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March 3, 2020 — Primary Election
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United States

United States of America — Democratic PartyCandidate for President

Photo of Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren

Teacher, consumer advocate, U.S. Senator
762,555 votes (13.2%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • As president, my first priority will be to pass my anti-corruption plan – the most sweeping set of anti-corruption reforms since Watergate – which lays out nearly a hundred ways we can reform our government to put power in the hands of the people.
  • My wealth tax on fortunes above $50 million will generate revenue we can use to invest in universal child care, provide a great public school education, cancel student loan debt, and provide universal free public college and technical school.
  • Defeating the climate crisis will be a top priority in my administration. That’s why I’ve woven Green New Deal policies throughout my plans, which independent economists estimate will create more than 10 million new, green jobs.

Experience

Experience

Profession:Teacher, consumer advocate, U.S. Senator
U.S. Senator from Massachuestts, United States Senate — Elected position (2013–current)
Lecturer in Law, Professor of Law, Rutgers University, University of Houston, University of Texas-Austin, University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University (1977–2013)
Assistant to the President and Special Advisor to the Secretary of the, Executive Branch — Appointed position (2010–2011)
Chair, Congressional Oversight Panel on the Troubled Asset Relief Program — Appointed position (2008–2010)
Commission Reporter, National Bankruptcy Review Commission — Appointed position (1995–1997)

Education

Rutgers Law School Juris Doctor, Law (1976)
University of Houston Bachelors of Science, Speech Pathology and Audiology (1970)

Community Activities

Member, Commission on Economic Inclusion, FDIC (2007–2010)

Biography

I grew up in Oklahoma on the ragged edge of the middle class. My daddy sold fencing and carpeting at Montgomery Ward, and ended up as a janitor. I have three older brothers who served in the military, and my oldest brother was career Air Force.

When I was twelve, my daddy suffered a heart attack. He was out of work for a long time and the medical bills piled up. We lost the family station wagon and were about an inch away from losing our home, when my mother got a minimum wage job answering the phones at Sears. Back then, a minimum wage job could support a family of three. That job saved our home, and it saved our family.

I’ve spent my whole career studying why America’s middle class has been hollowed out. I’ve taken on giant corporate special interests like big banks and credit card companies that cheat consumers and undermine small businesses. I’ve gone after shady for-profit schools that rip off students, veterans, and taxpayers. I’ve fought to end the influence of big money in politics.

 

In our country, everyone ought to be able to take care of themselves and the people they love. That should be the fundamental promise of America. This is deeply personal to me because I got a real taste of opportunity. I've known what I wanted to do since I was in second grade. I wanted to be a teacher. And it was the University of Houston, which cost just $50 a semester, that gave me my chance. I got to become a teacher, a law professor, and the senior senator from Massachusetts because America invested in kids like me. I’m in this fight to build an America that works for everyone.

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of California (3)

What financing method(s) would you support to repair or improve roads, rails, ports, airports, the electrical grid, and other infrastructure in the U.S.?
Answer from Elizabeth Warren:

We have an obligation wherever possible to focus our investments on the clean technologies of the future instead of on the dirty energy of the past. For too long, our government has failed to invest in the roads, bridges, water and transit systems that Americans rely on. Our roads and bridges are crumbling: the American Society of Civil Engineers gave them a “D” grade on their most recent infrastructure report card. Defeating the climate crisis will require upgrading our infrastructure to guard against the worst effects of climate change and protect our most vulnerable communities. That’s why I’ve proposed investing $10.7 trillion dollars towards rebuilding our water, transportation, and building infrastructure -- creating 10.6 million jobs in the process. 

A Green Bank is among the best ways to ensure a dedicated funding stream for an economy-wide climate transition to reconcile the scale of investment required with the speed of transition necessary to defeat the climate crisis. I’ll work with Congress to establish a bank modeled after and expanded upon the National Climate Bank Act, introduced earlier this year by my friend and colleague Senator Markey. We’ll put in place strong bipartisan oversight and governance to ensure that investments are equitable and benefit working Americans. And ultimately, this new Green Bank will mobilize $1 trillion in climate and green infrastructure investments across the country over 30 years. 

The Green Bank will open up new markets for greater investment by working alongside existing federal authorities through direct spending, grants, and loans. It will provide security for investors looking for climate-friendly investments in mid- to large-scale infrastructure projects that serve the public interest but might not otherwise attract private capital due to risk-return thresholds, payback horizons, credit risk or other factors. It will increase the overall scale of clean energy investment and the pace of substitution of clean energy technologies for fossil-fuel based technologies, while also protecting consumers by keeping energy prices low and ensuring compliance with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s regulations. And it will expand opportunities for communities and the private sector by directing funds toward communities on the front lines of the climate crisis that have traditionally been left out of investment opportunities. 

And I’ll propose “Green Victory Bonds,” backed by the full-faith and credit of the United States by the Treasury Department, to finance the transition to a green economy. These Green Victory Bonds will be sold at levels that allow Americans across the socioeconomic spectrum the opportunity to own a piece of the climate solution, and to benefit from the new green economy that we build together.

 

America has a long and proud history of rising to the challenges that have faced this country -- and defeating the climate crisis is no exception. A Warren administration will ensure that as we fight climate change, each and every American benefits from the opportunities created by the clean economy -- especially the 10.6 million workers who will power our transition to 100% clean energy.

 

What programs or legislation, if any, would you support to help Americans of all ages to secure affordable health care?
Answer from Elizabeth Warren:

The cost of health care is crushing American families, even those with good insurance. 

Last year 37 million American adults didn’t fill a prescription, 36 million people skipped a recommended test, treatment, or follow-up, and 40 million people didn’t go to a doctor to check out a health problem -- all because of costs. 

The Affordable Care Act made massive strides in expanding access to health insurance coverage, and starting on day one I will defend both Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act against Republican attempts to rip health coverage away from people. But it’s time for the next step—we need Medicare for All. 

I have a three-part plan to help as many people as possible, as fast as possible. 

First, protection for people with pre-existing conditions is the law of the land and it should be defended and enforced. Starting on day one of my presidency, I will protect people with pre-existing conditions, reverse this administration’s sabotage of our health care system, and take action to reduce the high costs of many common prescription drugs, including insulin and EpiPens. 

The current administration has abandoned its duty to defend current laws in court, encouraging efforts to destroy protections for people with pre-existing conditions, insurance coverage for dependents until they’re 26, and the other critical Affordable Care Act benefits. In a Warren administration, the Department of Justice will defend this law. And I will close the loopholes created by this administration that could allow states to steer healthy people toward unregulated markets for junk health plans. These plans cover few benefits, discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions, and increase costs for everyone else. And in some cases they direct as much as 50 percent of patient premiums to administrative expenses or profit. I will ban junk plans.

Second, within my first 100 days, I will push Congress to give everyone the choice to join an improved Medicare program that covers vision, hearing, mental health, dental, and long term care. We will lower the Medicare age limit to people over 50, and give everyone the opportunity to join a Medicare for All option that will be free for children under 18 and for millions of families making under double the poverty level (about $50,000 for a family of four). 

Third, once people have the chance to try out the improved Medicare option, I will push Congress, no later than my third year in office, to complete the transition to Medicare for All -- to put $11 trillion back in the pockets of American families that will never pay another premium or deductible, without raising middle class taxes by one penny. 

In a Warren administration, everyone in America will be able to see the doctor they need and be covered for vision, dental, hearing, and more—at little or no cost to them whatsoever. No more out-of-network costs, no surprises, and no one going broke because they get sick.

Describe an immigration policy that you would support if presented to the President.
Answer from Elizabeth Warren:

I have a plan to create big structural change in our immigration system: to create a fair immigration system that preserves our security, grows our economy, and reflects our values. One that’s good for immigrants, good for workers, and ultimately good for the United States. 

I have proposed to decriminalize migration and refocus enforcement on serious criminal activity. Entering the country without authorization will continue to be a violation of civil immigration law, but we will not take children away from their parents or lock them in cages. I will significantly reduce immigration detention and expand community-based alternatives, which are safer, save money, and can be more effective at ensuring compliance. I’ll enforce strict standards for remaining detention facilities, including for medical care and to end the use of solitary confinement, and I will end ICE contracts with private detention providers. And I’ll remake ICE and CPB from top to bottom, in a way that reflects our values -- focusing their efforts on homeland security, insisting that they follow the same due process standards as other federal law enforcement agencies, and holding accountable anyone who abuses immigrants.

Our laws and our values compel us to help those fleeing violence and oppression. I’ll reject exclusionary policies based on race, religion, and nationality, incuding by reversing this administration's bigoted Muslim Ban on my first day in office. I’ll reinstate Temporary Protected Status designations and Deferred Enforced Departure to protect individuals at risk in their home countries. I’ll raise the refugee cap to welcome 175,000 refugees per year by the end of my first term, and I’ll affirm asylum protections for those fleeing violence, including by ending the metering and “Remain in Mexico” policies. I’ll also withdraw this administration's proposed policy that forces immigrant families to choose between accessing critical health services and staying together with their children, many of whom are American citizens. 

I will reinstate the DACA program and protections for our Dreamers and their families, and expand the program to cover more young people by extending the cut-off date, eliminating the arbitrary application age requirement, and extending the “minor” designation to anyone who was brought to the U.S. under the age of 18. But Dreamers have families and communities that are productive, longtime members of our American family and need protection too. I’ll extend the individual exercise of discretion to offer deferred action protections to immigrants who have contributed to our country for years and have built careers and families here, while pushing for a far-reaching legislative fix that provides a fair but achievable path to citizenship for them. 

I support additional legal immigration -- to expand family reunification and make it easier for relatives of citizens and green card holders to come to the United States; and to grow our economy, paired with real accountability on employers who exploit workers, or don’t adhere to basic labor standards.

Who gave money to this candidate?

Contributions

Total money raised: $126,685,999

Top contributors that gave money to support the candidate, by organization:

1
Employees of Google
$471,948
2
Employees of Harvard University
$156,828
3
Employees of Apple
$156,816
4
Employees of Microsoft
$143,055
5
Employees of United States Department of Defense
$127,287

More information about contributions

By State:

California 23.31%
Massachusetts 10.64%
New York 10.61%
Washington 6.13%
Other 49.30%
23.31%10.64%10.61%49.30%

By Size:

Large contributions (47.50%)
Small contributions (52.50%)
47.50%52.50%

By Type:

From organizations (0.01%)
From individuals (99.99%)
99.99%
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the Federal Election Commission.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

America’s middle class has been deliberately hollowed out and the wealthy and well-connected have tilted the system in their favor. After decades of largely flat wages and exploding household costs, millions of families are hanging on by their fingernails—all while corporate profits and wealth inequality have soared. The squeeze is even worse for people of color, who have been shut out of their chance to build wealth for generations and face systemic discrimination to this day. And our society and economy demand so much of women, with a particular burden on women of color. To make our country work for the people, we need big, structural solutions -- not tweaks and nudges. The time for small ideas is over. 

When I am president, we’ll attack corruption in Washington head on by passing the most aggressive set of anti-corruption proposals since Watergate. My plan will slam shut the revolving door between big business and government and end lobbying as we know it – because our government should work for everyone, not just the billionaires, lobbyists, and big corporations at the top. Building an America that reflects our values also means elevating the voices of those who have traditionally been overlooked and underserved. We’ve got to make sure everyone has a seat at the table and I will do that in a Warren administration. 

We have a chance to unite – unite as Democrats, but also with independents and Republicans who are sick of living in a country that's working great for the politicians that cozy up to wealthy donors, working great for the lobbyists, working great for the corporate executives, but just not working for everyone else. Americans don’t want a tweak here or a nibble there. They want big, structural change. They want a government that works for them and their families. This campaign is about identifying what’s broken, having a plan to fix it, and then building a grassroots movement to win in 2020 and make the change that’s needed come January 2021.

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