Elizabeth Warren CNN town hall
Sen. Elizabeth Warren talked up her proposal to radically reinvest in public housing while addressing past predatory lending and selling practices that kept African-American families out of homes.
“In the same way that we think about health care, as a basic human right, having a decent and safe place to live should be a basic human right,” Warren said.
Last week, she introduced a proposal inspired by her own legislation, the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act.
Among its provisions are proposals that would reduce rent and more strictly regulate leasing companies.
Warren, as she has on the stump now for months, also dug into the racial wealth gap that’s was exacerbated by federal policies commonly described as “redlining.”
“This bill tackles that head on,” she said. “And it says for people who are living in formerly redlined areas there are going to be some special assistance for first-time home buyers, for people who got cheated in the run-up to the housing crash and lost their homes. Some special assistance for folks to get that first home” and begin building generational wealth.
Elizabeth Warren recently said that she is not a Democratic Socialist and insisted she was a capitalist.
Tonight, she doubled down. "I'm a supporter of markets with rules," Warren said at the CNN town hall.
"I believe in markets and I believe in the value that we get out of markets. But it has to be markets with rules. Market without rules is theft. But a market with rules, a market with rules," she said.
There is heated debate over whether Democratic candidates who identify as socialists (or democratic socialists or social democrats, etc.) risk alienating voters outside certain deep blue regions.
Asked about “Medicare for All” at CNN’s town hall Monday night, Sen. Elizabeth Warren suggested that she was open to multiple paths to universal coverage.
“When we talk about Medicare for All, there are a lot of different pathways. What we’re all looking for is the lowest cost way to make sure that everybody gets covered,” Warren said.
The Massachusetts senator then voiced several ways to achieve universal coverage:
- Lowering the age: “Some folks are talking about, let’s start lowering the age. Maybe bringing it down to 60, 55, 50. That helps cover people who are most at risk.”
- Increasing the age: “Some people say do it the other way. Let’s bring it up from -- everybody under 30 gets covered by Medicare.”
- Employer buy-in: “Others say let employers be able to buy into the Medicare plans.”
- Employee buy-in: “Others say let’s let employees buy into the Medicare plans.”
- Expanding Medicaid: “I’ve also co-sponsored other bills including expanding Medicaid as another approach that we use.”
“For me what’s key is we get everybody at the table on this,” Warren emphasized.
She later added: “But what’s really important to me about this is we never lose sight of what the center is. Because the center is about making sure that every single person in this country gets the coverage they need and that it’s at a price that they can afford.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren was asked what she would do to "control the influx of migrants" by a town hall attendee who said she didn't feel a border wall would do it.
"Let me just start where I think of our whole immigration policy, and that is, we need to have policies on immigration that are consistent with our values. We are a country that is built on our differences. That is our strength. Not our weakness."
She talked about a visit to an immigration facility near the border -- "Think of a big Amazon warehouse, only dirty and smelled bad" -- where she saw men, women and children in cages.
"That's not who we are," Warren said. "That is not the country we want to be. And an immigration system that is administered so it's not able to tell the difference between a criminal, a terrorist and a 12-year-old little girl is an immigration system that is not only not keeping us safer, it does not reflect our values."
Sen. Elizabeth Warren signaled on Monday night that she would support a proposal to form a congressional panel to consider reparations to the descendants of slaves.
“I believe it’s time to start the national, full-blown conversation about reparations,” Warren said. “That means I support the bill in the House to appoint a congressional panel of experts, of people who are studying this, who talk about different ways we may be able to do it, and to make a report back to Congress so that we can as a nation do what’s right and begin to heal.”
A bit about that bill: H.R. 40 is called the Reparations Study Act and was first introduced by former Michigan Democratic Rep. John Conyers three decades ago. Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, also a Democrat, reintroduced it after Conyers left Congress.
Asked by moderator Jake Tapper if she would be open to monetary compensation in the form of direct payments, Warren said she was open to “a lot of ways” reparations could be formulated.
“I love the idea of this congressional commission,” she said, adding that “a national recognition” or “apology” was immediately appealing.
She added: “Ignoring the problem is not working."
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, speaking at tonight's town hall, said white nationalism poses a threat to the US like any other terrorist group.
Warren went on to say that white nationalism must be called out, and white supremacists must be prosecuted when they break the law.
"It starts with the fact that we have to recognize the threat posed by white nationalism. White supremacists pose a threat to the United States like any other terrorist group, like ISIS, like Al Qaeda and leadership starts at the top," she said.
An enthusiastic Sen. Elizabeth Warren just took the stage at Jackson State University, and, after telling CNN's Jake Tapper she missed teaching, quickly took her first question.
She was asked what message she might have for poor, white, rural voters in deep red Mississippi.
Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren will soon take the stage at Jackson State University in Mississippi for tonight's CNN town hall.
"Tonight our grassroots movement has a chance to tell our story and talk about the big ideas we’re fighting for," the Massachusetts senator tweeted earlier today.
Here's a look behind the scenes of CNN's town hall:
We just talked with three young women who were on their way into tonight's town hall, and asked them why they came. Here's what they said:
Brenna Michael, 19
"It's rare that a Democrat comes to Mississippi and is speaking in an environment where college students are at."
Kyla Cole, 18
"I want to know about her platform and just to be educated"
AK Singleton, 20
"At this point, it is very overwhelming to know kind of where everyone stands on every issues, what issues they do care about, what issues they don't necessarily care about and then going forward it's super important to get educated really early on," she said.