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Vice Chair, Democratic Conference, United States Senate (2017 - Present)
To be claimed
Elizabeth Warren (Democratic Party) is a member of the U.S. Senate from Massachusetts. She assumed office on January 3, 2013. Her current term ends on January 3, 2025.
Warren (Democratic Party) ran for election for President of the United States. She withdrew before the Democratic convention on August 18, 2020.
Warren focused her campaign on economic issues, including proposing a wealth tax on the wealthiest 75,000 families to partially fund universal childcare, student loan debt relief, the Green New Deal, and Medicare for All. She ended her presidential campaign on March 5, 2020.
Warren's professional experience includes time in both the government and academic sectors. Prior to serving in the U.S. Senate, Warren helped establish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under the Obama administration. She also served as the chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel for the Troubled Asset Relief Program from 2008 to 2010.
Warren worked as a law professor for three decades at several universities, including the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University.
Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Warren is an average Democratic member of Congress, meaning she will vote with the Democratic Party on the majority of bills.
Warren was born in 1949 and grew up in Oklahoma. She graduated from high school at age 16 and earned a bachelor's in speech pathology in 1970 from the University of Houston. She earned her J.D. from Rutgers Law School at Newark. Warren taught at the University of Houston, the University of Texas at Austin, University of Pennsylvania, and Harvard University. Warren also authored 11 books about the economy, the middle class, and personal finance.
In the mid-1990s, Warren served on the National Bankruptcy Review Commission. In 1996, she changed her affiliation from Republican to Democratic.
In 2008, she was appointed by then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) to serve as the chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel, created during the economic recession to oversee the Treasury and evaluate market transparency. Warren left the role in 2010 to serve as a special adviser at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under the Obama administration.
Warren won the 2012 U.S. Senate election in Massachusetts with 53 percent of the vote, defeating incumbent Scott Brown (R). She was the first woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate representing Massachusetts.
Below is an abbreviated outline of Warren's academic, professional, and political career:
Prior to entering politics, Warren was an elementary school teacher, lawyer, law professor, and bankruptcy analyst.
Former Member, Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, United States Senate
Former Member, Economic Policy Subcommittee, United States Senate
Former Member, Energy and Natural Resources Committee, United States Senate
Former Member, Subcommittee on Airland, United States Senate
Former Member, Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety, United States Senate
Former Member, Subcommittee on Energy, United States Senate
Former Member, Subcommittee on National Parks, United States Senate
Former Member, Subcommittee on Primary Health and Retirement Security, United States Senate
Former Member, Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and Mining, United States Senate
Former Member, Economic Policy Subcommittee, United States Senate
Former Member, Energy and Natural Resources Committee, United States Senate
Former Member, Subcommittee on Energy, United States Senate
Former Member, Subcommittee on National Parks, United States Senate
Former Member, Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and Mining, United States Senate
Member, Committee on Armed Services
Member, Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
Member, Committee on Finance
Member, Special Committee on Aging
Member, Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities
Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection
Chair, Subcommittee on Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Growth
Member, Subcommittee on Health Care
Member, Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation, and Community Development
Member, Subcommittee on Personnel
Member, Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance, and Investment
Member, Subcommittee on Strategic Forces
Member, Subcommittee on Taxation and IRS Oversight
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July 6, 2019: Warren spoke at the Essence Festival in New Orleans, Louisiana.
July 5, 2019: Warren was among the 10 candidates who spoke at the Strong Public Schools Presidential Forum in Texas. Also that day, Warren wrote an op-ed in Essence and a Medium post introducing her plan to achieve pay equality for women of color. Her proposal focused on companies that contract with the federal government.
July 2, 2019: Warren opened a campaign office in Sioux City, Iowa. The Warren campaign had offices in seven other cities in the state at the time. Also that day, Warren campaigned in Las Vegas.
July 1, 2019: Vogue featured five of the six women running for president, including Warren, in a magazine story about the election. Also that day, Warren sent a letter to former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb, who left the agency in April, calling on him to resign from his new position on Pfizer's board.
June 29, 2019: Warren spoke at the Rainbow PUSH Convention in Chicago. Warren discussed her faith. Other participating candidates included Joe Biden, Bill de Blasio, and Pete Buttigieg.
Do you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation?
1. In order to balance the budget, do you support an income tax increase on any tax bracket?
2. Do you support expanding federal funding to support entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare?
Do you support the regulation of indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?
Do you support increasing defense spending?
1. Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth?
2. Do you support lowering corporate taxes as a means of promoting economic growth?
Do you support requiring states to adopt federal education standards?
1. Do you support government funding for the development of renewable energy (e.g. solar, wind, geo-thermal)?
2. Do you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions?
Do you generally support gun-control legislation?
Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare")?
1. Do you support the construction of a wall along the Mexican border?
2. Do you support requiring immigrants who are unlawfully present to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship?
1. Should the United States use military force to prevent governments hostile to the U.S. from possessing a weapon of mass destruction (for example: nuclear, biological, chemical)?
2. Do you support reducing military intervention in Middle East conflicts?
1. Do you generally support removing barriers to international trade (for example: tariffs, quotas, etc.)?
How, if at all, should China’s treatment of the Uighurs and the situation in Hong Kong affect broader U.S. policy toward China?
- What we have seen in Hong Kong in recent months is a tribute to the ideals that our country should stand for. The people of Hong Kong are standing up to demand a voice in how they are governed, and their protests represent an organic movement by the people inspired by the ideals of democratic government. They deserve the support of the United States and the world.
China’s actions in Xinjiang are a violation of international law and of basic human rights. I have supported efforts to respond strongly to these acts, including export controls on technology used for surveillance of China’s Muslim communities and targeted sanctions on those who are directly responsible for these policies of oppression. The United States should also mobilize the international community to hold China’s leadership accountable for its abuses.
The next president will have an obligation to cooperate with China to advance some of our highest priority national interests, including addressing the climate crisis and non-proliferation, while at the same time handling tough issues where we have little common ground. But our values cannot be used as a bargaining chip.
Would you rejoin the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)? What changes to the existing agreement, if any, would you require before agreeing to rejoin the accord?
- If Iran returns to compliance with its obligations under the nuclear deal, the United States should return as well. If Iran is not in compliance, I will pursue strong and principled diplomacy in concert with our allies to bring both the United States and Iran back into the deal.
The JCPOA is only the beginning. We will need to negotiate a follow-on to the agreement that continues to constrain Iran’s nuclear program past the “sunset” of some of its original terms.
We also need to address serious concerns about Iran’s policies beyond its nuclear program, including its ballistic missile program and support for destabilizing regional proxies. The JCPOA made addressing these problems easier by taking the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran off the table. As predicted, President Trump’s reckless decision to withdraw from the agreement has clearly put us in a weaker position, and to make progress we will need to rebuild support from regional and international actors whose interests are also at stake. But with time and leverage, the damage can be undone and diplomacy can be successful again.
Would you sign an agreement with North Korea that entailed partial sanctions relief in exchange for some dismantling of its nuclear weapons program but not full denuclearization?
- Our goal should be the full elimination of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. But while we work toward that goal, we must reduce the threat now.
We need serious, realistic negotiations to address this threat. As a first step, and in coordination with our partners and allies, I would be prepared to consider partial, limited sanctions relief in return for a strong, verifiable agreement that keeps North Korea from expanding its arsenal or proliferating to other countries. An interim agreement would open the door to negotiations to reduce North Korea’s nuclear capabilities, control conventional weapons, and stop the regime’s crimes against humanity. That’s not only an imperative for our national security, it is the only credible path toward denuclearization.
What, if any, steps would you take to counter Russian aggression against Ukraine?
- By illegally annexing Ukrainian territory and fueling a war in eastern Ukraine, Russia has imperiled the vision of a Europe whole, free, and at peace that prevailed for nearly a quarter century. Our response must be centered on a durable strategy that strengthens the security of NATO allies threatened by a resurgent Russia, supports Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity, and holds Russia accountable while also deterring further reckless actions.
Ukraine faces immense challenges that will require patient, long-term diplomacy and support from the West. We should start by shoring up relations with our EU partners in order to maintain the strongest possible diplomatic front, and by keeping pressure on the Kremlin to encourage changes in behavior. Ukraine must also get serious about sweeping reforms to root out corruption, which Russia exploits to undermine Ukrainian democracy.
Ultimately, Ukraine and Russia will have to negotiate a peace, and my administration will focus on setting the conditions for productive talks.
Would you commit to the full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan by the end of your first term, or would you require certain conditions be met before doing so?
- We have been in Afghanistan for 18 years with increasingly diminishing returns to our own security -- we’ve “turned the corner” so many times it seems we’re now going in circles. Expecting a military victory when a political settlement is required is unfair to our military, and unfair to the Afghan people. It's long past time to bring our troops home, and I would begin to do so immediately.
Ending U.S. military operations doesn't mean we are abandoning Afghanistan. Redirecting just a small fraction of what we currently spend on military operations toward economic development, education, and infrastructure projects would be a better, more sustainable investment in Afghanistan's future than our current state of endless war. We should enlist our international partners to encourage a political settlement between the Afghan government and the Taliban that is sustainable and that protects U.S. interests. And we should redouble efforts to support the Afghan government and civil society as they work to promote the rule of law, combat corruption and the narcotics trade, and ensure the basic rights of all Afghans.
Given the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi and Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the civil war in Yemen, what changes, if any, would you make to U.S. policy toward Saudi Arabia?
- Saudi Arabia has increasingly pursued a regional and international agenda that does not align with U.S. interests. The Saudi-led war in Yemen exacerbates instability and extremism in the region and has resulted in the deaths of thousands of civilians. Saudi policies in Libya, Lebanon, and Egypt and its irresponsible conflict with Qatar undermine U.S. security. The Saudi government’s role in the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi and its repression of its own citizens insults all who respect human rights and calls into question its reliability as a partner.
While the U.S. and Saudi Arabia will continue to share common objectives -- for example to prevent terrorism in the region -- it is time to reorient our policy in the region away from a reflexive embrace of the Saudi regime and toward one that focuses on U.S. interests. We must be crystal clear about our expectations if Saudi Arabia wants a real partnership. If the Saudi regime is unable or unwilling to meet those expectations, they can expect real consequences in terms of a more limited relationship moving forward.
Do you support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and, if so, how would you go about trying to achieve it?
- I believe in the worth and value of every Israeli and every Palestinian. The way we respect all parties is through a two-state solution - an outcome that’s good for U.S. interests, good for Israel's security and its future, and good for Palestinian aspirations for dignity and self-determination. To achieve this, there must be an end to the Israeli occupation and the creation of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip living alongside Israel.
As president, I would take immediate steps to reestablish America’s role as a credible mediator by welcoming the Palestinian General Delegation back to Washington and reopening an American mission to the Palestinians in Jerusalem. I would also make clear that in a two-state agreement both parties should have the option to locate their capitals in Jerusalem, as all previous serious plans have acknowledged. We should immediately resume aid to the Palestinians and financial support to UNRWA, and focus real financial and political resources on fixing the man-made humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip. I will oppose incitement to violence and support for terrorism by Palestinian extremists like Hamas. And I will make clear my unequivocal opposition to Israeli settlement activity and to any moves in the direction of annexation of the West Bank.
What, if any, additional steps should the United States take to remove Nicolás Maduro from power in Venezuela?
- Maduro is a dictator and a crook who has wrecked his country’s economy, dismantled its democratic institutions, and profited while his people suffer. The United States should lead the international community in addressing Venezuela’s humanitarian crisis and supporting regional efforts to negotiate a political transition, including free and fair elections as soon as possible.
Success will require supporting negotiations between elements of the regime, opposition, and civil society, and identifying specific steps Maduro must take to ensure a credible democratic process and to immediately allow independent humanitarian assistance to enter the country. We must also press China, Russia, and Cuba to become constructive players in this crisis - and if they refuse, we must contain their damaging and destabilizing actions.
Contrary to President Trump’s empty threats, there is no U.S. military option in Venezuela. Congress has not authorized it, the neighboring countries don’t want it, and it won’t solve the problem. Instead, the United States should prioritize support for regional partners in managing an influx of refugees that is unprecedented in the region's modern history, protect Venezuelans currently in the United States by offering them Temporary Protected Status, and empower the Venezuelan people to make their own choices.
By 2050, Africa will account for 25 percent of the world’s population according to projections by the United Nations. What are the implications of this demographic change for the United States, and how should we adjust our policies to anticipate them?
- Africa is made up of diverse countries with differing objectives and needs, and it makes little sense to think of them with a singular policy. My administration will treat the region as a priority rather than an afterthought. Achieving this requires fresh, innovative diplomacy that prioritizes engagement with civil societies as much as with governments. We should seize opportunities to promote transparent governance and more equitable, inclusive growth that supports a vibrant middle class -- including through efforts to tackle wealth concentration, kleptocracy, and corruption. This also means collaborating with regional and multilateral institutions that promote African ownership of growth and governance issues.
Rapid population growth in parts of Africa has the potential to exacerbate environmental and social stressors and has been seen to produce mass youth unemployment, impacting security and regional economies beyond the continent. Re-energized U.S. engagement can encourage alternative outcomes, where population increases instead usher in a period of strong, broad-based economic growth, open civic spaces, and propel nations toward better governance.
1. Under what circumstances, if any, would you support the United States joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), formerly the Trans-Pacific Partnership?
- Our relationships in Asia are essential for U.S. national security and prosperity, and the countries at the heart of the CPTPP are some of America’s closest allies and best partners. My administration will be committed to working with them.
But I have made clear that I will not enter into new trade agreements unless and until our potential partners meet certain preconditions that match our values and our policy goals - including combating climate change, respecting basic labor standards, and cracking down on tax evasion. I strongly opposed TPP because I thought it was a bad deal for American workers. As president, I will make sure that any new trade agreement we enter sets strong standards and prioritizes working families instead of the interests of giant multinational corporations with no particular allegiance or loyalty to America.
President Trump’s recent trade war escalations are doing real harm to American consumers and farmers. We need a serious, coherent trade strategy that tackles the challenge of China’s commercial behavior and protects American workers and farmers. Instead of alienating our allies and others who share our concerns, my administration will work with those countries to use America’s leverage and all of the tools at our disposal to invest in workers, curtail the power of multinational monopolies, and raise standards across the globe.
How would you discourage the proliferation of coal-fired power plants in developing countries?
- A reduction in global coal consumption and new coal-fired plants will only occur where there are economical alternatives available for these nations.
The good news is that while there are still technical problems to solve in renewable generation and storage, solar and wind are generally cheaper than coal. Domestically, I have already set an ambitious target of achieving 100% clean, renewable, and zero-emission electricity by 2035. My Green Apollo Plan would provide $400 billion investment over ten years in clean energy research and development to help solve remaining technical challenges. And my Green Marshall Plan will allow us to lead the world in manufacturing and exporting green alternatives, including by providing $100 billion over ten years to assist countries to purchase and deploy American-made clean, renewable, and emission-free energy technology. To make it affordable, I’ll offer incentives to countries hardest hit by the climate crisis, or in exchange for countries making regulatory changes that will further reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
At the same time, we need to work to end government subsidies for fossil fuels. While the main international development banks have stopped financing coal projects and many private banks are starting to do the same, some governments and state-owned enterprises are playing an increasing role in the financing of new coal power projects. The U.S. should not provide funds for international development projects focused on fossil fuel infrastructure. And under my trade plan, the United States would insist on the elimination of domestic fossil fuel subsidies as a precondition for any trade agreement we make.
What has been the greatest foreign policy accomplishment of the United States since World War II? What has been the biggest mistake?
- No nuclear weapon has been used in battle since World War II. That is a remarkable accomplishment. It rests on creative, visionary, pragmatic diplomacy, on facts and expertise in arms control and non-proliferation, and on the alliances and structure of collective security developed after the war and refreshed after the Cold War. In a world where nuclear proliferation remains a serious threat, we must redouble our efforts in this area to ensure that the world remains safe from nuclear conflict.
Our repeated mistake has been to ignore the relationship between a strong and vibrant America and our effectiveness at advancing our interests abroad. By treating foreign policy as separate from domestic policy, we have repeatedly misspent our strength overseas while leaving vital needs at home unattended. We have the world’s largest economy, but have failed to pursue foreign policies that prioritize American workers. We have the world’s strongest military, but we fight too many wars. We must recognize that our strength abroad is generated here at home, and policies that undermine working families in this country also erode our strength in the world.
S.Res.262 - A resolution affirming the importance of title IX, applauding the increase in educational opportunities available to all people, regardless of sex or gender, and recognizing the tremendous amount of work left to be done to further increase those opportunities.
Latest Action: Senate - 06/24/2019 Referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.Tracker:
S.Res.260 - A resolution recognizing the importance of sustained United States leadership to accelerating global progress against maternal and child malnutrition and supporting the commitment of the United States Agency for International Development to global nutrition through the Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Strategy.
Latest Action: Senate - 06/24/2019 Referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.Tracker:
S.1940 - A bill to permit legally married same-sex couples to amend their filing status for tax returns outside the statute of limitations.
Latest Action: Senate - 06/20/2019 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.Tracker:
Former Vice President Joe Biden (D) won the presidential election on November 3, 2020. Biden received 306 electoral votes and President Donald Trump (R) received 232 electoral votes. In the national popular vote, Biden received 81.2 million votes and Trump received 74.2 million votes.
Warren announced she was running for president on February 9, 2019. She ended her presidential campaign on March 5, 2020.
Incumbent Elizabeth Warren defeated Geoff Diehl and Shiva Ayyadurai in the general election for U.S. Senate Massachusetts on November 6, 2018.
|Elizabeth Warren (D)||
|Geoff Diehl (R)||
|Shiva Ayyadurai (Independent)||
Total votes: 2,707,090
(100.00% precincts reporting)
Incumbent Elizabeth Warren advanced from the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate Massachusetts on September 4, 2018.
Total votes: 591,038
Geoff Diehl defeated John Kingston and Beth Lindstrom in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate Massachusetts on September 4, 2018.
Total votes: 260,372
Warren was a potential candidate for the office of President of the United States in 2016. After a lengthy November 2013 profile of Warren in The New Republic, rumors of a possible 2016 run began heating up. Despite Warren having been among a group of female Senate Democrats who wrote a letter to Hillary Clinton urging her to run, a former Warren aide said, "If Hillary or the man on the moon is not representing her stuff, and her people don’t have a seat at table, she’ll do what she can to make sure it’s represented. ...Yeah, Hillary is running. And she’ll probably win. But Elizabeth doesn’t care about winning. She doesn’t care whose turn it is."
Sixteen senators have been elected to the presidency, including President Barack Obama (D).
Warren ran in the 2012 election for the U.S. Senate, representing Massachusetts. She ran unopposed on the Democratic ticket. The signature filing deadline for candidates was June 5, 2012. She defeated incumbent Scott Brown, who was seeking re-election on the Republican ticket. The general election took place on November 6, 2012.
U.S. Senate, Massachusetts General Election, 2012
|Republican||Scott Brown Incumbent||45.8%||1,458,048|
|Source: Massachusetts Secretary of State "Return of Votes"|
By Elizabeth Warren and Chuck Schumer For the first time in history, the American people have elected a President and Vice President States who committed to cancelling billions in student loan debt. Americans outside of Washington get it. They see their friends, family, and neighbors crushed by growing debt burdens, unable to afford their first home or start a small business. They know a senior whose Social Security check has been garnished by the federal government just to pay student loan interest. They know a mother struggling to make ends meet who never got a degree and now watches her debt load grow faster than she can keep up with. And even if they don't know one of our 43 million friends and neighbors buried under 1.5 trillion dollars in federal student loan debt, they understand the need to boost to our struggling economy. This is Econ 101: the best way to jumpstart our economy is to put more money in working families' pockets -- money they can spend in their communities. Broad cancellation of student debt would give tens of millions of Americans $200 to $300 more to spend and save each month. Cancellation also means they won't have to worry about a student debt time bomb exploding when the payments suspension ends. With more money in their pockets and a smaller debt load, they can consider bigger purchases like cars and homes and, for some, start their own businesses. That's good for the borrower and good for our economy. On day one, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris can use existing authority under the law to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt for all borrowers with federal loans and make sure it doesn't result in any tax bill for borrowers. This is the single most effective executive action available to provide massive stimulus to our economy. Some Americans still have real questions about student debt cancellation, like: Who benefits most? Wealthy Americans with expensive degrees? People who took out loans irresponsibly? People who haven't worked hard enough to pay back their loans? Will student debt begin to grow again after debt cancellation? It's easy to get so wrapped up in these questions that we forget who struggles with student debt. It's the person whose family couldn't afford to write a check for college but who tried to get an education anyway. Millionaires and billionaires won't benefit because they never needed to take out student loans, nor do their kids. And just because someone can shake out the couch cushions to make their monthly payments doesn't mean their debt load isn't keeping them on the edge of an economic cliff or holding them back from building family wealth through things like homeownership. We have supported limiting debt cancellation for those whose education is paying off big-time -- for example, those with big six-figure incomes. But for tens of millions more, student loan debt has become an impossible burden, and we must act. Among those struggling the hardest are people who tried college, but who never made it to a diploma whether because they didn't have the support, the childcare, the time, life intervened, whatever. Up to 40% of student loan borrowers are in a nearly-impossible situation -- no diploma to boost their earnings and a debt load they simply cannot manage. Student loan debt falls particularly hard on Black and Latinx students. These students are more likely to borrow money to go to college, borrow more money while they are in college and have a harder time paying when they leave college. The results are devastating. A third of Latinx borrowers default on their loans, and Black borrowers have about a 50-50 chance of defaulting on their loans. In fact, a decade after they start school, the typical Black borrower owes more on their loan than they originally borrowed. Millions of these students were cheated into debt by sham for-profit colleges. And even after cancelling up to $50,000 of student debt, the price of college is still astronomical. That's why the incoming administration should also work with Congress and higher education institutions to reign in the out-of-control college costs and crack down on predatory practices. That will help reduce the student debt crisis moving forward. Black and brown students across the country go to college because they believe it is the surest path to build a future for themselves and their families. They did everything right. But for millions of Black and brown communities, student debt is now just another gigantic roadblock between them building real wealth. With the stroke of a pen on day one, the Biden-Harris administration can right this wrong. They can close the Black-white wealth gap by 25 percentage points, and close the Latinx-white wealth gap by 27 percentage points, giving Black and brown families across the country a far better shot at building financial security. They can send those monthly payments back into our local communities and our economy, increasing GDP by tens of billions of dollars. They can free up cash and credit to buy homes or start new businesses and create more jobs. They can bring us a step closer to fixing a deeply broken higher education system. After the 2008 financial crisis, young people were shoved into a weak job market and plunged even deeper into student debt. They have never recovered financially. They now face the second major economic crisis of their young lives. And many of those borrowers, especially Black and brown borrowers, are still drowning. We can do better this time -- we must do better.
By Elizabeth Warren As Democrats celebrate the election of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala D. Harris, we need to have an important conversation about building a 50-state party that can win up and down the ticket. But with a hobbled economy, an international health crisis, a vanishing middle class and widespread racial inequities, we also need to answer another important question -- how to deliver on our campaign promises and improve the lives of the American people. The Biden-Harris ticket accomplished something historic -- unseating an incumbent president for the first time in a generation and likely flipping states that haven't voted for Democrats in decades. They did it with the support of the candidates from our contested presidential primary, all of whom urged our supporters to back Joe. They did it thanks to years of grass-roots organizing in the Latino and Native communities in Arizona. They did it thanks to the extraordinary work of Black women in states such as Georgia. They did it with young voters turning out like never before. They also did it by running on the most progressive economic and racial justice platform of any general election nominee ever. They ran on explicit plans to create new union jobs in clean energy, increase Social Security benefits, expand health care, cancel billions of dollars in student-loan debt, hold law enforcement accountable, make the wealthy pay their fair share, tackle climate change and provide for universal child care. And it wasn't just the top of the ticket. Progressive ballot initiatives won across the country. Florida became the eighth state to pass a $15 minimum wage. Arizona voted to increase taxes on the wealthy to fund public schools. Multiple states -- red and blue -- passed ballot measures to legalize marijuana. And Colorado said yes to 12 weeks of paid family leave. The lesson is clear. Bold policies to improve opportunity for all Americans are broadly popular. Voters recognize that these reforms are necessary to fix what is broken in our nation. Now, Democrats need to deliver for the American people -- those who voted for us, those who did not, and those who were too disenchanted or disenfranchised to vote. We need to deliver, even as Republican leaders can't acknowledge the election outcome and plan to grind Congress to a halt. The good news is there are lots of big changes that a Biden-Harris administration can achieve through executive orders and agency action on day one. The president-elect has already committed to reentering the Paris Climate Accord, reinstating DACA and ending the travel ban against certain Muslim countries. Here are more bold steps the new administration can take using existing legal authority. Cancel billions of dollars in student loan debt, giving tens of millions of Americans an immediate financial boost and helping to close the racial wealth gap. This is the single most effective executive action available to provide massive consumer-driver stimulus. Lower drug prices for millions by producing key drugs like insulin, naloxone, hepatitis C drugs and EpiPens at low costs using existing compulsory licensing authority that allows the federal government to bypass patents for pressing public health needs. Issue enforceable OSHA health and safety standards for covid-19 so giant companies don't escape accountability for workplace conditions that expose workers to serious harm and even death. Raise the minimum wage for all federal contractors to $15 an hour.Center racial equity by building on Biden and Harris's commitment to establish a Racial and Ethnic Disparities Task Force by collecting and reporting covid-19 data and reviewing racial disparities in pandemic funding. Declare the climate crisis a national emergency to start marshaling resources toward addressing this challenge. Restore balance and competition by prioritizing strong anti-monopoly protections and enforcement. Finally, a Biden-Harris administration can begin to rebuild trust in government by issuing the strongest ethics and anti-corruption standards for executive branch personnel ever. Biden has already embraced aggressive steps, and with a single order, he can padlock the revolving door between jobs in government and industry, reduce the influence of lobbyists, and eliminate conflicts of interest. These proposals are broadly popular among all voters. Even so, we know that Washington insiders and their establishment allies are ready to declare that unity and consensus mean turning over the governing keys to giant corporations and their lobbyists -- the exact opposite of what voters want. Democrats must resist this pressure. Acquiescing to an unpopular and timid agenda that further entrenches the wealthy and the well-connected will lead us to more division, more anger, more inequality and an even bigger hole to climb out of. Instead of allowing insiders to hijack the message sent by voters in both parties, we should listen to those voters and deliver real solutions to the problems we face. Doing so won't just strengthen the Democratic Party. It will strengthen America.
By Senator Elizabeth Warren Americans stayed at home and sacrificed for months to flatten the curve and prevent the spread of the coronavirus. That gave us time to take the steps needed to address the pandemic -- but President Trump squandered it, refusing to issue national stay-at-home guidelines, failing to set up a national testing operation and fumbling production of personal protective equipment. Now, Congress must again act as this continues to spiral out of control. Those who frame the debate as one of health versus economics are missing the point. It is not possible to fix the economy without first containing the virus. We need a bold, ambitious legislative response that does four things: brings the virus under control; gets our schools, child care centers, businesses, and state and local governments the resources they need; addresses the burdens on communities of color; and supports struggling families who don't know when the next paycheck will come. Here's what the next federal response must include: Start with funding the robust public health measures we know will work to address this crisis: ramped-up testing, a national contact-tracing program and supply-chain investments to resolve medical supply shortages. Without these measures, we will not be able to adequately reopen safely, more people will die and there will be no economic recovery. Our schools face enormous challenges, like figuring out whether and how to safely reopen, how to help students who fell further behind because of distance learning -- disproportionately students of color. The next legislative package should include at least $500 billion to stabilize state and local governments and at least $175 billion for our public schools to help them reopen safely, avoid teacher layoffs and provide the mental health and other services our children require. No one can reopen schools by just snapping fingers. No matter what Betsy DeVos says. Parents are drowning. Child care centers and schools are closed, yet essential workers are expected to still go to work each day, or night. Even parents who can work from home are expected to feed the baby and help their children learn while participating in Zoom calls. We cannot begin to have a recovery without affordable child care. The next relief package must include $50 billion in emergency support to keep child care providers in business now and make long-term investments so more families can find affordable, high-quality and safe care in the future. Rather than bullying businesses into reopening, then shielding them from liability when people inevitably get sick and die, let's instead make sure they have the resources necessary to put the health and security of their workers first, and enforceable safety standards set by OSHA. The Essential Workers Bill of Rights, which I proposed with Representative Ro Khanna, would include federal money for hazard pay, sick leave, family and medical leave, and enforceable health and safety protections for all essential workers. While the virus continues to rage, extended unemployment coverage is critical. Rather than set arbitrary expiration dates for unemployment insurance, let's tie those benefits to real-time economic data. Families would be better off and we'd be investing in a stronger economic recovery. The structural racism that has long existed in this country has caused the pandemic to hit Black and Latino neighborhoods and Indian Country especially hard. The next relief package must include Senate Democrats' proposal for at least $350 billion immediately invested in these communities. To avoid a tsunami that could put millions of people out on the street, Congress should extend and expand the national eviction moratorium, provide emergency rental assistance and increase funding for families experiencing homelessness. We should broadly cancel student loan debt so families don't have a student debt bomb waiting for them on the other side of this pandemic -- a burden that again falls disproportionately on students of color. Americans are generous, but if they're going to put up taxpayer money during this pandemic, we need strong anti-corruption protections like my CORE Act to make sure a bunch of Trump-connected businesses that can hire armies of lobbyists can't swoop up big chunks of relief funding. Our constituents are counting on us to deliver the relief they desperately need. The House passed a relief bill over two months ago. Now the Senate must act to contain the virus and to provide the funding so that our economy, our schools and our families can begin to recover. This is about saving lives and livelihoods -- and we don't have time to waste.
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