Elizabeth Warren | 2020 Presidential Questionnaire

Index:

● Workers’ Rights & Organizing
● Good Jobs & Offshoring
● Fair Elections & Good Government
● Health Care
● Taking On Wall Street Greed
● Trade
● Telecommunications
● Human/Civil Rights

 

Why are you running? What are your policy priorities that would benefit working families?

In our country, everyone ought to be able to take care of themselves and the people they love. That should be the fundamental promise of America. This is deeply personal to me because I got a real taste of opportunity: It was a public college that cost just $50 a semester, that gave me my chance. I got to be a public school teacher, law professor, a United States Senator, and a candidate for president. I’m deeply grateful, and I’m running for president because I want every kid to have the same opportunity to build a future.

Today, America’s middle class has been hollowed out. I’ve spent most of my career studying why families go broke — and how the path to economic security is even tougher and rockier for families of color. It’s no accident. It’s because of decisions made in Washington that favor the wealthy and well-connected. It’s time for big, structural change to put economic power in the hands of the American people. That’s why my first legislative priority as president will be to pass my anti-corruption plan – the most sweeping set of anti-corruption reforms since Watergate. My plan lays out nearly a hundred ways that we can change our government to take power away from the wealthy and the well-connected in Washington and put it where it belongs – in the hands of the people.

President Trump is not the cause of what’s broken — he’s just the latest and most extreme symptom of what’s gone wrong in America. He’s a product of a rigged system that props up the rich and the powerful. Americans want big, structural change. This campaign is about identifying what’s broken, letting the American people know we have serious, credible plans to fix it, and then winning in 2020 to make the change that’s needed come January 2021.

 

Why are you asking for the endorsement of CWA?

Strengthening America’s labor unions will be a central goal of my administration. Unions built America’s middle class, and unions will rebuild America’s middle class. I am proud to support unions and stand with union workers. The CWA is on the front lines of the fight to save our middle class. You have valuable input for ideas and would be a tremendous partner in building a grassroots movement that can turn these ideas into reality and make life better for people across the country.

 

List any past activities with the CWA.

Workers have a right to fight for higher wages, health care, and pensions — and I stand with CWA in this fight all the way.

I’m proud to have supported CWA workers fighting to organize their workplaces. I recorded a video supporting Maximus Call Center workers fighting to unionize. When workers at the Daily Hampshire Gazette and Valley Advocate announced they were organizing a union, I wrote a letter to the publisher urging them to respect workers’ right to form a union and warning against any illegal interference. The workers—from reporters to sales agents, production staff, paginators, and custodial staff—that create high-quality, local journalism are necessary for a vibrant democracy and strong communities, and they deserve fair pay, decent benefits, and a voice in their workplace. I’m also proud to stand with CWA members exercising their right to strike: I stood with CWA members who went on strike over AT&T’s refusal to bargain in good faith last year and supported Frontier workers on strike for good jobs in 2018. And in 2017, during contract negotiations between AT&T and its workers, I joined my colleagues to demand the company give workers their fair share. And I’ve continued supporting CWA on the campaign trail by helping NABET-CWA settle a 15-year-old dispute with CNN shortly before the January Democratic debate—which ended with a $76 million payment to make broadcast technicians whole after losing their jobs to CNN’s union-busting tactics.

I support CWA’s fight to make Washington work for working people, and not just the wealthy and and well-connected. I’ve participated in the We the People summits co-hosted by CWA, I’ve met with CWA’s leaders to talk about making Washington work for working families again s, and I’ve spoken at CWA-sponsored events to protect Social Security and Medicare. And I’m especially proud to have helped launch the Take On Wall Street Initiative organized by CWA and partner unions to take on Wall Street greed. Like I said when the campaign launched, Dodd-Frank didn’t end too big to fail. I’ve joined CWA to talk about how union members can take on the big-money interests in Washington, and I’m all in with CWA in the fight to end Wall Street’s stranglehold on our economy.

 

Please list any relevant organizations of which you are a member.

As a U.S. Senator I have served on several committees, including:

● Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs (2013 – present)
● Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) (2013 – present)
● Committee on Armed Services (2017 – present)
● Special Committee on Aging (2013 – present)
● Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (2015-2016)

I also currently serve as the Vice Chair of Conference in the Senate Democratic leadership. I
previously served as Strategic Policy Advisor to the Senate Democratic Policy Committee.

 

WORKERS’ RIGHTS & ORGANIZING

(a) Do you support the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (H.R. 2474/S. 1306)?

Yes. We cannot have a truly democratic society with so little power in the hands of working people. We cannot have sustained and inclusive economic growth without a stronger labor movement. That’s why putting power in the hands of working people will be the overarching goal of my presidency. Unions built America’s middle class, and with the strong support of my administration, they will help rebuild America’s middle class. My plan guarantees working people their organizing rights and makes it easier for unions to secure contracts and assert their rights in all industries. I support the PRO Act, which, among other things, requires employers and unions to enter binding arbitration to secure a collective bargaining agreement within 120 days of negotiations beginning to address cases in which employers refuse to bargain or engage in delaying tactics to string out negotiations.

You can read my full plan to empower American workers here: https://elizabethwarren.com/plans/empowering-american-workers

 

(b) Do you support the Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act (H.R. 3463/S. 1970)?

Yes. I will fight to enact the Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act, which ensures that public employees can organize and bargain collectively in every state.

 

(c) Will you oppose any federal right-to-work (a.k.a. “right to work for less”) policy, and use your platform to oppose any such anti-worker efforts? 

Yes. Twenty-eight states currently have “right to work for less” laws, which prohibit unions and employers from agreeing that any employee who benefits from a union contract should have to pay dues to support the union. I introduced the Protecting Workers and Improving Labor Standards Act, which would repeal the federal law that permits states to pass these anti-worker laws, and enacting that change will be a top priority of mine as president.

 

(d) What policies will you adopt to ensure that the federal contracting process supports good jobs, rather than subsidizing poverty wages?

Putting power in the hands of working people will be the overarching goal of my presidency. To do that, I will partner with Congress, use bold executive action, and leverage the federal procurement process to pursue the most progressive and comprehensive agenda for workers since the New Deal. Companies with federal contracts employ roughly a quarter of the U.S. workforce. By imposing new rules on companies that hope to receive federal contracts, we can take a big step towards rebuilding the middle class and creating equal opportunities for marginalized workers.

On day one of my presidency, I will issue an executive order requiring federal contractors to pay workers a minimum wage of $15 an hour and provide benefits, including paid family leave and fair scheduling, to all employees. This will have an outsized effect on women of color workers, who perform a disproportionate share of lower-wage work. Beyond that, I don’t believe it’s appropriate for the federal government to spend the public’s money doing business with employers that violate their workers’ legal rights to organize and bargain. My administration will use every legal tool it has within the procurement process to promote good union jobs. I’ll ban companies that want federal contracts from using forced arbitration and non-compete clauses that restrict workers’ rights. I’ll also ban contractors from asking applicants for their past salary information and criminal histories, and deny contracting opportunities to companies with poor track records on diversity and equal pay. Finally, I will insist that the Davis-Bacon Act applies to all federal construction spending in a Warren administration.

My plan to fight the climate crisis will create 10.6 million green new jobs transitioning to the new clean energy economy. I am committed to ensuring that all of the 10.6 million new jobs in the clean economy pull working Americans back into the middle class — and to working hand-in-hand with unions to do so. That’s why I will fight for good wages and strong benefits for every worker that joins the new clean economy. A Warren administration will condition federal clean energy investments to state, local, and tribal governments on employers offering family-supporting wages and benefits — and will enforce this through Project Labor Agreements, prevailing wage laws, and Community Benefit Agreements. And I will work hand-in-hand with unions to return power to the working people powering the green economy. Unions built the middle class and unions will rebuild the middle class in the green economy of the future, too.

 

GOOD JOBS & OFFSHORING

(a) Do you support the U.S. Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act (H.R. 3219/S.1792)?

Yes.

(b) Do you support the No Tax Breaks for Outsourcing Act (H.R. 1711/S.780)?

I support closing the loopholes identified in that bill. I’ve called for a tax code that promotes investment and good jobs here in the United States—there are loopholes littering our tax code that both allow tax dodgers to hide cash overseas and actively encourage multinationals to outsource jobs and invest abroad. Our tax code should protect jobs and investments at home, period.

 

(c) Will you fight to defend existing workers’ pensions, and pledge to oppose any attacks on these had-earned benefits?

Yes. Workers earned their pensions and my administration will defend every penny of them. My administration will recognize the value of defined-benefit pensions, and on multi-employer pensions, I will push to pass the Butch-Lewis Act to create a loan program for the most financially distressed pension plans in the country. I will work with labor leaders, policy experts, fund counsel, actuaries, and benefits specialists to improve the pension system and to devise policy for financially challenged plans that are not in immediate distress. And I will restore the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule that the Trump administration delayed and failed to defend in court, so that brokers can’t cheat workers out of their retirement savings.

 

(d) Do you support legislation to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour regardless of region and linking increases to inflation thereafter?

Yes. I will fight to pass the Raise the Wage Act, which increases the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour for all workers – including tipped workers and workers with disabilities – and indexes the minimum wage to median wage growth. While I push to enact that legislation, I will sign an executive order on the first day of my administration to require all federal contractors to pay a $15-an-hour minimum wage.

 

(e) Will you support and strengthen paid leave in all places of employment, and use your platform and influence to actively oppose any attempts to cut such programs?

Yes. Last year, only 19 percent of civilian workers had access to paid family leave through their employer or through a state program, and only 40 percent had short-term disability insurance for their own personal medical issues. And, every year, nearly 20 million people in the nation survive domestic violence, sexual violence, or stalking by an intimate partner—and may need time off to get medical care, a protective order, and keep themselves and their families safe. Low-wage workers were even less likely to have access. Although federal law currently requires employers to provide unpaid leave to qualified workers, the eligibility requirements exclude about 40 percent of private sector workers. And nearly half of eligible workers report that they simply cannot afford to take unpaid time off work. Inability to access paid leave is particularly harmful for families of color, who have experienced systemic racism that leaves them with less wealth to draw on for unpaid leave and a greater likelihood of experiencing chronic health conditions.

That’s why I’m a co-sponsor of the FAMILY Act, which would provide up to 12 weeks of paid family or medical leave in a one year period. Based on the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s figures, about 113 million American workers who do not have access to paid family leave could gain access, and almost 84 million workers could gain access to short-term disability coverage. That’s also why I support the Healthy Families Act, which would guarantee workers the right to earn up to seven days of paid sick leave every year. While we fight for change in Congress, I’ll use the tools of the presidency to expand fair pay and benefits as fast as we can, including by requiring all federal contractors to provide good benefits like paid family leave.

 

(f) Do you support H.R. 2208/S. 1112, the Cabin Air Safety Act, to establish proper training, monitoring, reporting and investigations to ensure that flight crews and passengers are protected from the effects of toxic cabin air?

I support the changes in that legislation. Flight attendants and crew deserve safe workplaces, and airline passengers should have clean air when they travel. And my administration will fight for worker safety: I’ve already committed to supporting new worker safety protections for health care, transit, and social service workers, substantially increasing funding for OSHA, and raising the laughably small existing penalties for violating worker safety laws so that employers don’t view violations as the cost of doing business.

 

FAIR ELECTIONS & GOOD GOVERNMENT

(a) Do you support the For the People Act (H.R. 1/S. 949)?

Yes.

(b) What criteria will you use to select your Secretary of Labor?

As president, I will appoint people who want to fulfill the purposes of our government, not undermine it — and that starts with some serious departures from the Trump administration. That includes a Secretary of Labor who has been a labor leader, and appointees to the National Labor Relations Board who have a record of fighting for workers.

 

(c) What criteria will you use in choosing any potential Supreme Court nominees? 

Republicans have been handing our courts, including the Supreme Court, over to right-wing interests by supporting nominees that prioritize corporations, the wealthy, and the well-connected over the rights of women, consumers, workers, civil rights, public health and safety, and environmental protections. We need federal judges and Supreme Court justices who will defend equal justice for everyone, and I will fight for courts that are fair, equal, and just for all.

I will remake the federal courts with nominees who support working people. That starts at the top: I pledge as president to nominate a demonstrated advocate for workers to fill any Supreme Court vacancy. We can’t afford more decisions from the Supreme Court and appellate courts that strip workers of rights and hand more power to corporations.

I also believe that the justice system should reflect the country it serves. Judicial appointments are primarily white and male, and large numbers are corporate lawyers and former prosecutors. Diversity of background and experience matter. That’s why I have pushed for increasing the professional diversity of our federal judiciary to insulate the courts from corporate capture, and why I support gender and racial diversity for judicial nominees. I’ll appoint a diverse slate of judges, including those who have a background fighting for the public interests and working people. And finally, my anti-corruption bill includes an aggressive set of reforms that would fundamentally change the way Washington does business – including restoring faith that ordinary people can get a fair shake in our courts. That means strengthening the code of conduct for federal judges, including Supreme Court justices, so they can’t engage in stock trading, get paid by corporations to attend events, receive gifts for giving speeches, or go on fancy hunting trips and lavish getaways funded by billionaires.

 

HEALTH CARE

(a) What is your plan for making health care a basic human right? Where do Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act fall into that? 

The cost of health care is crushing American families, even those with good insurance. Last year 37 million American adults didn’t fill a prescription, 36 million people skipped a recommended test, treatment, or follow-up, and 40 million people didn’t go to a doctor to check out a health problem — all because of costs. 57 million people had trouble covering their medical bills. An average family of four with employer-sponsored insurance spent $12,378 on employee premium contributions and out-of-pocket costs in 2018. And 87 million Americans are either uninsured or underinsured. And we know that people of color face significant barriers to getting the health care coverage they need and have higher uninsured rates than their white counterparts.

Tens of millions of people are one bad diagnosis away from going broke—but they don’t have to be. The Affordable Care Act made massive strides in expanding access to health insurance coverage, and we must defend Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act against Republican attempts to rip health coverage away from people. But it’s time for the next step.

Part One: Starting on day one of my presidency, I will protect people with pre-existing conditions, reverse the Trump administration’s sabotage of our health care system, improve the Affordable Care Act, Medicare and Medicaid, and take immediate action to bring down the high costs of many common prescription drugs, including Insulin and EpiPens. I’ll reverse the Trump administration’s cruel Medicaid policies that take coverage away from low-income individuals and families, from prohibitive and ineffective work requirements – which have already booted 18,000 people in Arkansas out of the program – as well as enrollment caps, premiums, drug testing, and limits on retroactive eligibility that can prevent bankruptcy.

Part Two: Within my first 100 days, I will push Congress to give everyone the choice to join an improved Medicare program that covers vision, hearing, mental health, dental, and long term care. I will accomplish this by lowering the Medicare age limit to people over 50, and giving everyone the opportunity to join a Medicare for All option that will be free for children under 18 and for millions of families making under double the poverty level (about $50,000 for a family of four). That’s a total of nearly 135 million Americans who could get free, high-quality coverage. Everyone else who wants to opt-in would pay a modest fee.

Part Three: Once everyone has the chance to try out the improved Medicare option, I will push Congress, no later than her third year in office, to complete the transition to Medicare for All — to put $11 trillion back in the pockets of American families that will never pay another premium or deductible, without raising middle class taxes by one penny.

In my administration, everyone in America will be able to see the doctor they need and be covered for vision, dental, hearing, and more—at little or no cost to them whatsoever. My plan will cover every single person in the U.S.—without raising taxes one penny on middle-class families. Everybody gets the doctors and the treatments they need, when they need them. No more out-of-network costs, no surprises, and no one going broke because they get sick.

Unions have fought long and hard to win compensation in the form of high-quality health insurance for members and their families. But in every contract negotiation that unions and employers pursue, the unchecked cost of health insurance threatens to consume the agenda and crowd out progress on other important issues like wage increases or enhanced retirement security. Medicare for All will break this pattern. In both the transition to Medicare for All and its implementation, my administration will work closely with unions and multiemployer health insurance funds to protect the gains they have made and to draw on their experience providing quality health care to working people.

Health care is a human right, and we need a system that reflects our values. That system is Medicare for All.

You can read my plan to pay for Medicare for All here: https://elizabethwarren.com/plans/paying-for-m4a

 

(b) What is your plan for lowering prescription drug costs as well as out-of-pocket costs for workers?

As drug companies benefit from taxpayer-funded R&D and rake in billions of dollars in profits, Americans are stuck footing the bill. The average American spends roughly $1,220 per year on pharmaceuticals – more than any comparable country. As president, I will act immediately to lower the cost of prescription drugs, using every available tool to bring pressure on the big drug companies. I’ll start by taking immediate advantage of existing legal authorities to lower the cost of several specific drugs that tens of millions of Americans rely on.

On the first day of my presidency, I will use these tools to drastically lower drug costs for essential medications – drugs with high costs or limited supply that address critical public health needs. We’ll start with Insulin, EpiPens, Naloxone, Humira, Hepatitis C drugs like Harvoni, Truvada, and antibiotics. I will also direct the government to study whether other essential medicines, including breakthrough drugs for cancer or high-cost drugs for rare diseases, might also be subject to these interventions because they are being sold at prices that inappropriately limit patient access. And by enacting my Affordable Drug Manufacturing Act, the government can manufacture generic drugs that are not available due to cost or shortage.

In addition, I will invest $100 billion over ten years in biomedical research at NIH, creating a National Institute for Drug Development that will help bring that research to patients as cures. We will prioritize treatments that are uninteresting to big pharmaceutical companies but could save millions of American dollars and lives. Any drugs that come out of this research and to American consumers can be sold abroad, with the proceeds reinvested to fund future breakthrough drug development.

And finally, as a single payer, Medicare for All will have the ability to incentivize the development of better drugs that help more people by private companies— including early stage cancer cures.

Using every tool in the toolkit, we will work to bring prices down for patients to help them get the treatments they need while promoting future innovation to develop new cures.

 

TAKING ON WALL STREET GREED

(a) Do you support closing the carried interest loophole? 

Yes. Washington has done little to rein in private equity firms or to ensure that their incentives align with the best interests of the economy. As a result, the firms can use all sorts of tricks to get rich even if the companies they buy fail. Let’s call this what it is: legalized looting — looting that makes a handful of Wall Street managers very rich while costing thousands of people their jobs, putting valuable companies out of business, and hurting communities across the country. I have a plan to transform the private equity industry and end this looting with a comprehensive set of legal changes, including by closing the carried interest loophole.

You can read my full plan to end Wall Street stranglehold on our economy here: https://elizabethwarren.com/plans/wall-street

 

(b) Do you support the Inclusive Prosperity Act of 2019 (H.R.2923/S.1587)?

It’s been more than ten years since the 2008 financial crisis, and while a lot of families are still dealing with the aftereffects, the financial sector is making record, eye-popping profits. I support targeted taxes and fees on financial firms, which we can use to generate needed revenue and also make our financial system safer and more secure.

A tax on financial transactions – one-tenth of one percent on the sale of bonds, stocks, or derivatives – would generate about $800 billion in revenue over the next ten years, which I have proposed using to pay for Medicare for All and end the stranglehold of health care costs on American families. We can also impose a fee on big banks that encourages them to take on fewer liabilities and reduce the risk they pose to the financial system. A small fee that applies only to the forty or so largest banks in the country would generate an additional $100 billion over the next ten years — while making our financial system more safe and resilient.

 

(c) Do you support The Reward Work Act (H.R. 3355/S. 915)?

Yes, I am a proud co-sponsor of this bill to rein in stock buybacks that help wealthy CEOs get richer, while workers get left behind. I’m in this fight to level the playing field all the way.

 

(d) Do you support ending “Too Big to Fail” by breaking up the Wall Street mega banks and separating depository banking from risky investment banking? 

Yes. I have bold plans to fundamentally transform the role of the financial industry in our economy. My plan to End Wall Street’s Stranglehold on Our Economy includes a 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act that breaks up the big banks and re-establishes the wall between commercial and investment banking to make our financial system more stable and secure. It overhauls the private equity industry so that Wall Street executives can’t bleed companies dry and walk away with millions while workers lose their jobs. And it imposes tough new executive compensation rules to discourage needless speculation and encourage productive investments.

 

(e) Do you support ending predatory lending and expanding access to fair consumer banking services through “a public option” like public banks or postal banking?

Yes. My plan would help push America’s financial sector in a better direction. A quarter of American families don’t have sufficient access to the banking system — including a disproportionate share of families of color. On average, these families spend about 10% of their income in interest and fees stemming from their lack of access to basic banking services. That’s roughly the same percentage of income that families spend on food. This is an unacceptable cost we are imposing on the families that can least afford it, and we can do better.

That’s why I have spent years advocating for postal banking — allowing the United States Postal Service to partner with local community banks and credit unions to provide access to low-cost, basic banking services like checking and savings accounts at post offices and online. The Postal Service Office of Inspector General has presented a few different approaches to use postal banking to provide more access to more people. And because the Postal Service already offers some financial services and has the legal authority to expand on those offerings, postal banking requires no new legislation — just new appointees who are committed to the cause.

 

(f) Will you defend the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) from any corporate-sponsored attacks and use your platform and influence to strengthen the Bureau and empower it to further protect consumers?

Yes. Wall Street’s greed led to the 2008 financial crisis. People were tricked, squeezed, misled and outright cheated by lenders. They were handed loans the big banks knew they couldn’t pay off. Black and Latinx families were targeted with the worst-of-the-worst mortgages. These financial giants crashed our economy, costing millions of Americans their homes, their jobs, and their savings. Today, the Black-white homeownership gap is larger than it was back when housing discrimination was legal in our country.

I’ve spent most of my career studying why families go broke and I raised the alarm that a crisis was coming. In the aftermath, I fought for the Consumer Financial Protection Agency, built public support for it, and President Obama signed it into law in 2010. Then I helped build the agency up from scratch.

Today, the CFPB helps students, seniors, veterans and other consumers who have been cheated. Since it opened, the CFPB has forced the big financial institutions to return more than $12 billion directly to the people they cheated — and I’ll protect it, strengthen it, and empower the CFPB to hold financial institutions accountable.

 

(g) Do you support the Stop Wall Street Looting Act?

Yes. I introduced the Stop Wall Street Looting Act to raise wages, help small businesses, and spur economic growth by shutting down the Wall Street giveaways and reining in the financial industry so it stops sucking money out of the rest of the economy. My plan will transform the private equity industry by putting private equity firms on the hook for the debts of companies they buy; holding private equity firms responsible for certain pension obligations of the companies they buy, so that workers have a better shot of getting the retirement funds they earned; modifying bankruptcy rules so that when companies go bust, workers have a better shot at getting pay and benefits and executives can’t pocket special bonuses; and eliminating the ability of private equity firms to pay themselves huge monitoring fees and limiting their ability to pay out dividends to line their own pockets.

You can read my full plan here: https://elizabethwarren.com/plans/wall-street

 

(h) How will you restore fairness to our tax system? Will you roll back President Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act? 

Yes. And by reversing these tax cuts we can fully pay for my 100% clean energy plan. But it’s not enough to just reverse the Trump administration’s giveaway to billionaires and big corporations.

The rich and powerful run Washington. And what’s more: After making a killing from the economy they’ve rigged, they don’t pay taxes on that accumulated wealth. We need to fundamentally transform our tax code so that we tax the wealth of the ultra-rich, not just their income. My Ultra-Millionaire Tax asks the richest 0.1% of Americans – roughly the wealthiest 75,000 households – to pay an annual 2% tax on every dollar above $50 million and a 6% tax on every dollar of wealth above $1 billion. With the revenue we raise from my Ultra-Millionaire Tax, we can invest in universal child care, universal free public college, student loan debt cancellation, a high-quality public education for all of our kids, and help finance Medicare for All to bring down health care costs for all families.

Corporations need to pay their fair share too. Last year, Amazon reported more than $10 billion in profits and paid zero federal corporate income taxes. Occidental Petroleum reported $4.1 billion in profits and paid zero federal corporate income taxes. I’ve proposed the Real Corporate Profits Tax, a tax on the largest American corporations with no loopholes or exemptions. It would make companies that report more than $100 million in profits – about the 1,200 most profitable firms in the country last year – pay a 7% tax on every dollar of profit above $100 million. My Real Corporate Profits Tax would nearly cover the entire cost of my green manufacturing plan – while making sure that our biggest and most profitable corporations pay their fair share and ensure none of them can ever make billions and pay zero taxes again.

 

TRADE

(a) Will you ensure that any free trade agreements advanced during your administration include strong, enforceable labor and environmental protections?

Yes. I will establish a set of standards countries must meet as a precondition for any trade agreement with America. Those preconditions include requiring that our trade partners recognize and enforce the core labor rights of the International Labour Organization, like collective bargaining and the elimination of child labor. A country must uphold internationally recognized human rights, recognize and enforce religious freedom, and comply with minimum standards of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. They must also be party to the Paris Climate accord and have a national, independently-verified plan to reduce emissions. That country must also eliminate all domestic fossil fuel subsidies. And I will renegotiate any agreements we have to ensure that our existing trade partners meet those standards as well.

I will push to secure a multilateral agreement to protect domestic green policies like subsidies for green products and preferential treatment for environmentally sustainable energy production from WTO challenges. And because big corporations will move their production to the countries with the weakest greenhouse gas emissions standards — undermining global efforts to address climate change and penalizing countries that are doing their part — I will impose a border carbon adjustment so imported goods that these firms make using carbon-intensive processes are charged a fee to equalize the costs borne by companies playing by the rules.

I will also ensure trade agreements protect Buy American and other programs designed to develop local industry, contain strong rule-of-origin standards to promote domestic manufacturing, protect worker pensions, promote equal pay for equal work for women, and prohibit violence against workers.

 

(b) Will you support ensuring that countries come into compliance with basic standards protecting worker rights, the environment, and human rights before Congress votes on a trade agreement with those countries?

Yes. For too long, we have entered into trade deals with countries with abysmal records on labor, environmental, and human rights issues. That will end under my administration. I will establish a set of standards countries must meet as a precondition for any trade agreement with America. Those preconditions include recognizing and enforcing the core labor rights of the International Labour Organization, like collective bargaining and the elimination of child labor. A country must uphold internationally recognized human rights, recognize and enforce religious freedom, and comply with minimum standards of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. They must also be party to the Paris Climate accord and have a national, independently-verified plan to reduce emissions, and eliminate domestic fossil fuel subsidies. And they must ratify the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions, comply with any tax treaty they have with the U.S., participate in the OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting project and not appear on the Treasury Department’s monitoring list of countries that merit attention for their currency practices. And I will renegotiate any agreements we have to ensure that our existing trade partners meet those standards as well.And I will renegotiate any agreements we have to ensure that our existing trade partners meet those standards as well.

I will also fight to bring down the costs of prescription drugs here and around the world. I will actively seek out opportunities to reduce exclusivity periods in our existing trade deals in exchange for securing other changes that will help America’s working families.

You can read my full plan for a new approach to trade here: https://elizabethwarren.com/plans/new-approach-trade

 

(c) Will you remove harmful Investor-State Dispute Settlement provisions from any future or renegotiated trade agreements?

Yes. I will entirely reorient our approach to enforcement so we drive standards up, not down. I’ll start by ending “Investor-State Dispute Settlement,” or ISDS, the favorable enforcement approach we offer corporations. Under ISDS, a company that believes that a new law violates some aspect of a trade agreement can skip the courts and challenge the law before an international panel of arbitrators. If the company wins, the panel can order that country’s taxpayers to pay out billions in damages — with no review by an actual court. What’s worse, the arbitration panels handing out these binding rulings are often made up of corporate lawyers whose day jobs are representing the very same companies that seek judgments before them. As president, I will not include ISDS in any new agreement and will renegotiate existing agreements to remove ISDS from them.

And I’ll strengthen our approach to enforcing labor and environmental standards. Unlike a corporation under ISDS, a labor union seeking to enforce labor standards can’t bring a claim on its own — it must convince the federal government to bring a claim on its behalf. Even in the face of overwhelming evidence, our government can refuse to act for diplomatic or other unrelated reasons. I will replace this broken process by creating independent commissions — made up of experts in the area — to monitor potential violations, respond to complaints, and investigate claims. The commissions must review and investigate claims promptly so that claims don’t languish for years. If one of these commissions recommends that the United States bring a claim against another country, the United States will be required to do so, without exception.

I will also fix the problem that arose in the Guatemala case by pushing to remove language from our deals that require us to show that a violation of rights was “sustained or recurring” and “affecting trade or investment.” A violation is a violation, and I won’t let another case like Guatemala happen ever again.

 

(d) Will you ensure that any future trade agreements do not include any provisions that would interfere with efforts to protect data security and privacy for U.S. consumers or to protect high-quality customer service call-center jobs? 

Yes. To get serious about privacy, we need to actually protect data rights – both from global technology companies hell bent on boosting market share and from governments that seek to exploit technology as a means to control their own people.

 

TELECOMMUNICATIONS

(a) Will you support repealing the Federal Communications Commission’s dangerous One Touch, Make Ready rule, which undermines consumer outcomes and worker safety, while also interfering with fairly negotiated collective bargaining agreements?

Yes.

 

(b) How will your administration ensure that broadband access is extended to underserved communities across the country? How will you ensure that federal funds utilized in this work protect good, family-supporting jobs?

When I’m president, I will make sure every home in America has a fiber broadband connection at a price families can afford. That means publicly-owned and operated networks — and no giant ISPs running away with taxpayer dollars. I will make it clear in federal statute that municipalities have the right to build their own broadband networks. We will preempt the laws states have passed that hinder or ban municipalities from building their own broadband infrastructure and return power to local governments.

I will create an Office of Broadband Access in my Department of Economic Development that will manage a new $85 billion federal grant program to massively expand broadband access across the country. Under my plan, only electricity and telephone cooperatives, non-profit organizations, tribes, cities, counties, and other state subdivisions will be eligible for grants from this fund — and all grants will be used to build the fiber infrastructure necessary to bring high-speed broadband to unserved areas, underserved areas, or areas with minimal competition. Of these funds, $5 billion will be set aside specifically for 100% federal grants to tribal nations to expand broadband access on Native American lands.

My administration will use union labor to deploy this plan. Like all federal contractors my administration does business with, any contractors helping build our public option for broadband will have to respect workers’ collective bargaining rights, pay at least a $15 minimum wage, and provide key benefits to their workers. I don’t believe it’s appropriate for the federal government to spend the public’s money doing business with employers that violate their workers’ legal rights to organize and bargain.

 

(c) Do you support H.R. 530, the Accelerating Broadband Development by Empowering Local Communities Act to ensure that localities are able to guide successful deployment of small cell technology?

Yes.

 

(d) Given the legacy of family-supporting union jobs in the wireline telecommunications industry, as well as in certain segments of the wireless industry, how will you ensure that your telecommunications policy supports continued high-quality jobs in the sector? 

My administration will shift power back to working people, boost America’s labor movement, and help create an economy that works for everyone. We’ll extend labor rights to all workers; strengthen organizing, collective bargaining, and the right to strike; and increase worker choice and control. We’ll end worker misclassification as “independent contractors,” adopt broad joint employer standards under the FLSA, and narrow the supervisor exception in the NLRA to expand collective bargaining rights. My plan guarantees working people their organizing rights and makes it easier for unions to secure contracts and assert their rights in all industries.

Changes in corporate philosophy and decisions in Washington have left workers with fewer employment choices and less control over the companies that employ them. Just look at AT&T’s deal with Elliot Management to cut costs at the expense of customers and the workers who make AT&T run. Like I said when I supported AT&T workers then, companies need to value employees, not just shareholders who want to turn a quick profit by laying off workers and outsourcing jobs. Under my Accountable Capitalism bill, American companies with $1 billion or more in annual revenue must let employees elect no less than 40% of the company’s Board members. That is a crucial tool for giving millions of workers more control over corporate decisions on everything from wages and benefits to outsourcing and long-term investments.

We will use every legal tool we have to promote good, union jobs in the procurement process—including federal contractors who help us implement my plan for a public option for broadband. My administration will only do business with contractors who respect workers’ collective bargaining rights and provide good benefits. I believe the federal government shouldn’t do business with employers that violate workers’ legal rights to organize.

I’ll take on the massive corporate monopolies which have consolidated economic and political power without any real accountability, giving them the power to raise prices and push down wages. That’s why I have promised to expand and aggressively enforce our antitrust laws by breaking up big tech companies and big agribusinesses, as well as blocking anti-consumer mergers and anti-competitive practices.

My telecommunications policy and my FCC will work on behalf of American workers and consumers, not giant telecom companies. Along with Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, I demanded information from Trump FCC Chairman Ajit Pai about potential corrupting corporate influence at the agency. Fighting corruption is what this campaign is all about. I’ve laid out nearly a hundred ways that we can change our government to fix this problem – from improving public integrity rules for federal officials in every branch of government to ending lobbying as we know it, fixing the criminal laws to hold corrupt politicians to account, and ensuring our federal agencies and courts are free from corrupting influences. My administration will be responsible to the people, not giant corporations.

 

HUMAN/CIVIL RIGHTS

(a) Do you support comprehensive immigration reform that will grant lawful status to individuals eligible for DACA/DAPA and TPS and includes strong protections to prevent exploitation of immigrant workers?

I have a plan to create big structural change in our immigration system: to create a fair immigration system that preserves our security, grows our economy, and reflects our values. One that’s good for immigrants, good for workers, and ultimately good for the United States.

I will reinstate the DACA program and protections for our Dreamers and their families, and expand the program to cover more young people by extending the cut-off date, eliminating the arbitrary application age requirement, and extending the “minor” designation to anyone who was brought to the U.S. under the age of 18. But Dreamers have families and communities that are productive, longtime members of our American family and need protection too. I’ll extend the individual exercise of discretion to offer deferred action protections to hardworking immigrants who have contributed to our country for years and have built careers and families here. And I’ll push for a far-reaching legislative fix that provides a fair but achievable path to citizenship for them.

I will also fight to ensure employers can’t exploit undocumented workers and drive down standards for all workers. My administration will fight to amend the NLRA to end the exploitation of undocumented workers as allowed in Hoffman Plastic Compounds v. NLRB and ensure all workers are protected.

Our laws and our values compel us to help those fleeing violence and oppression. I’ll reject exclusionary policies based on race, religion, and nationality, incuding by reversing Trump’s bigoted Muslim Ban on my first day in office. I’ll reinstate Temporary Protected Status designations and Deferred Enforced Departure to protect individuals at risk in their home countries. I’ll raise the refugee cap to welcome 175,000 refugees per year by the end of my first term, and I’ll affirm asylum protections for those fleeing violence, including by ending the metering and “Remain in Mexico” policies. I’ll also withdraw Trump’s proposed policy that forces immigrant families to choose between accessing critical health services and staying together with their children, many of whom are American citizens. Finally, I have proposed to decriminalize migration and refocus enforcement on serious criminal activity. Entering the country without authorization will continue to be a violation of civil immigration law, but we will not take children away from their parents or lock them in cages. I will significantly reduce immigration detention by limiting its use only to those situations where it is actually necessary because an individual poses a flight or safety risk. Instead, I’ll expand community-based alternatives to detention, which are safer, save money, and can be more effective at ensuring compliance. And I’ll remake CBP and ICE in a way that reflects our values. I will bring real accountability and transparency to ICE and CBP, focusing their efforts on homeland security and strengthening the authorities of the independent internal watchdogs to prevent future abuses. And to create accountability, I’ll establish a task force to investigate accusations of serious violations during the Trump era.

You can read more about my immigration plan here: https://medium.com/@teamwarren/a-fair-and-welcoming-immigration-system-8fff69cd674e

 

(b) Do you pledge to oppose any form of workplace discrimination against LGBTQ workers, in all industries?

Yes. That’s why I’m an original co-sponsor of the Equality Act, which would amend existing civil rights laws to explicitly ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, as well as housing, health care, education, public accommodations, credit, jury selection, and all federally-funded services—no matter what the Supreme Court says in Zarda, Bostock, and Hively.

But we can’t just wait for Congress to act. In my first 100 days as president, I will use every legal tool we have to make sure that LGBTQ+ people can live free from discrimination, everywhere from workplaces to housing to education. We will restore and strengthen critical Obama-era non-discrimination protections that the Trump Administration gutted. I will enforce President Obama’s Executive Order requiring federal contractors to have an LGBTQ+ employment non-discrimination policy. My administration will also appoint EEOC commissioners and NLRB members who support LGBTQ+ workers, issue regulations affirming LGBTQ+ people’s equal rights in employment, and make those rights enforceable by banning federal contractors from using forced arbitration and collective action waivers to bar LGBTQ+ workers from suing if they are discriminated against at work. I’ll push for landmark new anti-discrimination protections for workers. I will fight to enact the BE HEARD in the Workplace Act, comprehensive legislation to end sexual harassment in the workplace and to extend protections against harassment to independent contractors and workers in companies with fewer than 15 employees. LGBTQ+ people face gender-based harassment at staggering rates, and it’s time to end the loopholes that let companies sweep harassment under the rug.

You can read more about my LGBTQ+ plan here: https://elizabethwarren.com/plans/lgbtq-equality