Elizabeth Warren joining the Finance Committee, extending her reach on tax, health policy

Massachusetts Democrat wants to be a 'progressive voice at the table,' says she'll push wealth tax on large fortunes

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer announced that Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., would join the Finance Committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer announced that Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., would join the Finance Committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Posted February 2, 2021 at 4:31pm

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren landing a coveted seat on the Finance Committee headlined the announcement of new committee assignments for Senate Democrats Tuesday.

Warren, who ran for president in 2020 and is known for her aggressive oversight of Wall Street and financial institutions, will remain a member of the Banking Committee.

"I look forward to being a progressive voice at the table to secure meaningful relief and lasting economic security for struggling families, including as an aggressive advocate for accomplishing much of our agenda through the budget reconciliation process," Warren said in a statement.

She said she'd be advocating for one of her long-term policy goals: "a wealth tax on fortunes over $50 million to fund needed investments for working families."

The Finance Committee has broad reach into health care, tax and trade policy. Combining the two committees, she will have a key voice in a broad range of Treasury Department policies.

Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., announced new Democratic committee assignments.

"Senator Warren has been a tireless advocate for the middle class and I look forward to working with her on a range of issues, particularly fixing our broken tax code and ensuring billionaires and mega corporations pay their fair share," incoming Finance Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore. said in a statement. "Income inequality will be a major focus of my legislative and investigative work, and Senator Warren will certainly play a significant role in advancing this agenda."

Warren's criticism of financial services-related nominees has not been limited to those put forward by President Donald Trump. Warren also battled some of President Barack Obama’s nominees.

She blocked his pick for undersecretary for domestic finance at the Treasury, Antonio Weiss, because he was the global head of investment banking at Lazard, a multinational financial advisory and asset management firm.

The Finance Committee's reach extends to entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare, as well as to health care policy more generally.

"I also welcome the opportunity to engage as a member of the Finance Committee on other longstanding priorities of mine, like reforming our trade practices, expanding Social Security, lowering drug prices, advancing racial equity, and enforcing our tax laws," Warren said.