Katie Porter is a freshman in Congress. She ran for Congress in the 45th District in California, which has not elected a Democrat since the District was created in 1953. Porter was born in Iowa and had an elite education, studying at Phillips Academy, Yale University, and Harvard Law School (where Elizabeth Warren was one of her professors). She is a consumer advocate and a master of complex financial transactions. She co-authored a book with Warren titled The Law of Debtors and Creditors. 

She has fought the abuse of mortgage holders by banks. She has planted herself firmly on the side of the little guy, the public interest, and the victims of the powerful.

In her role on the House Financial Services Committee, she has challenged some of the most powerful people in the nation. She does it with facts, logic, and subtlety. She quietly sets a trap, and then it snaps.

Watch her take apart Jamie Dimon, CEO of J.P. Morgan Chase, who received a salary of $31 million this year. She explains the difficulty of a teller in his bank in her district who is paid $16.50 an hour. Better than the minimum wage, but watch her quietly pin him to the wall. 

The video went viral.

Paul Waldman of the Washington Post says that Porter has framed the most important issue for the 2020 election: Inequality. 

He writes:

“Congratulations are in order to JPMorgan Chase, the largest bank in the United States. It just reported that in the first quarter of 2019 it made a record profit of $9.18 billion on $29.9 billion in revenue. Truly, we are living in an age of boundless prosperity.

“Well, some of us are. Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, made $31 million last year. Which led to an interesting exchange between him and first-term Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) this week in a Capitol Hill hearing, when Porter asked Dimon to consider the financial situation of a teller working at Dimon’s bank in Irvine, Calif., the location of her district.

”A video of Porter questioning Dimon is spreading, and it’s an excellent reminder of something with profound implications for next year’s presidential campaign:

“Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) grills JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, who made $31 million last year, on how a low-paid bank teller is supposed to pay the bills.

“Porter is uniquely situated to do this kind of questioning. A law professor with deep expertise in topics such as bankruptcy, she is quickly becoming one of the financial services industry’s most formidable critics on Capitol Hill. And she was doing more than making Dimon uncomfortable. She was obviously trying to make a larger point not just about JPMorgan Chase or even just about the banking industry, but about the American economy in general.

“That point is this: If you have a bank that’s making $9 billion in profit in a single quarter, with a CEO who makes $31 million a year, and yet people who work for that bank can’t possibly make ends meet, something is very, very wrong. And that should be at the center of the campaign of every Democrat running for president…

”Speaking of which, we just learned that as a result of that tax cut, twice as many of the largest corporations in the United States paid no taxes in 2018 as had the year before, despite making billions of dollars in profit. In many cases they even got large refunds, which means your taxes went right into their bank accounts. To take just one example, Chevron made a $4.5 billion profit and got a refund of $181 million. The banks did particularly well; the tax law increased bank profits by $28.8 billion. You’re welcome, Mr. Dimon…

”JPMorgan Chase could give every one of its 250,000 employees a $25,000 raise, and it would cost the bank only about two-thirds of the profit it made just in the first quarter of this year. But of course, it is not going to do that. We can’t rely on the generosity of corporations to tackle inequality. That’s the government’s job. Democrats just need to decide to do it, and to make clear to voters that it will be their top priority as president.”

Watch Katie Porter take on the CEO of Wells Fargo. (Ignore the misspelling on the placard she holds up. (Somebody goofed but not her.)

Watch her eviscerate the clueless head of Trump’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, explaining basic rules of consumer finance.

I love AOC.

I love Katie Porter.

These are two amazing and powerful people. They give me hope for the future.