letting them off the hook.”
But on July 15, 2010, in the middle of the debate over Dodd-Frank, Brown’s legislative director Nat Hoopes reportedly had a 20-minute conversation with Warren on Capitol Hill in which they discussed Brown's ideas about improving the legislation. In a follow-up email to Warren, Hoopes wrote:
I'm particularly interested in how the new CFPB [Consumer Financial Protection Bureau] can use its broad authority to simplify and dramatically improve the quality of information going to the consumer, while also helping to simplify and consolidate some of the compliance burdens on our smaller financial institutions. If you've talked to local banks or seen the recent letter from the ABA that points out the dozens of new rules and regs that have been passed in the past couple of years, it's clear that small banks are being forced to spend a lot more money and time on compliance. I worry about their ability to compete in this area with the behemoth banks.
Warren wrote back to Hoopes to express her agreement (emphasis added):
I've been beating the drum for the past year about how CFPB should be in the business of reducing regulatory burden, streamlining government, and shrinking disclosure. I've also stressed that this will help level the playing field between small and big banks. We're very much like-minded on this.
Now that Warren is running against Brown, she seems to have changed her tune.