Elizabeth Warren has an uncanny ability to explain her policy proposals in easy to understand ways. She did that yesterday at her town hall in Nevada, and one line stood out. It explains her proposed wealth tax: Warren on what the wealth tax can pay for: Universal child care, universal pre-K, universal college, student debt cancellation for 95 percent of the country — "plus, if you sign up now, 12 steak knives." — Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) April 28, 2019 As a reminder, here’s what Warren is proposing: Under Warren’s plan, the tax rate on wealth would be two per cent, …Continue reading →
Speaking from the Senate floor Tuesday, Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren warned against the power of dark money in politics. In her remarks Sen. Warren details how big dark money donors use “think thanks” to push policies that benefit the rich at the expense of everyday Americans:
Acknowledging that Medicare for All must be the end goal for an ultra-wealthy nation in which tens of thousands die each year due to lack of health insurance, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) introduced legislation on Wednesday aimed at making immediate fixes to the current system to protect consumers from the “nasty tricks” of the private insurance industry, lower prescription drug costs, and shield low-income families from premium hikes.
“So long as private health insurance exists, there is no reason to allow our health care to be held hostage by insurance companies that refuse to do better,” Warren said in a statement unveiled alongside her legislation, which is co-sponsored by Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.). “Our bill will hold them accountable while significantly improving access to healthcare for millions of Americans.”
Warren is attempting to address problems in the short-term that are contributing to soaring healthcare costs and kicking Americans off their insurance entirely—from the Trump administration’s relentless sabotage efforts to the outlandish costs of prescription drugs.
Under Warren’s plan, for instance, insurance companies would “be barred from changing the kinds of drugs that they cover in the middle of the year, as well as how much of those drugs’ costs are born by consumers,” Marans notes. “Consumers would also be shielded from the effects of an insurer dropping a plan during their course of treatment.”
“Too many Americans have to battle with their insurance companies just to see their doctor or get a prescription filled,” Warren wrote on Twitter Wednesday. “We need a healthcare system that puts patients first—not insurance companies.”
Today I’m introducing the Consumer Health Insurance Protection Act with @SenSanders & our colleagues. We need #MedicareForAll – and until we get it, there's no reason private insurers can't provide coverage that lives up to the high standards of our public health care programs. pic.twitter.com/Ke7laLd164
Enough about Russia and Stormy Daniels, the leaders of the progressive movement want to talk about growing income inequality in the US.
At a live-streamed town hall event on Monday night, Senator Bernie Sanders once again circumvented cable news to host a 90-minute panel discussion on poverty, the decline of the middle class and the consolidation of corporate power.
He was joined in Washington by Senator Elizabeth Warren, director Michael Moore and economist Darrick Hamilton while roughly 1.7 million viewers tuned in to watch online, according to Sanders’ office.
Speaking to the Guardian before the event, Sanders said: “We have to fight Trump every day. But we have to not lose our vision as to where we want to go as a country. We can talk about the disastrous role Russia has played in trying to undermine American democracy. That is enormously important. But we also have to talk about the fact that we have the highest rate of child poverty in any major economy of the world.”
Sanders and Moore both complained about the media’s poor coverage of inequality and working people’s struggles. Moore said: “You turn on the TV and it’s ‘Russia, Russia, Russia!’” Sanders interjected: “And don’t forget Stormy Daniels!”
Moore continued: “These are all shiny keys to distract us … We should know about the West Virginia strike. What an inspiration that would be. But they don’t show this, Bernie, because, what would happen if they did?”
Panelists were not shy to point out who they felt were the culprits fuelling inequality in the United States. Its three wealthiest men – Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet – who collectively earn more than the poorest half of Americans, were singled out as contributing to the widening wealth gap. So too were lobbyists like the American Legislative Exchange Council and major political donors such as the Koch brothers. And, of course, representatives in Congress who are beholden to corporate donors.
A month ago, hundreds of teenagers ran for their lives from the hallways and classrooms of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 students and staff had been shot to death.
On Wednesday, driven by the conviction that they should never have to run from guns again, they walked.
So did their peers. In New York City, in Chicago, in Atlanta and Santa Monica; at Columbine High School and in Newtown, Conn.; and in many more cities and towns, students left school by the hundreds and the thousands at 10 a.m., sometimes in defiance of school authorities, who seemed divided and even flummoxed about how to handle their emptying classrooms.
The first major coordinated action of the student-led movement for gun control marshaled the same elements that had defined it ever since the Parkland shooting: eloquent young voices, equipped with symbolism and social media savvy, riding a resolve as yet untouched by cynicism.
“We have grown up watching more tragedies occur and continuously asking: Why?” said Kaylee Tyner, a 16-year-old junior at Columbine High School outside Denver, where 13 people were killed in 1999, inaugurating, in the public consciousness, the era of school shootings. “Why does this keep happening?”
Wreathed in symbolism, the walkouts generally lasted for 17 minutes, one for each of the Parkland victims. Two more nationwide protests are set to take place on March 24 and on April 20, the anniversary of the Columbine shooting.
"I'm here to fight for my life because we're scared. We never know if we're going to come back home from school." – High School Student Cindy Marquez pic.twitter.com/Ef4n3uYVdv
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Cooperation between Republicans and Democrats has become something of a rarity in today’s polarized political environment—except when it comes to a select handful of objectives, like enriching Wall Street banks.
In a Twitter thread Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is calling attention to a massive bank deregulation bill (S.2155) that could reach the Senate floor for a final vote this week, and highlighted the fact that a dozen Democrats are providing crucial support for the measure.
If passed, the legislation—derisively labeled “The Bank Lobbyist Act” by Warren and other critics—would make it more difficult to combat racial discrimination by big banks, provide regulatory relief for more than two dozen of the nation’s large financial institutions, and eliminate many consumer protections put into place after the 2008 financial crisis.
In addition to Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), the 12 Democratic senators currently co-sponsoring the deregulation measure are: Doug Jones (Ala.), Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Jon Tester (Mont.), Mark Warner (Va.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Tim Kaine (Va.), Gary Peters (Mich.), Michael Bennet (Colo.), Chris Coons (Del.), and Tom Carper of Delaware.
As Talmon Joseph Smith observed in an article for The New Republic on Thursday, “Nine of the 12 Democrats supporting the deregulatory measure count the financial industry as either their biggest or second-biggest donor.”
Earlier this week, a coalition of advocacy groups—including Rootstrikers, Public Citizen, and CREDO—delivered 450,000 petition signatures to members of Congress demanding that they reject Crapo’s measure.
“Do not collaborate with Donald Trump and Trump Republicans to deregulate big banks,” CREDO’s petition reads. “We need to finish the job of Wall Street reform and end a dangerous and rigged system that puts our economy at risk, not roll back the reforms already in place.”
The Senate should be working to #EndGunViolence. Instead, Mitch McConnell is teeing up legislation on what he thinks is a much more pressing issue: fulfilling the wish lists of big bank lobbyists. pic.twitter.com/Lwu0SOnFSc
With a speech delivered at the National Congress of American Indians on Wednesday morning, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) told the gathering of Native Americans that she will not allow President Donald Trump’s racist attack on her heritage to be a smear against her, but will instead do her best to use such attacks to uplift the proud traditions—as well as the historic struggles—of North America’s indigenous tribes and communities.
Addressing directly how the president referred to her as ‘Pocahontas’ during a White House ceremony last year, Warren said that she is proud of her Native American roots.
“I’ve noticed that every time my name comes up, President Trump likes to talk about Pocahontas,” she said. “So I figured, let’s talk about Pocahontas. Not Pocahontas, the fictional character most Americans know from the movies, but Pocahontas, the Native woman who really lived, and whose real story has been passed down to so many of you through the generations.”
The mythology around Pocahontas, said Warren, is one that “has been taken away by powerful people who twisted it to serve their own purposes. The fable is used to bleach away the stain of genocide. As you know, Pocahontas’s real journey was far more remarkable — and far darker — than the myth admits.”
Why denouncing the president’s clear intent to use the name as a racist slur and a smear against her and Native Americans more broadly—with many in the right-wing media echo chamber happy to play along—Warren said she does not intend to submit to those designs.
“I’m here today to make a promise,” Warren told the audience, according to a transcript first published in the Boston Globe on Wednesday. “Every time someone brings up my family’s story, I’m going to use it to lift up the story of your families and your communities.”
With just three days left before the federal government runs out of money, congressional Democrats are divided over whether to risk a shutdown in order to force Republicans to sign on to a bipartisan immigration deal this week.
It’s the same quandary the party faced last month and twice before that. Only now, the stakes are higher and Republicans appear to be handing them some leverage.
At issue is whether to support a measure to keep the government running absent a deal to grant legal protections for the undocumented immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children. Last month, Democrats punted on the matter. And with a March deadline looming for the formal end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program—which protected an estimated 800,000 DREAMers from deportation—they are now facing impassioned demands from their base to take advantage of one of their few remaining pressure points.
“[President Donald Trump] said to the Republican Congress, fix it. Remember that? That’s what he said. Fix it. And it is their job to fix it. So, no, I will not be voting for any [short-term extension] that does not provide legal status to the DREAMers and a path toward citizenship,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) told reporters at the Capitol.
But that sentiment is not shared universally across the party, with some lawmakers wary that Democrats would both cede the moral high ground and invite the blame.
“Historically, it’s Republicans that shut the government down and Democrats don’t want to play that,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), a progressive Democrat who is up for re-election in a state Trump won in 2016. “Every time the government shuts down or always shuts down, it’s the Tea-Party talking points and it’s threatening to shut the government down, it’s threatening to not pay our bills, threatening default—it’s what they do. Democrats absolutely don’t want to shut the government down.”
The party’s slate of aspiring 2020 presidential candidates—notably Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)—has encouraged their colleagues to adopt a more united front. And they’ve been joined by more progressive members of the party.
“There’s no reason we can’t get this done. There is one compromise that can get the votes, and it’s just up to [Republican leaders] whether they want to schedule it or not,” Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) said, referring to the bipartisan compromise brokered last week. “And the reason they don’t want to schedule it is not because it can’t get the votes, but because it can. And they would have to do a bipartisan deal, which they are still allergic to.”
Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren on Tuesday unveiled a massive $146 billion “Marshall plan” for Puerto Rico with several other senators. The plan includes immediate relief for the island’s cash-strapped government, billions more for economic development and renewable energy and Medicaid and Medicare parity, a key priority for the island.
“More than two months after Hurricanes Irma and Maria struck Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, half of the people there—American citizens all—still have no electricity,” Sanders said at a press conference Tuesday morning.
“Many are struggling to get clean drinking water, and more than 100,000 people have left Puerto Rico alone. This is not acceptable, and we are here today to tell the people of Puerto Rico and tell the people of the Virgin Islands that they are not forgotten, they are not alone, and that we intend to do everything possible to rebuild those beautiful islands.”
The far-reaching legislation would grant $62 billion to the governments of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, $27 billion to renovate infrastructure, and $13 billion in additional FEMA funding to rebuild the electric grid “with more modern, resilient technologies,” instead of the Stafford Act’s requirements that the grid be restored to its condition before the storms, according to a summary of the bill from Sanders’s office.
“The bill that Senator Sanders has introduced in the United States Congress is a comprehensive plan that provides the blueprint for the transformation of Puerto Rico,” Carmen Yulín Cruz, mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, said in a statement. “Senator Sanders also shows a great deal of respect and faith in us when claiming that the recovery or Puerto Rico must be in Puerto Rican hands.”
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Republicans want you to believe that if we give away $1.5 trillion to big corporations in their so-called tax reform bill, CEOs will raise wages and bring jobs back from overseas. But that’s not how CEOs think. Al and Elizabeth will tell you what they’ll actually do with their tax giveaways.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren said she believes that the Democratic National Committee was “rigged” in favor of former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton during the 2016 primary.
Asked Thursday by CNN’s Jake Tapper whether she believes that the Democratic campaign organization was tipped in favor of Clinton over her primary opponent, independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Warren responded without hesitation: “Yes.”
“We learned today from the former Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Donna Brazile that the Clinton campaign in her view did rig the presidential nominating process by entering into an agreement to control day-to-day operations at the DNC,” Tapper said, continuing on to describe specific arms of the DNC the Clinton camp had a say over, including strategy and staffing, noting that the agreement was “entered into in August of 2015,” months before Clinton won the nomination.
Warren called that “a real problem.”
“But what we’ve got to do as Democrats now, is we’ve got to hold this party accountable,” Warren said.
The Massachusetts Democrat is seen as a possible presidential contender in 2020 and beyond.
Tapper then asked, “Do you agree with the notion that it was rigged?” And Warren responded simply: “Yes.”
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As Republicans struggle to unite on the details of their deeply unpopular tax cut legislation and brace for “all hell to break loose” once the plan finally goes public, progressive lawmakers, union leaders, and activists rallied outside of the Capitol building on Wednesday in opposition to the GOP “tax scam” and denounced President Donald Trump for attempting to push through rewards for his deep-pocketed donors at the expense of low-income and middle class Americans.
“Everything you need to know about the Republican proposal is contained in this headline by the Boston Globe two weeks ago,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in a brief speech at the event. “The headline says: the Koch brothers and their friends want President Trump’s tax cut very badly. This is tax reform for the Koch brothers and the other billionaires in this country.”
The #NotOnePenny rally comes on the heels of news that the House GOP’s planned rollout of its secretive tax bill was pushed back to Thursday due to intraparty disagreements and confusion. As ABC News reported on Wednesday, Republicans can’t even agree on what to call the bill. Trump, ABC notes, is lobbying to name the legislation “The Cut Cut Cut Act.”
For weeks, progressive organizations have been gearing up for a struggle that they have warned will be “even harder” than the fight against Trumpcare. Now that both chambers of Congress have cleared the necessary procedural hurdles by passing their respective budget resolutions—both of which called for more than a trillion dollars in cuts to key social programs—pressure to launch a resistance campaign that sparks the same grassroots intensity as the healthcare fight is beginning to mount.
“The reality is that this will be a tax bill that transfers 80 percent of the tax cuts to the wealthiest one percent,” warned Rep. Pramila Jayapal, citing a recent Tax Policy Center analysis. “We are going to kill this GOP tax plan just like we killed their healthcare bill.”
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