Get To Know Elizabeth Warren

August 1, 2020

Elizabeth Warren

In 2017, the United States Senate voted to silence Senator Elizabeth Warren’s objections to confirming Senator Jeff Sessions as the U.S. Attorney General. “Sen. Warren was giving a lengthy speech,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in defense of silencing her. “She had appeared to violate the rule. She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.” 

The senator who gave us this feminist battle cry was born in Oklahoma City to a middle-class family. She started working at 13 to support her family, and when she was 16, she won a debate scholarship to George Washington University. Warren left school after two years, but in 1976 received her J.D. from Rutgers Law School. For 30 years, she taught law school and specialized in bankruptcy, commercial law, and contracts. In November 2012, Warren was elected to represent Massachusetts in the U.S. Senate and was reelected in November 2018 — her current Senate term ends in January 2025. 

Here are some key things to know about where she stands on the issues that matter to women:

  • Her first foray into politics was as the chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel of the Troubled Asset Relief Program. She proposed, established, and served as the first Special Advisor of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which promotes transparency for credit cards, mortgages, and other consumer financial services.
  • As a Senator, she was a co-sponsor of the Green New Deal, a Congressional plan to tackle climate change. 
  • As a 2020 presidential election candidate, Warren:
    •  Focused on eliminating college debt and making college free for Americans
    • Proposed a 2 percent tax on wealthy Americans and a 7 percent tax on companies’ profits over $100 million.  
    • Wanted to require the Pentagon to reach net-zero on carbon emissions by the year 2030. 
    • Wanted to end offshore drilling and called for a “total moratorium” on all fossil fuel leases.
    • Wanted to break up big tech companies, such as Facebook, Amazon, and Google, and make sure that not one single tech company has a monopoly on money and power. 
    • Had a four-part plan to protect reproductive rights in America.
  • She identifies as a “Democratic capitalist. “I see the value of markets and that they can produce a lot of good if they have rules,” she told Tommy Vietor of Pod Save America in 2019. “But let us all be clear: Markets without rules are theft, and I am opposed to theft. There is a reason that the folks on Wall Street, the big CEOs, don’t want me to even be in the Senate. … Because I get how the system works and how it can work when it works right. And how these are the guys who are ripping it off and make it not work.”
  • Since ending her presidential campaign and returning to the Senate, Warren has sponsored a bill to preserve Indian Tribes’ and Native Hawiian’s “autonomy of access” over Tribal lands and has fought to protect child care amid the Coronavirus pandemic.

As NPR noted in early July, many progressive voices have called for Biden to choose Warren as his running mate, saying that she’s got a sharp mind for policy and “knows how to govern.” 

On the day she endorsed Biden for president, Warren told Rachel Maddow that if Biden were to ask her to be his running mate, she would accept. Since then, the senator has held several fundraisers for Biden, including one where she raised $6 million. Only former president Barack Obama raised more money for Biden, according to WBUR. For his part, Biden has adopted Warren’s bankruptcy plan, over which they had previously clashed.