Warren is campaigning on the promise she will push sweeping changes that address economic inequality and root out corruption. The former Harvard law professor was a prominent voice for stricter oversight following the 2008 financial crisis before being elected to the US Senate in 2012.
University of Houston B.S., 1970; Rutgers University, J.D., 1976
June 22, 1949
Bruce Mann; divorced from Jim Warren
Amelia, Alexander (with Jim Warren)
Professor, Harvard Law School, 1995-2012; Visiting professor, Harvard Law School, 1992-1993; Law professor, University of Pennsylvania Law School, 1987-1995; Professor of law, University of Texas Law School in Austin, 1983-1987; Assistant and later associate professor at the University of Houston Law Center, 1978-1983; Law lecturer at Rutgers School of Law, 1977-1978; Speech pathologist at a New Jersey elementary school, early 1970s
To defeat Trump, Sanders and Warren supporters must stay united
Updated 2:47 PM ET, Thu Jan 16, 2020
As the first primaries and caucuses of 2020 approach, the race for the Democratic nomination is shaping up to be a three-way primary between Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. This means the progressive wing of the Democratic Party is going toe-to-toe with the centrist wing of the party, whose policies are less intrusive to entrenched corporate power. The most certain way to ensure the corporate wing wins is for the progressive wing to fracture. Following Tuesday night's debate, tensions between supporters of Sanders and Warren are boiling over. On Monday, reports surfaced of Sanders allegedly telling Warren a woman could not win the presidency, which he denies, and new audio of the terse exchange between Warren and Sanders emerged -- in which Warren accused Sanders of accusing her of lying -- all of which makes such a fracture all the more likely. Unity among progressives now is more important than ever. As we saw in 2016, nominating a candidate aligned with corporate special interests with little enthusiasm from the Democratic base is the surest way to hand President Donald Trump a victory. According to FiveThirtyEight's most recent assessment of which candidate is most likely to win the nomination, Biden comes out in front, with the data model giving him a 40%chance of winning outright and predicting he'll receive, on average, over 1,500 pledged delegates. Sen. Sanders has a 23% chance of winning outright, with the model. F forecasting an average of over 1,000 pledged delegates, and Sen. Warren has a 13% chance, with around 700. Should the delegate allocation predictions come true, none of the three would win the 1,990 pledged delegates needed to clinch the nomination, which FiveThirtyEight gives a 15% chance of happening. This means superdelegates -- party leaders free to vote for whomever they please, who will no longer be allowed to vote unless there's a deadlocked convention -- would likely push Biden over the finish line on the second ballot. Neither Sanders nor Warren alone will likely have more delegates than Biden when the convention comes around, if current polling is to be believed. However, if one of the two were to pool their delegates and form a unity ticket in July, they may very well have enough to clinch the nomination. Whoever has the most pledged delegates at the time of the convention should be at the top of the ticket, and select the other as their running mate. Should progressives fracture and the Sanders and Warren camps train their sights on each other rather than Biden, it would be the largest gift yet to the Biden campaign, particularly as early state contests and Super Tuesday approach. By early March, more than one third of the US population will have voted. Should Biden still be in front after Super Tuesday, he'll likely have enough momentum to surge through the rest of the primary and win the nomination in Milwaukee. Nominating Biden could very well lead to four more years of President Trump, given his lack of a robust volunteer base. As the Philadelphia Inquirer noted in October, debate watch parties organized by Biden's campaign were sparsely attended. The Biden campaign's impotent efforts in Iowa were well-documented by The New York Times in November, with one county Democratic Party chair calling the unscripted portions of his speeches "unfocused and less energetic." The Daily Beast has reported that Trump's team has been becoming more and more concerned with Sanders' polling, not Biden's. The former vice president's past support for deeply unpopular policy is also sure to hurt him in the general election. Biden supported George W. Bush's 2003 invasion of Iraq. While the Iraq War cost America the lives of nearly 4,500 troops, and led to the deaths of an estimated hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians, Biden's explanation for his pro-war vote Tuesday night was deeply inadequate. Biden suggested he was hoodwinked by the Bush administration, and didn't know there was actually going to be a war -- which suggests his foreign policy judgment is highly questionable. Domestically, Biden has embraced a conservative position on Social Security -- a vital social safety net beloved by the vast majority of Americans. Biden has in the past championed cuts to Social Security through means testing and freezing cost-of-living increases, though he's now distancing himself from these past positions, saying he'll call on wealthier Americans to pay into Social Security at rates similar to working-class Americans Both Sanders and Warren have consistently proposed expanding Social Security. A civil war among progressives could endanger Social Security's future. While Biden may characterize his warmth toward conservative policy as proof he could win enough Republican support to defeat Trump, that strategy may prove ineffective. A December Gallup poll found an 89% approval rating among Republicans for Trump. Hillary Clinton also attempted to court Republicans in her bid for the White House, but, according to a CNN exit poll, only 8% of Republicans voted for her, and she also lost among independents. Aside from his lackluster volunteer base and poor policy positions, Biden's fundraising operation leaves much to be desired. As of the third quarter fundraising period, Biden had less than $9 million remaining in his war chest. That's $25 million less than Sanders' third-quarter war chest and $18 million less than what Warren's campaign had on hand. If Democrats want a candidate who is able to beat Trump, they'll need to have a dedicated base of supporters to combat the incumbent president's money machine, as he had roughly $83 million on hand in late 2019. There's far too much at stake for progressives who support Sanders and Warren to allow their own personal preferences for any one candidate to jeopardize progressives' chances to win the White House. Sanders' Green New Deal and Medicare for All proposals, along with Warren's wealth tax and universal child care proposals, would make either candidate the most progressive president in history. One of this op-ed's co-authors once campaigned for Trump and knows how the President and his supporters operate. They are ruthless, determined and intelligent and will use anything to divide us. Trump has already tweeted about the Sanders/Warren feud, and has tried before to divide Democrats by encouraging Bernie Sanders to run as an independent. Though one of us is a Warren supporter and the other a Sanders supporter, we both respect the other and will vote for the eventual Democratic nominee. We understand these are tense times, but we must stay focused. The only way to win is to be united.
A backer of the Green New Deal, the broad plan to address renewable-energy infrastructure and climate change proposed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Warren has set out one of the most detailed proposals for making it happen. In June 2019, she introduced a suite of industrial proposals with names like the “Green Apollo Program” and “Green Marshall Plan.” Her Green Industrial Mobilization is the most ambitious – and expensive, with a $1.5 trillion price tag over 10 years – for spending on “American-made clean, renewable, and emission-free energy products for federal, state, and local use, and for export.” The “Green Apollo” plan would invest in scientific innovation and the “Green Marshall Plan” would facilitate the sales of new green technologies to foreign markets. In September 2019, Warren announced she would adopt the climate change proposals championed by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who bowed out of his climate change-focused candidacy in August 2019. That includes a 10-year plan for moving to 100% clean energy and emissions-free vehicles, as well as zero-carbon pollution from all new commercial and residential buildings by 2028. Warren says achieving those goals would take another $1 trillion in investment on top of her existing proposals, which she says would be covered by reversing the 2017 Republican tax cuts. Warren said in October 2019 that, if elected president, she would mandate all federal agencies to consider climate impacts in their permitting and rulemaking processes. When tribal nations are involved, Warren wrote in a Medium post, projects would not proceed unless “developers have obtained the free, prior and informed consent of the tribal governments concerned.” She said a Warren administration would aggressively pursue cases of environmental discrimination, and would fully fund the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s environmental health programs. Warren told The Washington Post she would recommit the US to the Paris climate accord, a landmark 2015 deal on global warming targets that Trump has pledged to abandon. More on Warren’s climate crisis policy
Warren says she’s a capitalist but wants regulation. “I believe in markets,” she said in a March 2019 CNN town hall, following up with a focus on rules and regulation. “Market without rules is theft.” The senator has released a tax plan that would impose a 2% tax on households with net worths of more than $50 million and an additional 1% levy on wealth above $1 billion. This tax would cover, according to Warren, a universal child care program she announced in February 2019. Warren has staked out her claim as an opposition leader against what she sees as big business overreach. Also in February 2019, she criticized Amazon for “walk[ing] away from billions in taxpayer bribes, all because some elected officials in New York aren’t sucking up to them enough. How long will we allow giant corporations to hold our democracy hostage?” She was opposed to the recent deregulation efforts around banks. Warren is calling for the breakup of companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon and advocated legislation that would make Amazon Marketplace and Google search into utilities. In July 2019, Warren released a plan aimed at Wall Street and private equity that would reinstate a modern Glass-Steagall Act, which would wall off commercial banks from investment banks, place new restrictions on the private equity industry and propose legislative action to more closely tie bank executives’ pay to their companies’ performance. She also released a set of trade policy changes that would seek to defend American jobs by negotiating to raise global labor and environmental standards. The senator wrote that she would not strike any trade deals unless partner countries meet a series of ambitious preconditions regarding human rights, religious freedom, and labor and environmental practices, among other issues. She said she would renegotiate existing trade agreements to ensure other countries meet the higher standards, and she pledged to push for a new “non-sustainable economy” designation to give her the ability to penalize countries with poor labor and environmental practices. Warren said in October 2019 that she would extend labor rights to all workers, protect pensions and strengthen workers’ rights to organize, bargain collectively and strike. More on Warren’s economic policy
Warren has released a plan to forgive up to $50,000 in student debt for tens of millions of Americans. The amount of relief would be tied to income, with those households making $250,000 or more shut out of the program. Households earning less than $250,000 would be eligible for relief on a sliding scale, with those reporting less than $100,000 a year eligible for the maximum. Warren unveiled the proposal as part of a larger program that would supercharge federal spending on higher education, including eliminating tuition and fees for college students at two- and four-year public institutions. It would also ask states to pay a share of the costs. Warren would expand grants for low-income and minority students to help with costs like housing, food, books and child care. Her campaign has priced the plan at $1.25 trillion over 10 years and says it would be paid for by her wealth tax. The plan would also establish a $50 billion fund for historically black colleges and universities and minority-serving institutions. More on Warren’s education policy
During the first Democratic debate, Warren called gun violence “a national health emergency” that should be treated like a “virus that’s killing our children” – and called for robust new restrictions and new investment in research. “We can do the universal background checks, we can ban the weapons of war,” Warren added, “but we can also double down on the research and find out what really works.” Though her campaign has not yet released a gun control plan, Warren has been active on the issue as a senator. In February 2018, less than two weeks after the Parkland, Florida, mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, she sent letters to nine major gun company shareholders, asking that they use their influence to pressure the industry to take steps to reduce gun violence. She supports bans on so-called assault weapons and legislation prohibiting high-capacity magazines, and has voted to expand background checks for gun buyers.
Warren has endorsed Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for All” bill, which would create a national government-run health care program and essentially eliminate the private insurance industry. In a plan released in November 2019, Warren said she would implement Medicare for All in two phases that would be complete by the end of her first term. Warren proposed a plan in April 2019 to drive down the maternal mortality rate among African American women. Warren has also co-sponsored legislation in the Senate aimed at lowering the price of prescription drugs that includes allowing the federal government to manufacture generic medications if their prices spike. More on Warren’s health care policy
Warren unveiled a plan in July 2019 to overhaul the nation’s immigration system, pledging to reverse a series of Trump administration policies and authorize her Justice Department to review allegations of abuse against detained migrants. The proposal would decriminalize crossing the border into the United States without authorization, a step first championed by former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro, and separate law enforcement from immigration enforcement. If elected, Warren said, she would first seek to pursue her agenda through legislation, but “move forward with executive action if Congress refuses to act.” Warren also said she supports legislation that would provide a path to legal status and citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Her plan would end privately contracted detention facilities and she promises that she would “issue guidance ensuring that detention is only used where it is actually necessary because an individual poses a flight or safety risk.” Warren backs expanding legal immigration, raising the refugee cap and making “it easier for those eligible for citizenship to naturalize.” She would reduce “the family reunification backlog” and provide “a fair and achievable pathway to citizenship.” More on Warren’s immigration policy
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Trump vs. Thunberg: The climate crisis could dominate Davos
Updated 3:02 AM ET, Sun Jan 19, 2020
US President Donald Trump and environmental activist Greta Thunberg are getting top billing at Davos this year as the conference for global elites turns its attention to the climate crisis and sustainability. The World Economic Forum's 50th annual meeting begins Monday, drawing 3,000 of the world's richest and most powerful people to a picturesque skiing village in the Swiss mountains. Trump will deliver what the organizers describe as a special address on Tuesday, offering his brand of populism to attendees who represent governments, companies, central banks and transnational organizations. Two hours later, Thunberg — Time Magazine's Person of the Year — will open a debate on how to avert a "climate apocalypse." The headliners have clashed on social media and may steer clear of each other in Davos. But attendees won't be able to avoid climate change given the theme of the meeting is "Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World." The World Economic Forum (WEF) is asking all companies present to commit to net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Among the highlights: Britain's Prince Charles will deliver a special address Wednesday on "how to save the planet." Trump, who is aggressively rolling back environmental protections and pulling the United States out of the Paris climate agreement, may well be challenged over his view on climate change. Who attends, and how? About 3,000 of the people who flock to Davos are official conference participants. Tickets are invite-only and very pricey for businesses. Membership of the WEF costs anywhere from $60,000 to hundreds of thousands of dollars, and there's an additional fee of around $27,000 to get into the conference. Davos also plays host to thousands of journalists, security personnel, corporate support staffers, as well as businesspeople and chancers, many of whom never step foot in the official conference rooms. Some instead spend the week attending parallel discussions, panels, corporate events and parties. Many take advantage of the fact that so many elites are gathered in one place by jamming their schedules full of meetings. What do they do all week? The official conference schedule is filled with dozens of speeches, debates, performances and events. This year, many are focused on the issue of sustainability. "People are revolting against the economic 'elites' they believe have betrayed them, and our efforts to keep global warming limited to 1.5°C are falling dangerously short," WEF founder Klaus Schwab said in a statement. "With the world at such a critical crossroads, this year we must develop a 'Davos Manifesto 2020' to reimagine the purpose and scorecards for companies and governments," he added. Beyond the headliners, attendees can choose to attend panels featuring US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam and Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon. Also roaming the hallways and attending exclusive dinners are hundreds of high level executives and political figures such as Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, German chancellor Angela Merkel, and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff. The roster of attendees often reflects the global political and business mood. President Trump attended in 2018, but skipped last year because of the US government shutdown. Brexit, protests in France and a slowing Chinese economy also contributed to a shortage of global leaders in 2019. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson reportedly instructed officials to stay away this year with Brexit due January 31, but finance minister Sajid Javid will be going. The critics The conference has fierce critics, some of whom argue the gathering of elites has done little to improve the world. Others take issue with its environmental footprint. Many attendees are ferried from event to event in luxury cars, which clog up the small town. To help reduce the environmental impact, the WEF says its fleet is now 88% electric or hybrid. Then there are the hundreds of private jet trips. The WEF estimates that there were as many as 309 trips last year by private planes to two nearby airports for the conference. That excludes trips by presidents and prime ministers who tend to land at a nearby military base. The conference also touts promises to buy carbon credits offsetting flights, a redesigned conference center and a menu packed with locally-sourced food. In 2020, it's vowed to become "more sustainable than ever."