Emma González gives me hope

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My oldest granddaughter is 16 years old. She’s smart, kind, and has a smile that lights up a room.  

And I don’t know how to look her in the eye and tell her that the people her Gammy works with still won’t do one single thing about guns to keep her safe at school.

I don’t know how to tell her that we’ve failed her.

But I’ll tell you what has given me hope: the students in Parkland, Florida. Days after watching their friends and teachers die in front of them, they have taken to the news, social media, and the streets to fight to be the last mass shooting victims in America. If the grown ups won’t act, they will.

If you haven’t already watched Stoneman Douglas High School student Emma González, you need to watch her right now:

I wish that I could tell you that Congress was finally willing to do something about gun control after the shooting in Parkland. Democrats have bills to ban assault weapons.  Bills to require universal background checks.  Bills to prevent people on the terrorist watch list from buying guns.  Bills to close the gun show loophole.  Bills to ban bump stocks.  Bills to fund Center for Disease Control research on gun violence. We could vote on any of those pieces of legislation right now.  

But the Republicans control the House, Senate, and White House – and the truth is, I’m not hopeful. Even after Sandy Hook, and even when kids die every day deliberate shootings, accidental shootings, drive-by shootings, and random shootings, the Republicans have blocked even the tiniest gun reform laws to protect our children and communities.

And it’s so much worse than that. Just in December, the House of Representatives passed a pro-NRA bill that would force every state – even states like Massachusetts with tough gun laws – to recognize all concealed-carry gun permits issued by any other state.

It doesn’t have to stay that way. The moment that members of Congress fear for their jobs – the moment they realize that students, teachers, moms and dads, and concerned people all across the country will hold them accountable if they don’t pass stronger gun laws – that will be the moment that change will happen.

So watch and share the powerful video of Parkland student Emma Gonzalez. Join a group (or three) like Giffords Courage to End Gun Violence, Everytown, or the Brady Campaign. Talk to your friends – even your Fox News-loving friends – about why common-sense gun reform isn’t a Democratic or Republican issue, it’s an American issue. It’s a moral issue.

We can be more powerful than the NRA. We just need to fight for it.

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My speech to the National Congress of American Indians

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I was honored to speak this morning at the National Congress of American Indians' Executive Council Winter Session and Tribal Nations Policy Summit.



I've noticed that when my name comes up, Donald Trump likes to talk about Pocahontas. So I figured, let's talk about Pocahontas. Not the tale that's been twisted for centuries – but the real Pocahontas, and her story of heroism. And bravery. And pain.



I also told the story of my parents, because they were real people too. My mother’s family was part Native American. And my daddy’s parents were bitterly opposed to their relationship. So when Mother was 19 and Daddy had just turned 20, they eloped.



I get why some people think there’s hay to be made here. You won’t find my family members on any rolls, and I'm not enrolled in a tribe. I respect that distinction. Tribal membership is determined by tribes – and only by tribes. And so I never used my family tree to get a break or get ahead. I never used it to advance my career.



The love they shared, the struggles they endured, the family they built, and the story they lived will always be a part of me. No one – not even the President – will ever take that part of me away.



And today I made a promise to the tribal leaders: Every time someone brings up my family’s story, I’m going to use it to lift up the story of their families and communities.



I hope you’ll take the time to watch and share my entire remarks:

(Click here to read the entire remarks on BostonGlobe.com)

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Read Elizabeth Warren's Speech to the National Congress of American Indians

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(As prepared for delivery.)

Thank you for having me here today.

I want to start by thanking Chairwoman Andrews-Maltais for that introduction. It has been an honor to work with, to learn from, and to represent the tribes in my home state of Massachusetts, the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head — the Aquinnah — and the Mashpee Wampanoag.

I also want to thank President Jefferson Keel, and everyone at the National Congress of American Indians. For over 70 years, you’ve championed the rights and dignity of First Americans and I am honored to be here with you today.

——

I’ve noticed that every time my name comes up, President Trump likes to talk about Pocahontas. So I figured, let’s talk about Pocahontas. Not Pocahontas, the fictional character most Americans know from the movies, but Pocahontas, the Native woman who really lived, and whose real story has been passed down to so many of you through the generations.

Pocahontas – whose original name wasn’t even Pocahontas.


In the fairy tale, Pocahontas and John Smith meet and fall in love.

Except Smith was nearly 30, and Pocahontas was about 10 years old. Whatever happened between them, it was no love story.

In the fairy tale, Pocahontas saves John Smith from execution at the hands of her father.

Except that was probably made up too.

In the fable, her baptism as “Rebecca” and her marriage to a Jamestown settler are held up to show the moral righteousness of colonization.

In reality, the fable is used to bleach away the stain of genocide.

As you know, Pocahontas’s real journey was far more remarkable — and far darker — than the myth admits.

As a child, she played a significant role in mediating relations between the tribes ruled by her father and the early settlers at Jamestown. Those efforts helped establish early trade relations between the two peoples. Without her help, the English settlers might well have perished.

But in her teens, Pocahontas was abducted, imprisoned, and held captive. Oral history of the Mattaponi tribe indicates that she was ripped away from her first husband and child and raped in captivity.

Eventually she married another John — John Rolfe. Her marriage led to an uneasy harmony between Jamestown and the tribes, a period that some historians call the Peace of Pocahontas.

But she was not around to enjoy it. John Rolfe paraded her around London to entertain the British and prop up financial investments in the Virginia Company.

She never made it home. She was about 21 when she died, an ocean separating her from her people.

Indigenous people have been telling the story of Pocahontas — the real Pocahontas — for four centuries. A story of heroism. And bravery. And pain.

And, for almost as long, her story has been taken away by powerful people who twisted it to serve their own purposes.

——

Our country’s disrespect of Native people didn’t start with President Trump. It started long before President Washington ever took office.

But now we have a president who can’t make it through a ceremony honoring Native American war heroes without reducing Native history, Native culture, Native people to the butt of a joke.

The joke, I guess, is supposed to be on me.

I get why some people think there’s hay to be made here. You won’t find my family members on any rolls, and I’m not enrolled in a tribe.

And I want to make something clear. I respect that distinction. I understand that tribal membership is determined by tribes — and only by tribes. I never used my family tree to get a break or get ahead. I never used it to advance my career.

But I want to make something else clear too: My parents were real people.

By all accounts, my mother was a beauty. She was born in Eastern Oklahoma, on this exact day — Valentine’s Day — February 14, 1912. She grew up in the little town of Wetumka, the kind of girl who would sit for hours by herself, playing the piano and singing. My daddy fell head over heels in love with her.

But my mother’s family was part Native American. And my daddy’s parents were bitterly opposed to their relationship. So, in 1932, when Mother was 19 and Daddy had just turned 20, they eloped.

Together, they survived the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. They saved up to buy a home. They raised my three older brothers, and they watched as each one headed off to serve in the military. After Daddy had a heart attack and was out of work, after we lost the family station wagon and it looked like we would lose our house and everything would come crashing down, my mother put on her best dress and walked to the Sears and got a minimum-wage job. That minimum-wage job saved our house and saved our family.

My parents struggled. They sacrificed. They paid off medical debts for years. My daddy ended up as a janitor. They fought and they drank, but more than anything, they hung together. 63 years — that’s how long they were married. When my mother died, a part of my daddy slipped away too.

Two years later, I held his hand while cancer took him. The last thing he said was, “It’s time for me to be with your mother.” And he smiled.

They’re gone, but the love they shared, the struggles they endured, the family they built, and the story they lived will always be a part of me. And no one — not even the president of the United States — will ever take that part of me away.

——

Our stories are deeply woven into the fabric of who we are. The stories of immigrants and slaves, of explorers and refugees, have shaped and reshaped our country right up to the present day. For far too long, your story has been pushed aside, to be trotted out only in cartoons and commercials.

So I’m here today to make a promise: Every time someone brings up my family’s story, I’m going to use it to lift up the story of your families and your communities.

Your story is about contributions. The contributions you make to a country that took so much and keeps asking for more, contributions like serving in the military at rates higher than any other group in America.

It is a story about hope. The hope you create as more Native people go to college, go to graduate school and grow local economies.

It is a story about resilience. The resilience you show as you reclaim your history and your traditions.

And it is a story about pride and the determination of people who refuse to let their languages fade away and their cultures die.

I honor that story.

But there’s another story that also needs to be told. The story of our country’s mistreatment of your communities. And this isn’t just a story about casual racism – war whoops and tomahawk chops and insulting Facebook memes.

It’s a story about discrimination and neglect — the unmet health care needs of Native children and families, the alarmingly high rate of suicide among Native teenagers, the growing opioid crisis and the broader epidemic of substance abuse that has ravaged so many Native communities.

It’s a story about greed. For generations — Congress after Congress, president after president — the government robbed you of your land, suppressed your languages, put your children in boarding schools and gave your babies away for adoption. It has stolen your resources and, for many tribal governments, taken away the opportunity to grow and prosper for the good of your people.

Even today, politicians in Washington want to let their Big Oil buddies pad their profits by encroaching on your land and fouling your rivers and streams.

Meanwhile, even as the economic future of your communities hangs in the balance, they want to cut nutrition assistance, cut Medicaid, and cut other programs that many Native families rely on to survive.

It’s a story about violence. It is deeply offensive that this president keeps a portrait of Andrew Jackson hanging in the Oval Office, honoring a man who did his best to wipe out Native people. But the kind of violence President Jackson and his allies perpetrated isn’t just an ugly chapter in a history book. Violence remains part of life today. The majority of violent crimes experienced by Native Americans are perpetrated by non-Natives, and more than half — half — of Native women have experienced sexual violence.

This must stop. And I promise I will fight to help write a different story.

——

Washington owes you respect. But this government owes you much more than that. This government owes you a fighting chance to build stronger communities and a brighter future — starting with a more prosperous economic future on tribal lands.

For example. Banking and credit are the lifeblood of economic development, but it’s about 12 miles on average from the center of tribal reservations to the nearest bank branch. Meanwhile, Native business owners get less start-up funding than other business owners.

And when it comes to crucial infrastructure, Native communities are far behind the rest of the country. Rural broadband access on tribal lands is worse than anywhere else in America, and more than a third of those living on tribal lands don’t have high-speed broadband at all. Without it, Native communities are simply shut out of a 21st century economy.

It’s time to make real investments in Indian country to build opportunity for generations to come.

And that’s only part of the real change we can make.

  • We can stop giant corporations from stealing your resources.
  • We can expand federally protected land that is important to your tribes. 
  • We can protect historic monuments like Bears Ears from companies that see it as just another place to drill. 
  • We can take steps to stop violence against Native people – including passing Savanna’s Act to fight the plague of missing Native women and girls.

Most of all, we can fight to empower tribal governments and Native communities so you can take your rightful seat at the table when it comes to determining your own future.

And we can fight to make sure that all Americans who have been left out in our economy, left out in our democracy, and left out in our history can take their rightful seat at that table.

——

At a time when children are still drinking bottled water in Flint, when families are still desperate for help in Puerto Rico, and when tribal governments are still asking Washington to live up to its promises, we must demand a federal government that works for all of us — because if we don’t, we become a country that belongs to only a privileged few.

That’s why, even when divide-and-conquer looks to some like smart politics, we must choose unity. We must be willing to join together in each other’s fights.

And at a time when bigotry threatens to overwhelm our discourse, we must amplify voices of basic human respect.

We must stand with everyone who has gotten the short end of the stick from Washington over and over and over. We must weave our voices together to make them strong. We must come together to write a new story, not just for Native Americans, but for all Americans.

A story of power and respect. A story in which everyone’s voice can be heard.

A story worthy of those who came before us. A story our children and grandchildren will be proud to tell.

Thank you!
 
 

 




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This Veteran's Day

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One of the first people to come see me in Washington after I got elected to the Senate – back before we had a real office and were working out of a clunky trailer – was a Boston locksmith named Joe.

At the time, Joe was the president of the Massachusetts Chapter 1 of Rolling Thunder, an organization dedicated to fully accounting for American prisoners of war and servicemembers who are still missing in action. He came to my office that day because he had one goal: to honor their sacrifices. Joe laid out his plan for me, and his passion lit up our little trailer. He wanted to place an honorary chair on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol. The chair would remain empty, a constant reminder of America’s prisoners of war and service members who remain missing.

These chairs were already showing up in unexpected places. You’ll find one on Beacon Hill, at Gillette Stadium, the Garden and Fenway. Similar POW/MIA chairs can be found at arenas, theaters and government buildings across the country. But not on Capitol Hill.

So that day, I promised Joe that we were going to fight to get it done. I worked with Senator Marco Rubio and Boston Congressman Stephen Lynch to introduce a bill to establish a POW/MIA Chair of Honor on the U.S. Capitol grounds. Yes, believe or not, this was truly a bipartisan effort – when Democrats and Republicans work together, we can still get things done.

Our bill received powerful support from Rolling Thunder National and its Massachusetts Chapters, the National League of POW/MIA Families, and the National Alliance of Families for the Return of America’s Missing Servicemen. We couldn’t have won without their voices speaking out and fighting for it.

And last year, that bill Joe came to see me about became law.

On Wednesday, leaders from both parties (including Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan) came together and held a beautiful ceremony unveiling the commemorative chair in the Capitol’s Emancipation Hall. Joe wasn’t able to make the trip – but his Rolling Thunder friends rode down from Massachusetts to see Joe’s vision come to life.

Veterans Day has always been an important day in my family. All three of my big brothers served in the military. I remember my mother running back from the mailbox with a note from David, who trained as an emergency medic at Fort Sam Houston – or John, who did a tour in North Africa. And she held her breath for word from Don Reed, who completed 288 combat missions in Vietnam.

The letters kept coming home, and my brothers came home too. But the heartbreaking reality is that many families aren’t so lucky. Today, there are tens of thousands of service members still missing in action, many from World War II, and more than 1,600 from the Vietnam War. They haven’t returned home to us, but they will never be forgotten.

This Veterans Day, as we honor all those who have served our country, I hope you’ll join me in pausing to remember those who have yet to return home from past wars, and the families who still check the mail everyday. We owe them a debt that can never be repaid.

We will resist. We will persist. And we will win.

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A year ago today, Hillary Clinton earned three million more votes than Donald Trump. She fought Trump. And Russian interference. And FBI interference. And an alt-Right media. And in any other democracy on Earth, she would be President right now.

So let’s be really clear: We are not the minority party. We are the opposition party. A party with brains, a party with guts, and a party with heart.

And last night, we proved it.

For 365 days, everyone has had an opinion about what went wrong last year. The pundits. (“I always knew…”) The partisans. (“Of course this loss happened because they…”) Lots of political types certain that they could have done it all much, much better.

People don’t just wake up one day and elect leaders like Donald Trump because hey, “everything is awesome, but what the hell, let’s roll the dice and make life interesting.” People don’t elect leaders who campaign for office by attacking communities of color, or religious groups, or immigrants, or women when things are just swell. Men like Trump come to power when countries are in real trouble – when people start to lose hope for a better future and start looking for someone to blame.

This is bigger than just one campaign. Bigger than poll numbers or talking points or Facebook ads. And if we’re going to lead the Democratic Party back from the wilderness and lead our country out of this dark time, then we can’t waste any more energy arguing about who in our alliance should be voted off the island, or whether we should be the party of Black Lives Matter or the white working class.

I say we can care about a dad who’s worried that his kid will have to move away from their factory town to find good work – and we can care about a mom who’s worried that her kid will get shot during a traffic stop.

We know how to win. We have to believe in ourselves, in our values, and in our absolute, unwavering willingness to get in there and fight. And we must see each other’s fight as our own – because none of us can win any of these fights alone.

That’s how we stopped Trump and the Republicans from repealing health care from tens of millions of Americans. That’s how we stopped his unconstitutional Muslim ban. And yesterday, that’s how we elected Democratic governors in Virginia and New Jersey – and incredible new leaders up and down the ballot in states across the country. I’ve never been prouder to be a part of this team.

Today isn’t an easy day for people. What happened a year ago is still fresh, still raw, and still painful for people who gave their time, their energy, and their hearts to elect Hillary Clinton. I still remember the faces of the people I met in Ohio and Wisconsin, Nevada and Colorado, Missouri and North Carolina, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. How hard we fought and how people looked to us with hope.

I wish last year had been different. Different for all of us.

This is our moment in history: Not the moment we wanted, but the moment we are called to. We will not back down. We will not play dead. We will not give up and go home.

The character of our country is not in its President, but in its people. And you are putting up one incredible fight – to build a future, not just for some of us, but for all of us.

We will resist. We will persist. And we will win.

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November 6, 2018

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If I had tried to sit down and watch the election results come in on Election Night 2012, I probably would have thrown up.

So five years ago tonight, I locked myself in a quiet little room at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel in Boston and paced around practicing both of the speeches I had ready for that night. This wasn’t the moment to take anything for granted.

The next few hours are largely a blur of news flashes and cheers and hugs. But I remember exactly what I said when I finally walked up to the stage and delivered the speech I really wanted to give that night.



I told the hundreds of volunteers there that night, and many more watching from home: “I won’t just be your Senator, I will also be your champion." I meant every world of it. Being a part of this team and fighting for our values has been the greatest honor of my life. But our fight isn’t over.

Exactly one year from today, people will be heading back to the polls in Massachusetts to cast their ballots for the Senate – and I hope to recommit my promise to you and working families across the country.

I'll be honest: This wasn’t the fight I expected us to be having when I ran for the Senate five years ago. If you had told me that Donald Trump would be President and he’d be delivering one gut-punch after another to America’s working families, I would have thought you were dreaming. But that’s the fight in front of us – and we’re using every tool in the toolbox we’ve got to fight back.

Donald Trump wants to defeat us in 2018. Mitch McConnell wants to make us to shut up. The right-wing billionaires want to spend big bucks to smear us. You know what that means? We must be doing something right.

This fight isn’t about me – it’s about the millions of Americans in Massachusetts and across the country who deserve the opportunity to succeed. We’re in this fight for students trying to get an education without sinking in debt. Seniors trying to live with dignity on their Social Security. Parents struggling to make ends meet. And we’re in this fight so everyone can build a future no matter where they’re from, how they pray, or who they love.

We ran the biggest grassroots campaign in Massachusetts history in 2012 – and if it’s possible, we’re going to run a bigger one in 2018. For the sake of working people in Massachusetts and across this country, we don’t have any other choice.

The year ahead will test us like never before – but there’s no one I’d rather have by my side than you. Let’s get our there and keep fighting.

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Puerto Rico needs our help

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Over the weekend, I spoke with the Mayor of San Juan – Carmen Yulín Cruz – and told her to keep up her heroic work and leadership for the people of Puerto Rico.

But Puerto Rico’s leaders don’t need thanks. They need help.

US citizens are dying and people need basic medical care now. On Friday, I met with people from Worcester, Springfield, Holyoke, and other cities and towns in Massachusetts. They are desperately worried about their loved ones in Puerto Rico.

Congress must take up an emergency appropriations bill to help the people of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands – and Donald Trump must do a heck of a lot more than bully the disaster victims who are begging for help. But while we wait for the Trump Administration and Republicans who control Congress to step up and do their jobs, you can help the people of Puerto Rico right now.

Please make a donation to local charities on the ground in Puerto Rico to help their emergency response and long-term recovery efforts. Even $5 can help make a difference in this emergency. 

Long before the hurricane, Puerto Rico was in crisis. For more than a decade, the island has been under enormous economic pressure.

Puerto Rico has been at the mercy of so-called "vulture funds" - Wall Street hedge funds that wait until a borrower is in trouble to buy up their debt at a steep discount. Vulture funds don’t care about the well-being of the island or of the Americans who live there. They just want to squeeze the Puerto Rican government for every penny they can.

In 2015 and 2016, I urged the Treasury Department to do as much for the struggling people of Puerto Rico as they did for the Wall Street big shots that they bailed out in 2008. I traveled to Puerto Rico and met with the governor, other top officials, the Archbishop, unions, and local citizens in the territory to discuss a long-term plan for the island. They described the unfolding disaster due to the debt crisis: closed hospitals, shuttered schools, and difficulty finding work. I’ll never forget how furious it made me that these US citizens were suffering because of our federal government’s indifference.

Now Puerto Rico faces an existential crisis – and with every day that passes, I’m more outraged that the federal government isn’t doing much, much more to help. We’re using every tool in the toolbox to push the Trump Administration and Congress to step up. And we’re working with Puerto Rican leaders to do everything we can to hold back the creditors and make sure the federal relief aid goes to the people – not the hedge funds.

We don't have time to play petty partisan politics. The people of Puerto Rico need help right now.

Please donate now to local charities in Puerto Rico to fund their emergency response and long-term recovery efforts. This is a matter of life or death.

 

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They might have the votes to repeal health care

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The Republicans want you to believe that their plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act is dead. They want to slip in below the radar and take one more run at repealing health care coverage for millions of Americans.

Here’s the reason they are moving now: Senate Republicans have until September 30th to repeal the Affordable Care Act with only 50 votes.

And here’s the scary fact: They just might have the votes to do it.

The Cassidy-Graham bill that the Republicans pulled out of the trash is their worst “health care” bill yet.

  • It guts funding for Medicaid – so if you need a nursing home or your baby is born with complex medical needs, you’re on your own.
  • It rolls back protections for people with pre-existing conditions – so if you have a heart attack or get a cancer diagnosis, too bad.
  • And it completely eliminates help for families to buy health insurance – so if you can’t afford health insurance, good luck out there.

Make no mistake: This Cassidy-Graham “health care” bill is Trumpcare on steroids – and millions of Americans will lose their health care if the Republicans pass this piece of garbage in the next 11 days.

Remember everything you did to stop the Republicans from repealing the Affordable Care Act seven weeks ago? We need you to do it again.

  • Share your story again about why the Affordable Care Act or Medicaid matters to you or someone you love. Email it to your friends and family. Post it on Facebook or Twitter. Take a photo or record a video on your phone.
  • Our Senate Democrats are still united against this bill – but if you have family or friends who live in a state with a Republican senator, make sure they know what’s happening to health care this week. Call, text, email, message – check in and then spread the word.
  • Join a group. If you belong to an organization that has been fighting to save the Affordable Care Act, keep your eyes peeled. If you don’t belong to a group, find one. Organizations will be holding events, making calls, sharing content, and keeping people informed about what’s going on. Two voices are more than twice as powerful as one. Ten voices are more than ten times as powerful. And thousands – even millions – of voices working together can stop this ugly bill. Don’t delete all those emails.

I know we thought this was over. I know we worked hard and thought Republicans had gotten the message. But they are giving it one more try, and that means we’ve got to jump back in the fight. Health care for millions of Americans hangs in the balance, so we need to get out there and fight one more time.

Let’s kill this Republican “health care” bill once and for all.

Thanks for being a part of this,

Elizabeth


I'm co-sponsoring Bernie's Medicare for All bill

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When the Republicans tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act and gut Medicaid, I heard from parents all across Massachusetts who were terrified about what it would mean for their children.

One message kept hitting home: If the government hadn’t been there to help, these hard-working moms and dads would have been forced to pick between the health of their child and financial ruin. Their families would have been destroyed.

There is something fundamentally wrong when one of the richest and most powerful countries on the planet can’t make sure that a person can afford to see a doctor when they’re sick. This isn’t any way to live.  

I believe it’s time to take a step back and ask: what is the best way to deliver high quality, low cost health care to all Americans? Everything should be on the table – and that’s why I’m co-sponsoring Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All bill that will be introduced later this month.

Health care is a basic human right – and it’s time to fight for it. Please join me in signing on as a citizen co-sponsor of Medicare for All.

My own family plunged deep into debt when my daddy had a heart attack. My parents paid on those bills for years. Years later, as a bankruptcy law professor, I studied why working families were going broke. Through interviews and court documents, my research partners and I showed that most people who file for bankruptcy looked a lot like my family.

The overwhelming majority had once been solidly middle class – and about half had filed for bankruptcy in the aftermath of a serious medical problem. And here was the kicker: about three-quarters of them had health insurance – but it just wasn’t enough. Medical bankruptcy was crushing millions of American families.

The Affordable Care Act changed everything – and President Obama deserves tremendous credit. Consider what health care reforms have accomplished:

  • Insurance companies are barred from denying people with preexisting conditions
  • The caps on insurance coverage are gone so help doesn’t run out after a few chemo treatments or a long hospital stay
  • Young people can stay on their parents' insurance until age 26
  • Small business get tax breaks for providing health care
  • Insurance companies can no longer discriminate against women

We owe a huge debt to President Obama. Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care coverage is better – more people can get the treatment they need and families are less vulnerable to the financial fallout from a serious illness or accident. Senate Democrats will keep doing everything we can to stop Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell and the Republicans from rolling back these gains. They are too important for all of us.

But there’s so much more we could do right now to bring down the costs of quality health care for every American. We could start by ending health insurance company price gouging – ending high deductibles, surprise bills, and endless fights with insurance companies over coverage for critical medical procedures or out-of-pocket costs. We could also cut the cost of prescription drugs by importing drugs from Canada, where the same prescription can sometimes cost far less than in the US. Bipartisan improvements are possible – in fact, just a few weeks ago, President Trump signed my bill with Republican Chuck Grassley to make hearing aids more affordable by allowing certain hearing aids to be sold over the counter.

Medicare for All is one way that we can give every single person in the country access to high quality health care. Everyone is covered. Nobody goes broke paying a medical bill. Families don’t have to bear the costs of heartbreaking medical disasters on their own.

The American people have made it clear that they believe health care is a basic human right – but it will be a tough fight. The giant insurance and drug companies will send out their army of lobbyists to fight our Medicare for All bill every step of the way. Sign up now to join our fight and become a citizen co-sponsor of Medicare for All and fight back.

Wells Fargo's Board should be removed

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Last year, Wells Fargo got caught creating 2.1 million fake bank accounts and credit card accounts using their customers’ names and credit information without permission.

Last month, Wells Fargo got caught charging 800,000 people for auto insurance they did not want or need.  

And just yesterday, we’ve learned that the fake accounts scandal was even worse than we thought. Wells Fargo just “discovered” an additional 1.4 million fake accounts that they had created since 2009. Unbelievable.

The Department of Justice and SEC should conduct a thorough criminal and civil investigation of Wells Fargo’s practices during this scandal, and any senior executive who broke the law should be held responsible. I’ve also asked Senate Republicans to hold a September hearing with Wells Fargo CEO Timothy Sloan and current Board of Directors Chair Stephen Sanger.

But the Federal Reserve has its own authority to hold Wells Fargo’s board accountable right now – it just needs the courage to do it.

Join me in calling on the Federal Reserve to immediately remove all 12 Wells Fargo board members who served during the fake accounts scandal.

Oversight – including adequate safeguards to prevent fraud – is the job of the Board of Directors of a bank. But Wells Fargo’s Board of Directors did almost nothing as the bank’s employees opened 3.5 million fake accounts to meet their impossible sales quotas. Either the Board knew or the Board fumbled their job so badly that they didn’t know – but either way, they bear responsibility.

More than 5,000 lower-level employees got fired, but not one of those board members lost their jobs. That’s our screwed up corporate accountability system in a nutshell.

The Federal Reserve has the power to remove a bank’s board members if they “engaged or participated in any unsafe or unsound practice” that caused the bank to “suffer financial loss” and demonstrated “continuing disregard… for the safety or soundness” of that institution.   

This is a clear-cut case for the Federal Reserve to use its authority to remove the Wells Fargo Board of Directors. The board failed to monitor the conduct of management and ignored many red flags about the fake accounts scandal. The result was a massive fraud that hurt Wells Fargo customers and damaged the bank’s reputation.

Enough is enough: It’s time for Wells Fargo to be held accountable for cheating its customers and breaking the law. Tell the Fed to remove Wells Fargo’s board members who served during this scandal.

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