Elizabeth Warren

Senator from Massachusetts
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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 This page is no longer being updated.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


First on CNN: Elizabeth Warren demands airline crackdown amid travel chaos
Updated 6:31 AM ET, Tue Jul 26, 2022
Air travel is a mess right now and Sen. Elizabeth Warren is demanding that federal regulators do something about it. In a letter obtained first by CNN, the Massachusetts Democrat, along with California Democratic Sen. Alex Padilla, urges Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to use his vast powers to protect consumers by cracking down on the airline industry. The lawmakers want the Transportation Department to "aggressively" use its authority to hold airlines accountable for surging prices, mounting cancellations and growing delays. And they not-so-subtly point out that the recent travel chaos comes barely two years after Uncle Sam bailed out the airline industry during the Covid-19 crisis. "After receiving tens of billions of dollars in assistance from American taxpayers," Warren and Padilla wrote in the letter sent Monday evening, "major airlines have reciprocated by dramatically increasing ticket prices and reaching new lows in their treatment of travelers." Airlines have blamed a surge of flight cancellations on staff shortages -- including a shortage of pilots -- in the industry. Travel has also been hampered by bad weather, with more than 1,300 flights canceled on Monday alone as East Coast storms disrupted the aviation system, according to FlightAware. Warren and Padilla urged the Transportation Department to hold airlines accountable for canceling flights, "whether due to their own poor operations and staffing practices or through intentional schemes to offer flights they know they can't staff in order to later cancel the least-profitable flights." They note that 41% of flights are delayed for reasons within airlines' control and called on the agency to issue a rule that imposes fines on airlines for the delays they cause. "Consistently delaying flights for reasons within an airline's control is an unfair and deceptive practice," the joint letter states. In a statement, a Transportation spokesperson said the department will continue to pressure airlines over consumer protections. "The Department expects that when Americans buy an airline ticket, they'll get to where they need to go safely, affordably and reliably," the spokesperson said. Airlines for America, an industry trade group, cited conditions experienced by the Covid-19 pandemic and said the industry is struggling at a time when travelers are returning to flying "at unexpectedly rapid rates." The lawmakers took particular issue with intentional rebookings where airlines purposely oversell flights, calling for the Transportation Department to end the practice by forcing airlines to pay a "hefty fine" in addition to compensating passengers. "When this gamble fails, it should be airlines -- not consumers -- that pay the price," Warren and Padilla write. The Transportation Department, they note, is empowered to act as a "consumer protection watchdog," citing federal law that allows the agency to investigate unfair or deceptive practices and issue fines of up to $37,377 per violation. Beyond penalizing airlines for flight cancellations, Warren and Padilla want regulators to stop the decades-long consolidation of the airline industry. They urge the Transportation Department to "use its full statutory authority more vigorously" to halt "excessive consolidation," which they blame for "consistent" price hikes on consumers. In the latest example of the shrinking number of airlines in America, low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines is in the center of a bidding war, fielding buyout offers from rivals JetBlue and Frontier Airlines. "Decades of deregulation and consolidation have created an airline industry that routinely heaps inconvenience and abuse on consumers," the lawmakers write.


climate crisis
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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
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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
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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
gun violence
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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.
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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
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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


Partisan hostility is rising among Americans, Pew survey finds
Updated 2:01 PM ET, Tue Aug 9, 2022
Americans' level of partisan hostility is rising, according to a Pew Research survey released Tuesday that highlights Americans' complicated relationship with the political parties. Over the past six years, the poll finds, Democrats and Republicans have both grown increasingly likely to view members of the opposing party through a negative lens. In the latest poll, majorities of Democrats describe Republicans as being more closed-minded, dishonest, immoral and unintelligent than other Americans; majorities of Republicans describe Democrats as each of the above, with the further addition of "lazy." Although such negative descriptions are up across the board from Pew's earlier polling, there's been a particularly striking shift in partisans' moral assessments. Nearly three-quarters of Republicans (72%) now say that Democrats are more immoral than other Americans, up from 47% in 2016. A 63% majority of Democrats say that Republicans are more immoral than other Americans, up from 35% in 2016. This partisan antipathy is, as another question in the survey suggests, at least a little conflicted, because most Americans are also reluctant to say that political affiliation is a sign of character -- just 15% of the public, including 14% of Republicans and 24% of Democrats, say that the party someone supports says a lot about whether they are a good or a bad person. But half of Democrats and 67% of Republicans who said that political party said nothing about whether someone was a good or bad person also answered that members of the opposing party were especially immoral. As that disconnect might indicate, people's answers to pollsters are sometimes political statements of their own, rather than fully literal expositions of belief. But even through that lens, the stories that Americans want to tell themselves and others about their partisanship are increasingly negative ones. Growing majorities of partisans say that the harm caused by the opposing party's policies is a major reason they identify with their own party (currently 78% of Republicans and 68% of Democrats say this, up from 68% and 62%, respectively, in 2016). In the latest poll, 76% of Republicans also say that a belief in GOP policies is a major reason for being in the Republican Party, with fewer saying it's in large part because the GOP sticks up for people like them (56%), because they have a lot in common with other Republicans (40%), or most of their friends and family are Republicans (12%). Across the aisle, 68% of Democrats say that their belief in Democratic policies is a major reason why they're in the party, with 55% saying the Democratic Party sticks up for people like them, 45% that they have a lot in common with other Democrats, and 15% that most of their friends and family are also in the party. Independents who lean toward one party or the other are especially motivated by negativity. Republican-leaning independents are more likely to say they lean toward the GOP in large part because of their antipathy toward Democratic policies (57%) than to say that it's largely because of their belief Republican policies are good for the country (39%). And a 55% majority of Democratic-leaning independents call their belief that Republican policies are harmful a major factor in their political identity, while just 27% say that believing Democratic policies are good for the country plays a major role. These independents are also distinguished by some discontent with the party they lean toward. While 45% of Republican-leaners say that they don't identify outright as Republicans in large part because they simply don't like putting labels on their political views, smaller shares also cite frustration with GOP leaders (39%) or a disagreement with the party on some issues (31%). Among Democratic-leaning independents, 43% cite a dislike of labels as a major factor for not calling themselves Democrats, with 40% saying that frustration with party leaders is a major factor and 30% that disagreements on the issue play a major role. Overall, 61% of Americans hold an unfavorable view of the Republican Party, and 57% have a negative view of the Democratic Party. For the most part, that doesn't translate into a pox-on-both your-houses mentality: roughly 72% of Americans view at least one of the parties favorably. But the share who dislike both, 27%, is the highest it's been in Pew's data reaching back to 1994 -- when just 6% felt that way. Most of the public, 57%, says that there's a great deal of difference in what the Democratic and Republican parties stand for. Among the areas of perceived difference: a 57% majority say that the Democratic Party can be described as "respectful and tolerant of different types of people," while just 38% say the same of the GOP; the GOP is also more likely to be seen as too frequently making excuses for members with hateful views (61% vs. 51%). There are smaller divides on characteristics such as governing in an honest and ethical way -- just 43% think this applies well to the Democrats, and just 37% to the Republicans. Pew Research surveyed 6,174 US adults on July 27-July 4, using a nationally representative online panel. Results for the full sample have a margin of sampling error of +/- 1.8 percentage points.