Elizabeth for Massachusetts http://www.elizabethwarren.com Elizabeth Warren for Senate Thur, 28 June 2012 14:34:00 +0000 AMPS en hourly 1 Donald Trump can NEVER be the President http://elizabethwarren.com/blog/donald-trump-can-never-be-the-president Wed, 25 May 2016 00:43:28 -0500 Elizabeth for Massachusetts http://www.elizabethwarren.com/blog/thumbnail/WarrenTrumpScreenshot.jpg http://elizabethwarren.com/blog/donald-trump-can-never-be-the-president

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Tonight I called out Donald Trump. While the rest of us were horrified by the 2008 financial crisis, Donald Trump was drooling over the idea of a housing meltdown – because he figured he’d make more money from the misery of millions. Now that he’s sewn up the Republican nomination, he’s out there kissing the fannies of poor, misunderstood bankers, promising to dismantle the rules we put in place after that crisis to rein in Wall Street greed. And while nurses, teachers, and dockworkers pay their fair share to support our military personnel who show courage and sacrifice for us every single day, Trump says he’s more than happy to dodge taxes. Donald Trump has made it perfectly clear that he cares about exactly one person – Donald Trump. And that kind of man can NEVER be the President of the United States.

 

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I can't believe we're voting on this today http://elizabethwarren.com/blog/i-cant-believe-were-voting-on-this-today Tue, 24 May 2016 23:39:00 -0500 Elizabeth for Massachusetts http://elizabethwarren.com/blog/i-cant-believe-were-voting-on-this-today In just a few hours, the Senate Republicans will vote for a proposal to make it easier for giant Wall Street banks to cheat Americans out of their retirement savings.

That’s right, EASIER.

Here’s the deal: Many financial advisers already put their customers’ interests first, but a loophole in the law means scrupulous retirement advisers don’t have to —and it costs their customers $17 billion a year. The Department of Labor recently released a terrific new conflict of interest rule to close the loophole. The new rule is simple: all retirement advisers have to do what’s in the best interest of their customers. It’s so obvious that most people assume it already exists.

It didn’t exist – and if the Republicans have their way, it never will. Today on the floor of the United States Senate, the Republicans will publicly vote to overturn those new commonsense regulations. Unbelievable, right?

The Senate Republicans only need 51 votes today to send this to the President’s desk – and President Obama has already vowed to veto it. But the only way we can stop the Republicans from pushing these appalling bills on the Senate floor is if enough people pay attention – and if the Republicans feel some heat for what they’re doing.

Tell the Senate Republicans: Shame on you for pushing Wall Street’s agenda to weaken the new rules on retirement advisers.

Slick-talking retirement advisers have a lot to lose with this new conflict of interest rule. It’s been perfectly legal for them to receive free vacations, cars, bonuses and kickbacks for selling lousy retirement products to unassuming clients.  And they have a lot of influence in Congress.  

But I have a message for the Senate Republicans: We weren’t sent here to work for Wall Street and their armies of lawyers and lobbyists. We weren’t sent here to make it easier for financial institutions to cheat people.

Help us remind the Senate Republicans exactly who they work for. Before today’s vote, tell the Republican majority: Shame on you for cheating America’s working families.

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Filing taxes is a pain in the you-know-what http://elizabethwarren.com/blog/filing-taxes-is-a-pain-in-the-you-know-what Sat, 16 Apr 2016 12:48:00 -0500 Elizabeth for Massachusetts http://www.elizabethwarren.com/blog/thumbnail/Tax-Form.jpg http://elizabethwarren.com/blog/filing-taxes-is-a-pain-in-the-you-know-what Each year, taxpayers spend an average of 13 hours preparing their taxes – and an average of $200 on tax preparation services and software. It’s crazy.



Why is it so expensive and complicated to do your taxes? Back in 1998, a Republican Congress passed – and President Clinton signed – a bill requiring the IRS to implement a simple “return-free” filing system by 2008. This system would give taxpayers the option of receiving tax returns already filled out for them with the information the IRS already has on hand. But nearly a decade after that system should have been completed, the Treasury Department still hasn’t fulfilled its legal obligation.



Instead, the IRS surrendered to pressure from the tax preparation industry – giant, powerful companies that make a lot of money off of complicated tax forms. Year after year, the IRS signs contracts with these private companies, agreeing not to create a free, online tax return preparation and filing service – even though it could save taxpayers time and money. And to make sure the IRS keeps tax filing difficult, the tax preparation industry spends millions of dollars lobbying Congress to block return-free filing systems.



The government works for American taxpayers – not for the tax preparation industry. That’s why I’m introducing the Tax Filing Simplification Act to help people file their taxes with less stress & fewer costs.



My new bill – cosponsored by Senators Ed Markey, Patrick Leahy, Bernie Sanders, Sheldon Whitehouse, Tom Udall, Jeanne Shaheen, Al Franken, and Tammy Baldwin – makes commonsense changes to the tax filing process:

  • It prohibits the IRS from making agreements with the tax preparation industry to restricts its ability to provide free, online tax preparation or filing services.  
  • It directs the IRS to develop a free, online tax and filing service directly with the federal government, instead of being forced to share your private information with a third-party.
  • It allows all taxpayers to download third-party-provided tax information that the IRS already has about you (like your W2 and 1099 income information) into a software program of your choice.
  • It creates a return-free option for those with simple tax situations, where the IRS would send qualified people pre-filled tax forms explaining how much you owe or how much you’ll be refunded, which taxpayers could then review, sign and file.  

Dozens of the country’s top law professors and economists have already supported this new bill, calling it “a much-needed improvement to our current system.” Secretary Hillary Clinton also supports it, saying: “This important piece of legislation will help us build a better, fairer tax system.” Will you join them?



Please sign up now to tell Congress: Don’t bow to the interests of the tax preparation industry. Support the Tax Filing Simplification Act to make it easier for Americans to file their taxes.

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Here's proof that government works http://elizabethwarren.com/blog/heres-proof-that-government-works Wed, 06 Apr 2016 12:00:00 -0500 Elizabeth for Massachusetts http://www.elizabethwarren.com/blog/thumbnail/FiduciaryEvent.JPG http://elizabethwarren.com/blog/heres-proof-that-government-works Most retirement advisers do what’s in their clients’ best interests – but not all of them.

Believe it or not, loopholes in the law have made it perfectly legal for some retirement advisers to sell lousy products to unsuspecting clients. Last year, my office put out a report showing the fancy vacations, luxury cars, even Super Bowl-style rings that retirement advisers can receive as kickbacks for selling certain retirement products – even if those products are bad options for their customers.

Patty Murray, Cory Booker and I have been fighting for a strong new Conflict of Interest rule that requires retirement advisers to put their customers first – and today, President Obama and Labor Secretary Tom Perez did just that.

The Obama Administration’s new, higher standard for retirement advice is a huge win for working families. Sign up now to join Patty Murray, Cory Booker and me in thanking President Obama and the Department of Labor for making retirement saving easier, fairer, and more secure for all Americans.

Lousy retirement advice is a much bigger problem than just a few bad apples. Americans lose over $17 billion a year from advisers and brokers who give them conflicted advice.

With literally billions of dollars on the line, the financial industry and its armies of highly-paid lawyers and lobbyists have spent years trying to stop this new Conflict of Interest rule.

And even though today’s announcement just means that the good retirement advisers who already put their clients’ interests first no longer have to compete against the ones that don’t, the lobbyists are going to use every trick in the book to weaken and water down this new rule any way they can.   

President Obama and Secretary Perez stood up to the powerful interests to issue this strong new Conflict of Interest rule – and we need to keep standing by their side to protect it and make sure Congress doesn’t overturn the rule. Join Patty Murray, Cory Booker and me in thanking the Obama Administration for leveling the playing field for America’s families and to show our support.

Today’s announcement is the kind of change that people want to see in Washington. Government works when we have people on the frontlines fighting to make it work.

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Stephen Colbert and I talk Trump http://elizabethwarren.com/blog/stephen-colbert-and-i Thu, 31 Mar 2016 12:00:00 -0500 Elizabeth for Massachusetts http://www.elizabethwarren.com/blog/thumbnail/EWColbert2016.jpg http://elizabethwarren.com/blog/stephen-colbert-and-i Last night, I went on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to talk about one person: Donald Trump.

Because let’s be clear: Donald Trump doesn’t care about helping America’s working families. Donald Trump is interested in helping exactly one person, and that’s Donald Trump.

Sure, he does lots of name-calling and finger-pointing, but Donald Trump isn’t part of the solution – he’s the problem. He’s a guy who inherited a fortune, then kept it going by cheating people – always looking out for himself and no one else.

In case you missed it, take a look at the video of my talk with Stephen Colbert and share it with your Facebook friends:

 

(Click here to watch it on YouTube.)

Electing Donald Trump would be worse than having a fox guard the henhouse. As I told Stephen, it’s like calling an arsonist when your house is on fire.

No matter who you support in the primary, it’s up to all of us – Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Libertarians, Vegetarians – to say No to Trump and to win back the Senate. 

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I won't be neutered. http://elizabethwarren.com/blog/i-wont-be-neutered Thu, 17 Mar 2016 14:27:00 -0500 Elizabeth for Massachusetts http://www.elizabethwarren.com/blog/thumbnail/darth-vader.jpg http://elizabethwarren.com/blog/i-wont-be-neutered Missouri Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer – a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee – told an American Bankers Association conference yesterday that I’m the “Darth Vader of the financial services world.”

My first thought was: Really? I’ve always seen myself more as a Princess Leia-type (a senator and Resistance general who, unlike the guys, is never even remotely tempted by the dark side). Clearly the Force is not strong with Congressman Luetkemeyer (maybe he’s a Trekkie).  

But just before the whole room broke into applause for calling me a Sith Lord, he told the very same room of bankers:


Why would he go out of his way to say something so sexist and offensive? Is he hostile to all women? Clueless? Afraid? And then I had a second thought: This is all about money.

Congressman Luetkemeyer was on a panel about the “changing political landscape” in a room full of Wall Street bankers – powerful people who have been working for years to roll back financial reform. Trying to land the best zinger with my name is just one more way to earn chits and try to cash in big time with that audience.

Luetkemeyer is a Wall Street yes-man, and the financial industry has rewarded him handsomely for his reliability. Since first running for Congress in 2008, he's received nearly a million dollars from the big banks, hedge funds and credit card companies – and he's taken $50,000 specifically from the American Bankers Association.

Luetkemeyer probably thinks that he’ll make big bucks from his Wall Street friends off of his sexist remarks. So how about if we push back in the way the Congressman and his Wall Street buddies understand: It’s a big goal – but can we match the $50,000 that the American Bankers Association has given Blaine Luetkemeyer? Please chip in whatever you can afford right now.

Let me be clear: No amount of offensive remarks will stop me from standing up to House Republicans who are bought and paid for by the big banks. And no amount of name-calling will keep me from fighting for Wall Street reform, for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and for real accountability when the big banks break the law.

They can call me Darth Vader or Voldemort or the Wicked Witch of Massachusetts for all I care – but I won’t be neutered. I won’t be muzzled. And I won’t stop fighting to level the playing field for working families.   

Let’s send the big banks and their buddies in Congress a message: They can try to roll back financial reform and they can have a few laughs about the woman they want to neuter, but we’re ready to fight back anytime anywhere. Help us match Rep. Luetkemeyer’s big bank contributions right now.

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Chief Judge Merrick Garland http://elizabethwarren.com/blog/chief-judge-merrick-garland Wed, 16 Mar 2016 12:00:00 -0500 Elizabeth for Massachusetts http://www.elizabethwarren.com/blog/thumbnail/Rotator-SCOTUS.jpg http://elizabethwarren.com/blog/chief-judge-merrick-garland Chief Judge Merrick Garland has served our country for decades – as a federal prosecutor, a senior official at the Department of Justice, and a judge on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals.

He’s won praise from Democratic and Republican Senators, liberals and conservatives. Even the Bush-appointed Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, John Roberts, has said: “Any time Judge Garland disagrees, you know you’re in a difficult area.”

President Obama has done his job – sending a Supreme Court nominee to the United States Senate. Now it’s time for the Senate to do its job.

Sign our petition now to tell the Senate Republicans to give Chief Judge Merrick Garland fair consideration and an up-or-down vote.

I look forward to meeting with Chief Judge Garland, reviewing his record closely, coming to a decision on his nomination, and then voting.

After hearing from people like you all across the country, I hope that all Senators will show that they respect the President, the Constitution, and Chief Judge Garland enough to do the same.

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My message to Mitch McConnell http://elizabethwarren.com/blog/my-message-to-mitch-mcconnell Thu, 18 Feb 2016 10:45:04 -0500 Elizabeth for Massachusetts http://www.elizabethwarren.com/blog/thumbnail/CourtEqualJustice.JPG http://elizabethwarren.com/blog/my-message-to-mitch-mcconnell Only a few hours after Justice Antonin Scalia suddenly died this past weekend, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declared that the vacancy on the Supreme Court shouldn’t be filled until the next President is sworn in next January.  

Senator McConnell said the American people should have a voice in the selection of the next Supreme Court justice. He’s right – and, in fact, they did – when President Barack Obama won the 2012 election by five million votes.

Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution says the President of the United States nominates justices to the Supreme Court, with the advice and consent of the Senate. I can't find a clause that says "...except when there's a year left in the term of a Democratic President.”

Join me in telling Mitch McConnell: The Republican Senate must do its job and commit to giving President Obama's Supreme Court nominee timely consideration and an up-or-down vote. Sign the petition right now.

President Obama is still the President of the United States. If some Senators don’t like the person that President Obama nominates, they can make their case to the American people and vote no. But it would be arrogant and irresponsible for Senate Republicans to preemptively paralyze the nomination process laid out by our Constitution – before President Obama even announces a nominee – simply because they don’t like the guy who was elected to do the nominating.   

Senate Republicans took an oath just like Senate Democrats did. Abandoning the duties they swore to uphold would threaten both the Constitution and our democracy itself. It would also prove that all the Republican talk about loving the Constitution is just that – empty talk.

I’m doing everything I can to speak out against the Republicans’ unbelievable scheme – but I can’t do it alone. Join me in telling the Senate Republicans to honor the Constitution they swore to uphold and commit to giving President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee timely consideration and an up-or-down vote.

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You did this http://elizabethwarren.com/blog/you-did-this Sat, 19 Dec 2015 18:25:20 -0500 Elizabeth for Massachusetts http://elizabethwarren.com/blog/you-did-this Last December, Citigroup lobbyists slipped a last-minute provision into the must-pass spending bill to make it easier for the biggest banks to get bailed out by taxpayers.

We did everything we could to stop that lousy provision. I gave speeches, people signed petitions, groups called Congress. But it was too late. Congress couldn’t let the government shut down.

We lost a year ago, but we did not go away quietly. Every time the Republicans have tried to sneak another terrible provision into a bill, you’ve helped us sound the alarm. You’ve signed petitions, made calls, tweeted, and posted on Facebook. When two Wall Street banks threatened to withhold their contributions to Senate Democrats because of our work, you quadruple-matched their money. You’ve made it clear that if they want to rig the system, we’re going to fight back.

With a must-pass spending bill on the table, the Wall Street banks came at us in full force but we fought them back! Yesterday, Congress passed another spending bill without a single provision to materially weaken the rules on Wall Street. No gutting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. No tying the hands of the cops who police the big banks. No delay of a new conflict-of-interest rule for retirement advisers.

And we did it while permanently expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit to keep more than 50 million Americans – including 25 million children – from seeing sharp cuts in their income, and preventing many of them from falling into poverty. That’s an enormous victory for opportunity in America. (And we got an extra $2 billion for NIH – a down payment on a healthier future.)

Don’t get me wrong – this budget deal was a compromise, and it’s got some really nasty stuff in it. I strongly oppose lifting the ban on exporting crude oil. I’m deeply concerned that the cybersecurity language threatens key privacy protections for Americans. And I gag when I think about the billions of dollars in tax breaks going to giant corporations.  

But I’m a realist: With a Republican-controlled Senate, a Republican-controlled House, and an army of Wall Street lobbyists spending zillions of dollars to target Dodd-Frank and the Consumer Agency, stopping these guys from rolling back financial reform is big deal.

A lot of people deserve credit for thisoutcome. For months, Democrats in Congress stood tough against the big banks. The Administration – from the President and the Treasury Secretary right on down the line – refused to bend.

And here’s the most important part: You also made this happen. This team made it happen. One financial reporter wrote yesterday:

“The days of these measures slipping through unnoticed are simply over. One comment from Sen. Elizabeth Warren and it’s off to the races. It’s not so much a failure of the lobbyists (though they still get the incoming fire) as it is a complete shift in both the way the sausage gets made and the politics surrounding the banking industry.”

Sure, this isn’t over. The Wall Street banks will be back, and they will swing a lot of weight. And now we’ve got more work to do on climate change, privacy, and corporate taxes. But when naysayers claim that it’s impossible to change Washington and that we can’t beat powerful lobbyists, remember what you accomplished this week. We’ve proven that when we stand up and fight for America’s values, we can win.

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Are you working on Thanksgiving? http://elizabethwarren.com/blog/are-you-working-on-thanksgiving Tue, 24 Nov 2015 10:42:13 -0500 Elizabeth for Massachusetts http://www.elizabethwarren.com/blog/thumbnail/SchedulesThatWork.jpg http://elizabethwarren.com/blog/are-you-working-on-thanksgiving Do you have to work on Thanksgiving?

For some retail, restaurant, and fast food workers, the answer to that question could still be: “I don’t know.”

Half of low-wage workers say they have little or no say over the hours they are scheduled to work. 20-30% are in jobs where they can be called into work at the last minute. Others might think they’ll be working four hours – and getting paid for four hours – then are sent home after one or two because there aren’t enough customers.

Think about how much of a challenge it is to plan for anything – childcare, doctors’ visits, parent-teacher conferences, classes – without knowing when you’ll be working next week.

That’s why I’ve introduced the Schedules That Work Act to cut back some of the most rigid, unstable, and unpredictable scheduling practices. Please join me this Thanksgiving week to tell Congress that America’s workers need Schedules that Work.

Look, I get it. Sometimes employers need flexibility – and the bill allows for that. But routinely placing workers on-call with no guarantee of work, sending workers home early without pay, and punishing workers who request schedule changes all hurt working families.

There’s lots of talk about personal responsibility. But how does someone who depends on every paycheck plan a budget when her work hours can fluctuate 40-70% from week to week? How does a mother arrange for childcare if she doesn’t know if she’s working Thursday or Saturday or Monday? And how does anyone get ahead – going back to school to qualify for a better job or getting a second job to close the gap – if they don’t know when they will be available?

The Schedules that Work Act is about basic fairness:

  • A single mom should know if her hours are being canceled before she arranges for daycare and drives halfway across town to show up to work.
  • Someone who wants to go to school to get an education should be able to ask for a more predictable schedule without getting fired just for asking.
  • A worker who is told to wait around on-call for hours with no guarantee of work hours should get something for his time.

Workers have always had to fight for a level playing field every step of the way. A minimum wage. Basic workplace safety. A 40-hour workweek. Now it’s time to fight again for some basic fairness in scheduling.

I’m ready to fight for America’s workers, but I need you alongside me. Sign up right now to show your support for the Schedules that Work Act.
 

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