Joe Biden was forced to move left as he ran against a slew of more liberal presidential hopefuls in the 2020 Democratic primaries.
Now, some of them want Biden to stay left.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who dropped out of the race before Super Tuesday, said Biden and running mate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) won because they ran on “the most progressive economic and racial justice platform” ever.
Biden and Harris “ran on explicit plans to create new union jobs in clean energy, increase Social Security benefits, expand health care, cancel billions of dollars in student-loan debt, hold law enforcement accountable, make the wealthy pay their fair share, tackle climate change and provide for universal child care,” Warren wrote Thursday in an op-ed for The Washington Post.
While President Donald Trump won more than 72 million votes in the election, Warren said progressive policies won, too.
“Florida became the eighth state to pass a $15 minimum wage,” she wrote. “Arizona voted to increase taxes on the wealthy to fund public schools. Multiple states – red and blue – passed ballot measures to legalize marijuana. And Colorado said yes to 12 weeks of paid family leave.”
“The lesson is clear,” Warren added. “Bold policies to improve opportunity for all Americans are broadly popular. Voters recognize that these reforms are necessary to fix what is broken in our nation.”
In her op-ed, Warren said Biden should take unilateral action as soon as he takes office, bypassing Congress by issuing executive orders and actions by federal agencies that do not need congressional approval.
She calls for them to cancel billions of dollars in student debt, lower drug prices, issue new OSHA health and safety standards for employers and raise the minimum wage for federal contractors, among other measures.
In one section of her op-ed, Warren wrote: “Here are more bold steps the new administration can take using existing legal authority,” then listed her priorities.
- Cancel billions of dollars in student loan debt, giving tens of millions of Americans an immediate financial boost and helping to close the racial wealth gap. This is the single most effective executive action available to provide massive consumer-driver stimulus.
- Lower drug prices for millions by producing key drugs like insulin, naloxone, hepatitis C drugs and EpiPens at low costs using existing compulsory licensing authority that allows the federal government to bypass patents for pressing public health needs.
- Issue enforceable OSHA health and safety standards for covid-19 so giant companies don’t escape accountability for workplace conditions that expose workers to serious harm and even death.
- Raise the minimum wage for all federal contractors to $15 an hour.
- Center racial equity by building on Biden and Harris’s commitment to establish a Racial and Ethnic Disparities Task Force by collecting and reporting covid-19 data and reviewing racial disparities in pandemic funding.
- Declare the climate crisis a national emergency to start marshaling resources toward addressing this challenge.
- Restore balance and competition by prioritizing strong anti-monopoly protections and enforcement.
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