Elizabeth Warren dropped out of the presidential race on March 5, 2020. This page is no longer being updated.
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
WARREN IN THE NEWS
After bank failures, Elizabeth Warren demands Fed crackdown on large regional banks
Updated 10:30 AM ET, Wed Mar 22, 2023
Senator Elizabeth Warren is cranking up the pressure on the Federal Reserve following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. In a new letter shared exclusively with CNN, Warren, Sen. Bernie Sanders and ten other senators are calling for the Fed to crack down on large regional banks with assets between $100 billion and $250 billion. Both Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank fit into that asset threshold when they failed earlier this month. The bipartisan 2018 rollback of Dodd-Frank freed large regional banks in that range of assets from the toughest oversight. "The fall of both SVB and Signature, the near-crash of First Republic, and the struggles of other regional banks shed new light on the systemic important of banks with assets totaling between $100 billion and $250 billion," the lawmakers wrote in a letter sent Wednesday to Michael Barr, the vice chair for supervision at the Fed. The dozen lawmakers note that the same 2018 rollback of Dodd-Frank gives the Fed latitude in applying tougher regulation on banks in this category -- including stronger capital, liquidity, stress testing and resolution plans. Notably, the letter was signed by Senator Angus King, the Maine independent who voted in favor of the 2018 rollback. It was also signed by Sanders and Democratic Senators Jack Reed, Tammy Duckworth, Richard Blumenthal, Mazie Hirono, Ed Markey, Sheldon Whitehouse, Tina Smith, Chris Van Hollen and Brian Schatz. "Irresponsible and excessive risk taking by SVB and Signature executives should serve as a clear reminder that banks cannot be left to supervise themselves," Warren and the other Senate Democrats wrote. "The Fed has a responsibility to ensure financial stability, and in order to fulfill that responsibility, it must ensure that all banks with potential systemic significance are subject to rigorous safety and soundness rules." The lawmakers argue that the federal intervention in the wake of the SVB and Signature failures underscore the systemic risk posed by troubles in banks of this size. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Tuesday that US officials took "decisive and forceful actions" to calm the banking crisis after the bank failures. What will the Fed do? Days after the bank failures, the Federal Reserve launched a review of the regulation and oversight of Silicon Valley Bank. That review is being led by Barr, who President Joe Biden nominated to be the Fed's top regulator of Wall Street. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, a frequent target of Warren's criticism, called for a "thorough, transparent and swift review" by the Fed. The Fed is rethinking some of its own rules related to midsize banks, including potentially ramping up capital and liquidity requirements and stepping up annual "stress tests," the Wall Street Journal previously reported. "We strongly support this approach," Warren and her colleagues wrote in the letter. "In order to restore sufficient safety practices to the banking system and restore consumers' confidence in the soundness of their banks, the Fed must immediately exercise its authority to apply enhanced prudential standards and supervision to banks with $100-$250 billion in assets." Warren has long been a regulation hawk, pushing for tough rules to prevent a repeat of the 2008 crisis and sharply criticizing those who have relaxed rules on banks. 'Serious mistake' However, the role of the 2018 rollback of Dodd-Frank in the failure of Silicon Valley Bank is hotly debated Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, recently told CNN's Kate Bolduan he doesn't know if the easing of stress test requirements "would have forestalled" the bank failures, adding these stress tests "couldn't have hurt." Sheila Bair, a Republican and the former chair of the FDIC during the 2008 crisis, told CNN's Poppy Harlow she doesn't think there is "some broad problem because of deregulation with regional banks." Patricia McCoy, a former federal regulator, told CNN on Tuesday that the events of the past ten days have shown the 2018 rollback of Dodd-Frank for banks in the $100 billion to $250 billion asset range was a "serious mistake." "Fast forward five years, and two of those banks -- Silicon Valley and Signature Bank -- failed due to lack of liquidity and possible undercapitalization," McCoy, now a professor at Boston College Law School, said in an email. "Their failures destabilized the financial system in the process and caused federal banking regulators to take measures (such as insuring all the deposits at the two failed banks) that will tempt banks to bet on even bigger risks in the future."
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
LATEST POLITICAL NEWS
Trump heads to Waco as investigations loom and DeSantis battle brews
Updated 2:56 PM ET, Sat Mar 25, 2023
Former President Donald Trump is set to hold a campaign rally Saturday in Waco, Texas -- returning to the trail amid his warnings of "death & destruction" resulting from investigations into his actions. The rally at the Waco Regional Airport is a return to the mega-rallies reminiscent of Trump's 2016 and 2020 campaigns, as the Republican field for the 2024 presidential race begins to take shape. The former president's return to his favorite event staging comes as he is faced with investigations in New York City over a hush money payment, Georgia over his efforts to overturn the 2020 election and by Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith over classified documents the FBI found at Mar-A-Lago, his attempts to steal the 2020 election and his role in the January 6, 2021, insurrection. In recent days, the former president has made increasingly bellicose remarks about those probes, including predicting last week his own indictment and arrest in Manhattan -- something that has not come to pass -- and urging supporters to protest. Raging against Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg on his Truth Social social media platform Friday, Trump said criminal charges could lead to "potential death & destruction" and "could be catastrophic for our Country." "PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT!," Trump said in another post. On Thursday, he said Bragg "would rather indict an innocent man and create years of hatred, chaos, and turmoil, than give him his well deserved 'freedom.' The whole Country sees what is going on, and they're not going to take it anymore. They've had enough!" The Manhattan grand jury investigating Trump did not conclude this week. In other probes, Trump's defense attorney Evan Corcoran appeared Friday before a federal grand jury in Washington, where he was expected to answer questions in the classified documents probe that the former president unsuccessfully fought to hold back. And a federal judge ordered several former Trump aides, including former chief of staff Mark Meadows, to testify before a grand jury as part of the criminal investigation into efforts to overturn the 2020 election. At the same time Trump attacks those investigating him, he is ramping up attacks on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis -- who early polls suggest could be the former president's top rival for the 2024 Republican nomination. DeSantis has not yet entered the race. But with a new book and increased out-of-state travel, the former House Freedom Caucus member appears to be inching closer to a presidential bid. He has also demonstrated a willingness for the first time this week to brawl with Trump. While accusing Bragg over overreach, DeSantis needled Trump in front of a crowd in Panama City, Florida, on Monday, working the details of the $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels days before the 2016 election into his remarks. DeSantis said he doesn't "know what goes into paying hush money to a porn star to secure silence over some type of alleged affair." Trump adviser and spokesman Jason Miller tweeted that DeSantis "has finally shown his true colors. An establishment Never Trumper who despises the MAGA base and was faking it the entire time." In an interview with British television host Piers Morgan, DeSantis brushed off Trump's attempts to twist his name into an unflattering nickname. "You can call me whatever you want," said DeSantis, who was re-elected in a landslide in 2022 despite the GOP's worse-than-expected performance nationwide, "just as long as you also call me a winner." In an effort to draw contrast over the coronavirus pandemic, Trump on Friday posted a video on Truth Social in which DeSantis touted Florida's efforts to test for Covid-19, alongside Trump's own skepticism about the need for tests. Trump also previewed lines of attack he could use again on Saturday in Waco -- one that echoed progressive criticism of DeSantis' record as he moves toward a presidential run. On Thursday, Trump posted on Truth Social that he had gotten more votes in Florida running for president than DeSantis did running for governor -- without mentioning that DeSantis won re-election in a midterm year, in which fewer voters historically cast ballots -- and accused the Florida governor of backing GOP proposals to narrow entitlement programs. Trump wrote that DeSantis "is, for a Republican, an average Governor, he got 1.2 million less Votes in Florida than me, he fought for massive cuts in Social Security and Medicare, and wanted the Social Security minimum age to be raised to 70-years-old, or more. He is a disciple of Paul Ryan, and did whatever Ryan told him to do..." DeSantis said in a Fox News interview earlier this month that Republicans will not "mess with" Social Security. Ahead of the Waco rally, Trump's niece Mary Trump, a clinical psychologist and strident critic of the former president, on Twitter urged people to reserve seats without showing up -- a ploy reminiscent of a 2020 Trump rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where teens on TikTok said they were responsible for Trump's failure to deliver a massive crowd because they had registered huge numbers of tickets as a prank. The Waco rally comes 30 years after the federal and state law enforcement raid on the Branch Davidian doomsday cult's compound in Waco -- a 51-day siege that resulted in the deaths of 86 people and has since come to be viewed on the far right as a symbol of government overreach. Trump has not linked the campaign rally with the Waco siege, and a spokesperson for the former president said Saturday that Waco was chosen as the rally site because of its central location. "This is the ideal location to have as many supporters from across the state and in neighboring states attend this historic rally," Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung said in a statement. The location is accessible to many of Texas' population centers -- less than a three-hour drive from Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio. But Mary Trump maintained on Twitter that the former president's decision to hold the rally in Waco represented "a ploy to remind his cult of the infamous Waco siege of 1993, where an anti-government cult battled the FBI. Scores of people died. He wants the same violent chaos to rescue him from justice." This story has been updated with additional information Saturday.