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May 2nd, 2019

Elizabeth Ann Warren is another of the candidates for the Democratic Party's nomination for President in 2020 who was born in the 1940s (in her case at the tail end in 1949). She is currently polling in third place at 8.4% in the aggregate poll numbers posted by Real Clear Politics. Warren has served as a United States Senator from Massachusetts since 2013, and she is a rare combination according to some commentators: a "populist academic". Warren was formerly a prominent legal scholar specializing in bankruptcy law. As a legislator, she has become a progressive leader, with a focus on consumer protection, economic opportunity, and widening the social safety.

She was born Elizabeth Ann Herring on June 22, 1949 in Oklahoma City. Her father was a salesman from Montgomery Ward who suffered a heart attack when Elizabeth was 12, causing economic hardship for the family. Her mother worked in the catalogue department at Sears. Warren
graduated from the University of Houston with a Bachelor of Science degree in speech pathology in 1970 and from Rutgers Law School in 1976. She taught law at several universities, including the University of Houston, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Pennsylvania, and Harvard University. Warren is the author of three books and coauthor of six: As We Forgive Our Debtors: Bankruptcy and Consumer Credit in America (1989), The Fragile Middle Class: Americans in Debt (2001) with Teresa A. Sullivan and Jay Westbrook, The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents are Going Broke (2004) with Amelia Warren Tyagi, All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan (2006) with Warren Tyagi, Casenote Legal Briefs: Commercial Law (2006) with Lynn M. LoPucki, Daniel Keating, Ronald Mann, and Normal Goldenberg, The Law of Debtors and Creditors: Text, Cases, and Problems, 6th edition (2008) with Westbrook, Chapter 11: Reorganizing American Businesses: Essentials (2008), Secured Credit: A Systems Approach (2008) with Lynn M. LoPucki, A Fighting Chance (2014), and This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America's Middle Class (2017).

Warren became known as a vocal opponent of what eventually became a 2005 act restricting bankruptcy access for individuals. Her profile rose due to her forceful stances in favor of more stringent banking regulations following the 2007–08 financial crisis. She served as chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel of the Troubled Asset Relief Program and was instrumental in the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, for which she served as the first Special Advisor.

Warren had once been a registered Republican, but later changed party affiliation. On November 6, 2012, she defeated Republican Senator Scott Brown with 53.7% of the vote. She became the first woman ever elected to the U.S. Senate from Massachusetts, part of a sitting U.S. Senate that had 20 female senators in office, the largest female U.S. Senate delegation in history at the time, following the November 2012 elections. In December 2012 Warren was assigned a seat on the Senate Banking Committee, which oversees the implementation of Dodd–Frank and other regulation of the banking industry.

As a member of the Senate, Warren sits on the Committee on Armed Services, the Subcommittee on Airland, the Subcommittee on Personnel, the Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, the Subcommittee on Economic Policy, the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection, the Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance, and Investment, the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, the Subcommittee on Primary Health and Retirement Security and the Special Committee on Aging.

In the 2016 presidential election, Warren was asked by supporters to become a presidential candidate, but she repeatedly stated that she was not running for president in 2016. In October 2013, she was one of sixteen Senate Democratic women to sign a letter that encouraged Hillary Clinton to run. There was speculation about Warren being added to the Democratic ticket as a vice-presidential candidate. On June 9, 2016, after the California Democratic primary, Warren formally endorsed Hillary Clinton for president. On July 7, CNN reported that Warren was on a five-person short list to be Clinton's vice-presidential running mate.

Warren has had her battles with President Donald Trump, who she has called dishonest, uncaring, and "a loser". She was involved in a controversy over her ancestry and subsequent mocking by Trump. Warren has said that as a child she was told by older family members that she had Native American ancestry, and that "being Native American has been part of my story, I guess, since the day I was born". Warren had identified herself in 1986 as "American Indian" on a State Bar of Texas form. She was challenged by President Donald Trump who said that he would pay $1 million to her favorite charity if she could prove her Native American ancestry via a DNA test. Warren released results of a DNA test in 2018 which concluded that "while the vast majority of [Warren's] ancestry is European, the results strongly support the existence of an unadmixed Native American ancestor in her pedigree, likely in the range of 6–10 generations ago." Earlier this yeat she was asked at public appearance in Sioux City, Iowa, Warren was asked by an attendee, "Why did you undergo the DNA testing and give Donald more fodder to be a bully?" Warren responded, "I am not a person of color; I am not a citizen of a tribe. Tribal citizenship is very different from ancestry. Tribes, and only tribes, determine tribal citizenship, and I respect that difference."

On December 31, 2018, Warren announced that she was forming an exploratory committee to run for president. On February 8, 2019, Warren officially announced her candidacy at a rally in Lawrence, Massachusetts, at the site of the 1912 Bread and Roses Strike. She held her first campaign event in Lawrence, a former industrial mill town famous for that strike. Groups she hopes to strongly appeal to are working class families, union members, women, and immigrants. At her opening rally Warren called President Trump a "symptom of a larger problem in a rigged system that props up the rich and powerful and kicks dirt on everyone else".

Warren has called for the requirement of lobbyists to register as such, prohibiting foreign governments from hiring lobbyists in Washington, and restricting the ability of lobbyists to move in and out of government. She also supports a permanent ban on senators and congressmen becoming lobbyists at any point in their life after Congress, as well as prohibiting them from trading stock while in office. She wants to require any candidate for federal office to post their tax returns online for public viewing and has also said that there needs to be a strengthening of the code of ethics for Supreme Court justices and the code of conduct for all other federal judges.

Warren has rejected the label of "socialist" and has said that she is "a capitalist to my bones". Her campaign focuses on economic issues. She has cosponsored a bill raising the U.S. minimum wage to $15 an hour. She also supports an "Ultra-Millionaire Tax" on the 75,000 richest families in the U.S. (those with incomes greater that $50 million) which she says would result in $250 billion a year in federal revenue. She proposes using that extra funding to provide universal childcare and a pre-K program that mirrors the universal high school movement of the early 20th century, relief of student loan debt, and down payments on a Green New Deal and Medicare for All. She also says that a historic investment in housing would result in rents decreasing by 10% nationwide and 1.5 million new jobs.

Recent legislation she has submitted would make it easier for Americans to form and join labor unions. Warren supports and recently introduced legislation requiring U.S. corporations worth more than $1 billion to allow their employees to select 40% of their board of directors. The legislation would also require that shareholders approve any corporate funds being donated to political candidates.
Warren supports the proposed Green New Deal to create jobs and fight climate change. She says some of the extra funding from her proposed tax on "ultra-millionaires" could be used to begin paying for this, as well as using some to create 1.5 million new jobs.]

Warren opposes the U.S. government-takeover of certain industries and instead wants to restructure markets. In her view, the economy has been dominated by a select few individuals and that the government needs to reform it to make it more competitive. She would like to break up monopolies in the technology sector through stronger antitrust enforcement. She has specifically targeted Apple, Facebook, Google, and Amazon. She has also pushed for more competition and government involvement in the healthcare industry.

Warren supports the passage of an amendment to the Constitution to "protect the right of every American citizen to vote and have that vote counted." She also supports outlawing "unnecessary and unjustified" regulations that increase the difficulty of voting. She supports a ban on gerrymandering and has also called for the abolition of the Electoral College in favor of a national popular vote in presidential elections. Warren also supports overturning the Supreme Court decision on Citizens United v. FEC, outlawing political donations made by federal lobbyists and PACs, and completely banning Super PACs.

In foreign policy, Warren opposes President Trump's renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, known as the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, "unless he produces a better deal for America's working families". She has acknowledged the need for a strong military for deterrent purposes, but she says she wants to bring the troops home. She says the U.S. government must ensure they get the support and benefits they're owed. She also says she supports "cutting our bloated defense budget" and cutting the hold by defense contractors on military policy.

Warren has called for more federal funding for the construction of millions of new homes. She introduced legislation that would reward local governments for relaxing restrictive zoning codes that prevent the building of new homes. Her plan calls for further investment in affordable-housing projects, with a specific focus on assisting minority families who have historically been hurt by federal housing guidelines. She says some of the extra funding from her proposed tax on "ultra-millionaires" could be used to begin lowering rents.

Warren supports a proposal by Senator Bernie Sanders that would require the U.S. government to provide health insurance to every U.S. citizen, a program known as Medicare-for-all. She says some of the extra funding from her proposed tax on "ultra-millionaires" could be used to begin paying for this. She has advocated for the U.S. government to begin producing prescription drugs as a way to lower drug costs in the U.S. She has introduced legislation that would give the government the ability to produce generic versions of certain drugs, the name-brand versions of which are much more expensive.

In response to the national opioid epidemic, Warren has called for the U.S. government to assist in the treatment of more addicted Americans. Her plan calls for $100 billion in federal funds to be directed into fighting the opioid crisis over 10 years.

Warren supports criminal justice reform to address racial disparity in the justice system, banning private prisons, supporting community policing, and demilitarizing local police departments. She also supports comprehensive sentencing reform and the decriminalization of marijuana. She would also like to create a law enforcement unit to specifically investigate crimes at big banks and financial institutions. It would also require senior executives of banks with more than $10 billion in assets to certify each year that they "found no criminal conduct or civil fraud within the financial institutions."


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