The Democrats have a big field of candidates running for President in 2020. To briefly use a sports analogy, I see our candidates as the starting players on the Blue team, each bringing their own unique strengths to the table in a bid to take our country in a very different direction than the one we’re on today.
But as we well know from 2016, the media (and especially social media) gets fixated on non-substantial issues that take up all the oxygen. Plus, they don’t give the candidates the same treatment or the same amount of airtime.
In order to help voters get to know the Democratic candidates, I’ve enlisted the help of a team of terrific volunteers who have helped gather quotes and information about what the candidates have said or done in regards to the 7 issues that midterm voters identified as the most important. I hope that these guides serve as a helpful starting point for you as you look into which candidates (or how many candidates!) you are interested in supporting in their bid to become our next President.
Today, let’s get to know Elizabeth Warren!
✦ Current Senator of Massachusetts
✦ Former law professor: Harvard Law School, Univ. of Pennsylvania Law School
Affordable Healthcare: Warren is one of the authors of the Consumer Health Insurance Protection Act. “The Consumer Health Insurance Protection Act also includes a number of provisions aimed at increasing the affordability of ACA coverage. … These changes will guarantee that every individual on the ACA exchanges has access to a plan that covers 80% of out-of-pocket costs and costs no more than 8.5% of income in premiums.” Source
Single Payer: Warren believes the next step for healthcare is single payer. “We approach the health care debates from a single perspective: maintaining the financial stability of families confronting illness or injury. The most obvious solution would be universal single-payer health care.” Source
Mental Health: Warren fought for an additional $1B in funding for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) for two of their biggest mental health programs during the 2017 budget cycle. Source
Private Insurance: “So long as private health insurance exists, there is no reason to allow our health care to be held hostage by insurance companies that refuse to do better. Our bill will hold them accountable while significantly improving access to healthcare for millions of Americans.” Source
Pro-Choice: Warren has been a longtime defender of Planned Parenthood. “Do you have any idea what year it is? Did you fall down, hit your head, and think you woke up in the 1950s or the 1890s? Should we call for a doctor? Because I simply cannot believe that in the year 2015, the United States Senate would be spending its time trying to defund women’s health care centers.” Source
Paris Climate Accord: When Trump pulled out of the Paris Climate Accord, Warren noted, “This isn’t jobs versus the environment. This is a big gift to Republican donors.” Source
Green New Deal: “Senator Warren has been a longtime advocate of aggressively addressing climate change and shifting toward renewables, and supports the idea of a Green New Deal to ambitiously tackle our climate crisis, economic inequality, and racial injustice.” Source
Climate Legislation: Warren proposed the Climate Risk Disclosure Act, to require companies to tell the public and investors about “their fossil fuel holdings, how climate policies would impact them and how climate effects like rising sea levels could hurt them.” Warren: “Our bill will use market forces to speed up the transition from fossil fuels to cleaner energy — reducing the odds of an environmental and financial disaster without spending a dime of taxpayer money.” Source
Environmental Record: Warren has a 99% lifetime score from the League of Conservation Voters, an organization that keeps tabs on how politicians vote on the environment. Source
LGBTQ Rights: “The senator, who began her second term this year, received a perfect score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s Congressional Scorecard for her first term, which began in 2013. That reflects such positions as her cosponsorship of the Equality Act and other anti-discrimination bills, and her opposition to Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominees … as well as other anti-LGBTQ Trump nominees.” Source
Marriage Equality: “Warren’s outspokenness on LGBTQ rights continued. In the summer of 2015, she wrote a commentary piece for Time magazine praising the Supreme Court’s recent marriage equality ruling. When looking at this equal marriage decision, Chief Justice John Roberts asserts that the Constitution ‘had nothing to do with it,’” she wrote. “He’s wrong. Our Constitution had everything to do with it — with the liberty of two adults to have their love treated the same as that of any other couple.” Source
Transgender Rights: She has spoken out against Trump’s actions to bar transgender troops from the military [Source] and in her first year as senator, made a speech to urge her fellow senators to pass the ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act) “which would have banned workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.” Source
Disability Rights: “First off, individuals with disabilities should have the opportunity to reach their full potential in competitive and integrated employment settings, and they should receive fair wages for their work. For these reasons, I have worked to end the subminimum wage, which makes it perfectly legal for an employer to pay a worker with a disability less than a worker without a disability for doing the same job.” Source
Criminal Justice Reform: “There have been studies showing that in exactly — exactly — the same crimes committed by blacks and whites, that blacks are more likely to be arrested, and blacks are more likely to be prosecuted. … That’s why we need significant criminal justice reform. … We should do it on a bipartisan basis. This should not be a partisan issue. This should be about making changes in the criminal justice system that we all need.” Source
Expanding Background Checks: “If we want to stop dangerous weapons from falling into the wrong hands, we need to improve and expand our system of background checks. Overwhelming majorities of Americans–Democrats and Republicans alike–agree. It’s time for Congress to finally take action and pass a universal background checks bill.” Source
Assault Weapons: Warren supports a ban on assault weapons. “We can take these weapons of war off our streets.” Warren has also voted to ban high-capacity magazines of over 10 bullets. Source
Guns & Mental Health: Warren has called for legislation banning individuals with a history of mental illness from purchasing guns. Source
Arming Teachers: Warren does not support arming teachers in schools. Source
Voter Registration: “And while we’re at it, we need to update the rules around voting. Voting should be simple. Voter registration should be automatic. Get a driver’s license, get registered automatically.” Source
Felony Voting Disenfranchisement: “Nonviolent, law-abiding citizens should not lose the right to vote because of a prior conviction.” Source
Restoring the Voting Rights Act: “Two years ago the Supreme Court eviscerated critical parts of the Voting Rights Act. Congress could easily fix this, and Democrats in the Senate have called for restoration of voting rights. Now it is time for Republicans to step up to support a restoration of the Voting Rights Act–or to stand before the American people and explain why they have abandoned America’s most cherished liberty, the right to vote.” Source
Expanding Voting Rights: “Politicians are supposed to compete over how many voters they can persuade, not how many citizens they can disqualify or demoralize. We must eliminate unnecessary and unjustified rules that make voting more difficult, and overturn every single voter suppression rule that racist politicians use to steal votes from people of color. We need to outlaw partisan gerrymandering by Democrats and Republicans.” Source
Expanding Voting Rights: “Early voting and vote by mail would give fast food and retail workers who don’t get holidays day off a chance to proudly cast their votes. The hidden discrimination that comes with purging voter rolls and short-staffing polling places must stop.” Source
Taxes: “Warren recently proposed a new tax on Americans with a net worth of $50 million or more. CNN reports that Warren’s plan would impose a 2 percent tax on those whose net worth exceeds $50 million and would include an additional 1 percent tax on billionaires.” Source
Wages: “The Senator believes a minimum wage should be a living wage, one that is able to support a family and allow people the chance to enter the middle class. Warren also wants to end the gender pay gap and supports legislation that would allow women to ask about a colleagues’ salary without the risk of being fired.” Source
Consumer Protection: Warren is one of the few members of Congress to have created a new agency. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, created in the wake of the 2008 financial meltdown, protects Americans against financial abuse.
Fairer Corporations: “In August 2018, Warren introduced the Accountable Capitalism Act, which would require 40% employee representation on boards of federal corporations with over $1 billion in income, require such enterprises to obtain a “federal charter of corporate citizenship” which would mandate social responsibility by enshrining a kind of triple bottom line, and require 75% shareholder and board member approval for political donations.” The bill would “would redistribute trillions of dollars from rich executives and shareholders to the middle class.” Source
Trade Policies: “Warren is a critic of the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, and blames U.S. trade policy more generally for widening economic inequality in the country. While she favors renegotiating NAFTA, she argues the deal Trump struck with Canada and Mexico in 2018 will have few benefits for American workers.” Source
Protection for Veterans: Warren was a primary sponsor of the the Veterans Care Financial Protection Act, which passed in 2017. Source
Russia: “Policymakers promised that open markets would lead to open societies. Instead, efforts to bring capitalism to the global stage unwittingly helped create the conditions for competitors to rise up and lash out. Russia became belligerent and resurgent.” Warren outlined her foreign policy philosophy here.
North Korea: Warren said that attempting “to bait an unstable dictator who has nuclear weapons is not a strategy that makes America safer. … We need to use every tool in the toolbox. And that means diplomatic efforts with the neighbors in the region and actually all around the world so that we can gather intelligence, so we can impose economic sanctions in the right way, so we can enforce those sanctions, so we can bring the right kind of pressure to bear on North Korea just to back them off this nuclear cliff.” Source
China: “Warren claimed that US policy encouraging the opening of markets in China through free trade has not been successful. She advocated against the United States having a more integrated economic system with China if the latter country continued failing “to respect basic human rights.” Source
Iran: “Warren has stated that Iran is a “significant threat” to the United States and its allies. Warren opposed the scrapping of the nuclear agreement with Iran.” Source
Saudi Arabia: “Warren criticized U.S. involvement in the Saudi Arabian–led intervention in Yemen and accused the United States of complicity in Yemen’s humanitarian crisis. For over 3 years, the US has helped the Saudi-led coalition bomb Yemen with few constraints. Thousands of civilians died in airstrikes.” Source
Legislative Record (includes enacted legislation & bills sponsored): Elizabeth Warren
Campaign website: Elizabeth Warren for President
Check out all of our 7 Issues Guides: Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Julian Castro, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Kirsten Gillibrand, Jay Inslee, John Hickenlooper, Beto O’Rourke, Bernie Sanders, John Delaney, Joe Biden