Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) are reintroducing legislation to revive the Glass-Steagall Act, which would force big banks to split their investment and commercial banking practices.
Glass-Steagall was first passed in 1933 but repealed during the Clinton administration, leading many progressives to argue that it contributed to the 2008 financial collapse.
Warren and McCain, along with their cosponsors, Sens. Angus King (I-Maine) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), said in a statement that the legislation would make big banks that are “too big to fail” smaller and safer and minimize the likelihood of a government bailout.
The bill, which they first introduced in the last Congress, would separate traditional banking with checking and savings accounts from financial institutions that offer services such as investment banking, which are riskier.
“Despite the progress we’ve made since 2008, the biggest banks continue to threaten our economy,” said Warren, an ardent Wall Street critic, in a statement. “The biggest banks are collectively much larger than they were before the crisis, and they continue to engage in dangerous practices that could once again crash our economy.”
McCain said the repeal of Glass-Steagall led to “a culture of dangerous greed and excessive risk-taking” in the banking industry.
“Big Wall Street institutions should be free to engage in transactions with significant risk, but not with federally insured deposits,” McCain said in a statement.