So far, Donald Trump
has failed to lead – he has begrudgingly followed when shamed into acting by
Governors like Cuomo, Newsome yet still manages to take credit for the “boldest”
“greatest” “historic” “unprecedented” actions for which he had no input. Trump
is taking credit for a $2 trillion aid package that contradicts his own plans
to bail out the Oil & Gas industry and give Treasury Secretary Mnuchin
unlimited power to steer billions of dollars to friends, while his EPA and
Interior Department race to institute rules that overturn Obama-era rules to
reduce carbon emissions that contribute to Climate Change; there is even a
provision in the bail-out specifically barring funds to go to Trump’s own
businesses because of his record of using his office for self-enrichment, in
violation of the Emoluments Clause. Trump’s daily briefings have been turned
into substitutes for his campaign rallies, where he gets to attack “enemies”
(The Press) and spout lies designed to boost his approval and chances for
election. Democratic challengers Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders don’t have the
same bully pulpit, but have nonetheless attempted to draw stark contrasts in
how they would lead the nation out of this coronavirus pandemic, which, in
fact, could be continuing into the next president’s administration. This is
from the Biden campaign: — Karen Rubin, News & Photo Features,
Tonight, Joe Biden is releasing an emergency action plan to save the
economy, laying out three key steps he would take as president to
tackle the ongoing pandemic and safeguard our country’s economic prosperity. In
a new video speaking
directly to Americans, Vice President Biden outlined his emergency action plan
and highlighted the immediate, impactful steps that can be taken to defeat the
virus and protect the livelihood of working families.
FACT SHEET: The Biden Emergency Action Plan to Save the Economy
Congress is close to passing a massive relief bill. When it
passes, it’s all about execution — and filling in the gaps.
If Joe Biden were President right now, here are the three things he would do
now to save our economy and help our families weather the storm. And to
get them done, he would appoint a task force reporting twice-daily to him on
FIRST, use all available authorities, including the Defense
Production Act to turn the tide on this epidemic. Joe Biden knows that
no economic strategy will work if we don’t stop the virus. In recent days,
there’s been talk that we have to choose between public health and our economy.
That’s not just a false choice. It’s a dangerous one.
It would be catastrophic to reopen everything without a plan, and then have a
spike in cases and shut it all back down. That would just mean more loss of
life and economic pain.
To reopen, public health experts say we need real testing capacity, the ability
to trace contacts if someone tests positive, and the ability to surge equipment
and supplies to any new hotspots. We should listen to them. It’s the quickest,
surest way to getting our economy back on track. And we also need to address
the shortage of items like ventilators and personal protective equipment for
health care workers, and make sure our workforce on the frontlines everyday has
the protections to provide the essential services we will continue to need.
Joe Biden would use the full powers of the presidency and this government
to make that happen.
Joe Biden would end this epidemic and get our economy back on track through
bold action — not by picking an arbitrary date on the calendar and asserting
SECOND, launch a task force reporting directly to me to make sure every
dollar going out the door gets to the people who need it — fast.
Joe Biden led the implementation of the Recovery Act in the last crisis.
He knows it’s all about priorities. Here would be his:
Keep as many people on the payroll as
possible and make Americans whole for lost hours and wages. Joe Biden
would expedite aid to businesses who commit to helping workers stay employed
through the crisis, so they can get back to work when conditions allow.
He would maximize work-sharing, a form of “employment
insurance” we championed in the Obama-Biden administration to keep more
workers on the job. And for those who do get laid off and who’s industries are
out of work, the congressional bill boosts unemployment benefits — Biden would
cut through the red tape to deliver them without delay, and extend them as long
as public health and economic conditions call for it.
Act decisively to keep small businesses in business.
Included in the legislation before Congress is $377 billion for small
businesses. This money will guarantee immediate loans that banks provide to
small businesses to make payroll, pay rent and other costs, and keep their
doors open. But there is a real risk it won’t get out fast enough to make
a difference. So Joe Biden would take unprecedented measures to get it
done Where the government is guaranteeing loans, banks have no commercial
excuse for not making them. So he would call in bank CEOs and tell them that in
this time of crisis, it is a matter of the utmost national interest to get
these loans out the door quickly and efficiently. And if they don’t, he would
seek authority similar to the Defense Production Act to make sure their lending
platforms are giving priority to small business. He would also make clear that
$377 billion is not a cap — we will spend whatever it takes.
Enforce real conditions and oversight on big
corporations. Joe Biden would tell large companies seeking taxpayer
assistance that they need to make hard commitments that the assistance will go
toward their workers, not toward enriching their CEOs or shareholders. He would
hold the strictest line on bans on buybacks and raises for executives. He would
impose the highest scrutiny on payroll plans. And he would impose strict
oversight and enforcement of these conditions by appointing strong regulators
focused on corporate accountability and worker protections in the event of
bankruptcy. Joe Biden will not let companies off the hook, the way the White
House and Senate originally proposed.
THIRD, bring the leaders of Congress together to build the
next deal. This was a good start. But more
must be done. Congress approved direct cash relief — $1,200 per person to help
working families through this crisis. But it’s a one-off. And
Congress didn’t include direct student loan forgiveness, or Social Security
boosts for seniors, or cost-free treatment for COVID-19, full paid sick leave
for our workers, or sufficient fiscal relief to states. Joe Biden would:
Provide for additional checks to families should
Forgive a minimum of $10,000 per person of
federal student loans, as proposed by Senator Warren and colleagues. Young
people and other student debt holders bore the brunt of the last crisis. It
shouldn’t happen again.
Increase monthly Social Security checks by
$200/month, as proposed by Senator Wyden and colleagues. Seniors and people
with disabilities are uniquely at risk right now.
Provide emergency paid sick leave to everyone who needs it,
with no one left out. This should include workers in all industries and all
sectors, regardless of company size, and including gig workers, domestic
workers, contractors, and the self-employed.
Provide all necessary fiscal relief to states so
their workers and communities get the help they need, especially those on the
front lines like New York.
The bottom line is that Congress will have to keep acting.
This is not the last bill. There will be more. And Joe Biden would do
whatever it takes, spend whatever it takes, move heaven and earth to help all the
people harmed by this crisis.
The coronavirus pandemic has completely derailed the 2020 presidential campaigns. While Trump has a bully pulpit and turns daily briefings into political rallies, challengers including Vice President Joe Biden cannot compete for visibility or reach. We will do our part, as much as possible, to broadcast their messages so that voters may discern for themselves who should be elected to lead this country. This is from the Joe Biden campaign, which came before Trump, switching focus from the 10 minutes he spent concerned about the spread of the disease and having an adequate health care system, turned again to prioritize the economy, saying he would look to end measures in a matter of weeks (not months) designed to slow the spread of COVID-19 in order to goose the economy. Trump said that the economic impact could become worse than COVID-19 itself. “We cannot let cure be worse than the problem,” causing the medical community to scratch heads.The desire to prioritize economic health over people is echoed by other Republicans and rightwingers. Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick saidlots of grandparents would be willing to die in order to save the economy for their grandchildren. This is from the Biden campaign, in advance of Trump’s March 23 briefing–Karen Rubin, News & Photo Features.
Five Questions for Donald Trump
at Today’s Briefing
As Trump Attempts to Spin Away His Historic Failure to
Combat the Coronavirus, Here Are Five Questions He Needs to Answer at Today’s
1. Why do you continue to
support efforts to roll back the Affordable Care Act and kick tens of millions
of Americans off their insurance in the middle of a global pandemic?
Ten years ago today, President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law,
expanding access to quality, affordable health care for millions of Americans.
But, even in the midst of a global pandemic, Donald Trump continues to lead
fellow Republicans in efforts to do away with the law and the critical
protections it put in place.
Over 20 million Americans have received health insurance through the ACA, and
it’s given better care and peace of mind to countless others — that’s why Vice President Biden sent a
letter today to President Trump and Republican leaders
demanding that they drop their efforts to jeopardize Americans’ health care.
2. Why did you put the
profits of big corporations ahead of desperately needed medical supplies for
health care workers, first responders, and coronavirus victims?
New reporting today from CNN shows
that Trump abruptly reversed himself on using the Defense Production Act to
speed up the manufacture of critical medical equipment because big businesses
aggressively lobbied the White House out of fear of “profit loss.”
3. Why did you ignore the
repeated warnings of your own intelligence officials in January and February
about the impending risk of the coronavirus and decide to downplay the threat
instead of preparing a response?
The Washington Post reported that
Trump ignored repeated warnings from top intelligence officials in January and
February that the coronavirus was spreading globally and that it posed a dire
threat to the safety of the United States, with one official telling the Post
that “the system was blinking red.”
Instead of preparing for the imminent spread of coronavirus in America, Trump repeatedly ignored experts
and downplayed its significance, claiming, “it’s going to disappear.
One day — it’s like a miracle — it will disappear.” The result: a “chaotic” response as
basic needs for tests and life-saving equipment go unmet, and as Administration
officials scramble to cover up for Trump’s lies about the response.
While Trump was ignoring the experts and downplayed the threat of the
coronavirus, Vice President Biden laid out a clear-eyed vision in January for
how we could come together as a country to stop the emerging pandemic and has
built on that with a comprehensive plan to
combat the coronavirus.
4. Why did you take China’s
word and praise Xi’s response for weeks as the coronavirus continued to spread,
ignoring Vice President Biden’s warning about their misleading statements?
Now Trump has laughably pivoted to
criticizing China, attempting to rewrite history and brush aside countlessexamples of him heapingpraise on Xi and
the Chinese government. Moreover, is Trump saying that he wasn’t supposed to
take steps to protect the American people simply because this virus emerged in
5. Why are you supporting a
$500 billion slush fund for corporations with no strings attached and no
protections for workers?
With America’s economy teetering, and with countless families facing financial
ruin, Trump continues to back a massive corporate bailout package with almost
no conditions, and no restraints on corporations using taxpayer dollars for
executive bonuses and stock buybacks.
That’s why Vice President Biden has called for workers and families to be put
first in any stimulus package — with no blank checks for big corporations — so
Americans will have the financial support they need to weather this storm.
BURLINGTON, Vt. – Sen. Bernie Sanders gave remarks regarding the lessons we can learn from the growing coronavirus outbreak.This is a rushed transcript provided by the Sanders campaign:
Good afternoon everyone, thank you for being here. In the midst of a major healthcare and economic crisis currently facing our country, I’d like to take a few minutes to talk about the lessons we can learn long-term about what we are experiencing today.
As I discussed yesterday, our country is facing, as everybody knows, a medical and economic crisis, the likes of which we have not seen for generations. And we must prepare for this response in an unprecedented way, making certain that our government responds effectively, and protects the interests of all our people regardless of their income, or where they live. In other words, this is not just about giving tax breaks to large corporations, but about remembering the people today who don’t have much money, who are nervous about their economic futures and healthcare prospects.
to say we must massively increase the availability of test kits for the coronavirus and the speed at which the tests are
processed. We need to anticipate significant increases in hospital admissions, which means that we will need more
ICU units and ventilators, we will need more
doctors, nurses, and medical personnel of all kinds – and we must make sure
that these frontline personnel are well
protected from the diseases they are treating. I have talked to nurses
recently who worry very much about whether they are getting the kind of
knowledge and equipment they need so that they do not get sick.
We need to significantly improve
our communications and collaboration with other countries to ensure that we
are learning everything that we can about the successes and failures of other
countries as they deal with this crisis. And furthermore, we must be honest with the American people and
communicate as effectively and directly as we can with all of the scientific
information that we can provide.
Further, and most importantly, our
response to this entire crisis must be guided by the decisions of doctors,
scientists, and researchers, not politicians.
But as we struggle with this crisis, it is also important that we learn
the lessons of how we got to where we are today, and what we must do in the
future so that we are better prepared for similar crises that may come.
Poll after poll already shows us that the American people understand
that we must do what every other major country on earth does, and that is to guarantee healthcare to all of our people
as a human right, not a privilege. As we begin to see the failures and
vulnerabilities of the current healthcare system, my guess is that those
numbers and the demand for universal healthcare will only go up.
The American people are asking: how is it possible that we spend twice as much per capita as
the people of Canada and other major countries, while 87 million of us are uninsured or underinsured.
And obviously, in this crisis, and unbelievably, it means that people
who are sick today, people who woke up this morning with symptoms of the
coronavirus, are saying, “you know I feel sick but I cannot afford to go to a doctor.” And when somebody is
not treated for the virus – somebody who is unable to afford to go to that
doctor – that means that that infection can spread to many others, putting us
So it’s not just
a question that in normal times – tragically, unbelievably – that we lose 30,000 people a year because they
don’t get to doctor on time, but now the lack of healthcare threatens other
people as well.
How could it be, that when we spend so much more than what other countries are spending, we have millions of people who may be dealing with the virus but they cannot go to the doctor because they can’t afford it? That is a question that must resonate in every American’s mind.
If this isn’t a red flag for the current
dysfunctional and wasteful healthcare system, frankly I don’t know what is.
For the benefit of all of us, we must make sure that every person in
this country who needs to seek medical treatment can go to a doctor free of
charge regardless of their income. That is obviously what we must do now in the
middle of a crisis, but it is what we must do as a nation in the near future.
Here are just a few instances about how absurd and dysfunctional our
current healthcare system is.
It has been estimated that a full battery of tests for the coronavirus costs over $1,300. First of all,
take a look at that – $1,300 to get the test people need to have to know if
they have the virus or not.
In America today, 40% of our
people don’t have $400 in the bank to pay for an emergency expense. We
have half of our people living paycheck to paycheck.
If their car breaks down they can’t afford to get it fixed, and if
somebody tells them it costs $1,300 for the test to determine whether you have
the coronavirus if they’re sick, what are they supposed to do? What happens to
How can someone without insurance afford to pay $1,331 to get tested when they don’t even have $400 in the bank? What are they supposed to do? What happens to them? Do they go to a payday lender where the average interest rate is over 390%? Do they borrow money from their family? Or do they go without the test? Which every doctor in the world will tell them is a test they should have.
And while the Trump administration says it may cover co-pays to cover
the cost of testing for those who have insurance, they will not cover the cost of treatment – which could cost tens of
thousands of dollars.
How cruel is that? How absurd is that? To say to people, “we’re sorry
you have coronavirus, we covered the cost of the test, but now you’re on your
own and it’s going to cost tens of thousands of dollars to get treated.” That
is totally absurd.
Clearly what we need to do is to make sure that if someone has the
coronavirus that person gets the treatment that they need.
words, our current system leaves people uninsured, but even if you have
insurance you may not even have the ability to travel to a doctor near you.
Because now we’re talking about a system in which many rural hospitals have closed down and
they cannot find a doctor in their communities.
The reality today, and this is an issue we must to deal with, is that we don’t have enough doctors, we don’t have
enough hospitals, and we don’t have enough clinics in rural communities and
Further, we are in a situation when we desperately need affordable prescription drugs, yet we have a
pharmaceutical industry that continues to make billions in profits by charging
outrageous prices for prescription drugs, sometimes 10x more in this country than in other countries.
In my view,
the most cost effective way to reform our dysfunctional and cruel system is to
move to a Medicare for All, single-payer healthcare system.
And I think in the midst of this crisis, more and more Americans
understand the truth of that.
It is nearly impossible to
believe that anyone can still think it’s acceptable to continue with a
healthcare system that leaves tens of millions of people uninsured. The cruelty
and absurdity of that view is more obvious in the midst of this crisis than it
has ever been.
And let’s be clear. Lack of
healthcare and affordable medicine does not only threaten the healthcare and
well-being of the uninsured. It threatens everyone who comes in contact with
In fact, what this crisis is beginning to teach us is that we are only as safe as the least insured
person in America.
Further, we are the only major
country on earth that does not mandate paid family and medical leave. And
we’re seeing how that crisis is impacting where we are today.
As we speak, there are millions of workers — right now — who are
being told to go to work, yet they may be ill and should be staying home.
But these very same families
will face financial ruin if they don’t go to work. These are workers in the
restaurant industry, transportation industry, tourism, retail — in other words
the people who interact with the public every single day.
Right now, at a time when half of our people live paycheck to paycheck,
and at a time of massive wealth and income inequality, we must directly address the economic desperation facing a
huge number of Americans.
So we must finally pass a paid
family leave program in the United States to keep this virus from spreading
and to keep Americans healthy.
We must do it right now.
People should not be going to work when they are sick, it is unfair to
them, it is unfair to the people they are in contact with. And yet, that
reality exists, because we are the only major country on earth not to guarantee
paid family leave and sick time.
Finally, from a national
security perspective, it is
incomprehensible that we are dependent on China and other countries for masks,
for prescription drugs, for rubber gloves, and for key parts needed to make
advanced medical equipment like ventilators.
As a result of
globalization and our disastrous trade policies, we have been outsourcing
millions of jobs and factories overseas that have gutted our economy. Now we
are seeing another tragic and devastating result of those policies, as we find
ourselves dependent on other countries to provide the most essential things we
need to combat a pandemic and protect the lives of the people in our country.
Now trade is
a good thing, but it has to be based on common sense principles. It has to
be based on protecting American workers
and protecting our national security, making sure we are producing what we need
in this country in the event of a national crisis.
Now is the time to begin
bringing back production and manufacturing to the United States and enact fair
trade policies so that we are never in this position again.
Now here is the bottom line. As we are dealing with this crisis, we
need to listen to the scientists, to the
researchers, and to the medical professionals, not politicians.
We need to move quickly to prepare for the exponential increase of
cases we will be seeing here in our country.
But as we do that, we must begin thinking about how, as a society, we
can create a healthcare and economic system that is humane, that is compassionate,
and that works for all people, not just the wealthiest.
Now that is an issue that people have had to think about for a long
time, but I think in this moment of
crisis more and more people understand that we need fundamental changes to our
economy, and we need fundamental changes to our healthcare system.
This is the speech on protecting against the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic that Americans should have heard from the Oval Office:
Remarks by Vice President Joe Biden on Combating Coronavirus (COVID-19)
My fellow Americans:
Today, across the nation, many of us are feeling anxious about the rapid spread of COVID-19, known as the coronavirus, and the threat it poses to our health, our loved ones, and our livelihoods.
I know people are worried, and my thoughts are with all those who are directly fighting this virus — those infected, families that have suffered a loss, our first responders and health care providers who are putting themselves on the line for others. And I’d like to thank those who are already making sacrifices to protect us— whether that’s self-quarantining or cancelling events or closing campuses. Because whether or not you are infected, or know someone who is infected, or have been in contact with an infected person — this will require a national response. Not just from our elected leaders or our public health officials — from all of us.
We all must follow the guidance of health officials and take appropriate precautions — to protect ourselves, and critically, to protect others, especially those who are most at-risk from this disease.
It will mean making some radical changes to our personal behaviors: more frequent and more through handwashing and staying home from work if you are ill, but also altering some deeply-ingrained habits, like handshakes and hugs, and avoiding large public gatherings.
That is why earlier this week, on the recommendation of officials, my campaign cancelled the election night rally we had planned to hold in Cleveland, Ohio. We will also be re-imagining the format for the large-crowd events we had planned in Chicago and Miami in the coming days. And we will continue to assess and adjust how we conduct our campaign as we move forward, and find new ways to share our message with the public, while putting the health and safety of the American people first.
Yesterday, we announced a Public Health Advisory Committee of experts who will counsel our campaign and help guide our decisions on steps to minimize the risk. We will be led by the science.
The World Health Organization has now officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Downplaying it, being overly dismissive, or spreading misinformation will only hurt us and further advantage the spread of the disease. But neither should we panic or fall back on xenophobia. Labeling COVID-19 a “foreign virus” does not displace accountability for the mismanagement that we have seen from the Trump Administration.
Let me be crystal clear: the coronavirus does not have a political affiliation. It will infect Republicans and Democrats alike. It will not discriminate based on national origin, race, gender, or zip code. It will touch people in positions of power and the most vulnerable in our society.
A wall will not stop it. Banning all travel from Europe, or any other part of the world, may slow it — but as we have seen — it will not stop it. And travel restrictions based on favoritism and politics — rather than risk — will be counterproductive. This disease could impact every nation and any person on the planet. And we need a plan about how we are going to aggressively manage it here at home.
The American people have the capacity to meet this moment. We will face this with the same spirit that has guided us through previous crises. We will come together as a nation. We will look out for one another and do our part as citizens. We have to harness the ingenuity of our scientists and the resourcefulness of our people. And we have to lead the world to drive a coordinated global strategy, not shut ourselves off from it.
Protecting the health and safety of the American people is the most important job of any president — and unfortunately, this virus has laid bare the severe shortcomings of the current Administration. Public fears are being compounded by a pervasive lack of trust in this president, fueled by his adversarial relationship with the truth.
Our government’s ability to respond effectively has been undermined by the hollowing-out of our agencies and the disparagement of science. And our ability to drive a global response is dramatically undercut by the damage Trump has done to our credibility and our relationships around the world.
We have to get to work immediately to dig ourselves out of this hole. That is why, today, I am releasing a plan to combat and overcome the coronavirus. The full details are on JoeBiden.com laying out the immediate steps we must take to deliver: A decisive public health response to curb the spread of this disease and provide treatment to those in need; and a decisive economic response that delivers real relief to American workers, families, and small businesses — and protects the economy as a whole.
I offer it as a roadmap, not for what I will do as president 10 months from now, but for the leadership I believe is required right now, in this moment. President Trump is welcome to adopt it today.
The core principle is simple: public health professionals must be the ones making our public health decisions and communicating with the American people. It would be a step toward reclaiming public trust and confidence in the United States government and toward stopping the fear and chaos that can overtake communities faster than this pandemic. And it’s critical to mounting an effective national response that will save lives, protect our front-line health workers, and slow the spread of this virus.
First, anyone who needs to be tested based on medical guidelines, should be tested—at no charge. The Administration’s failure on testing is colossal. It is a failure of planning, leadership, and execution. The White House should measure and report each day how many tests were ordered, how many tests have been completed, and how many have tested positive. By next week, the number of tests should be in the millions, not the thousands. We should make sure every person in a nursing home, a senior center, or a vulnerable population has easy access to a test.
We should establish hundreds of mobile testing sites — at least 10 per state — and drive-thru testing centers to speed testing and protect health care workers.
The CDC, private labs, universities, and manufacturers should be working in lock-step to get this done, and get it done right. No effort should be spared. No excuses should be made. Tests should be available to all who need them and the government should stop at nothing to make that happen.
We must know the true extent of this outbreak so we can map it, trace it, and contain it. Nor should we hide the true number of infections in hopes of protecting political interests or the stock market. The markets will respond to strong, steady, capable leadershipthat addresses the root of the problem, not efforts to cover it up.
Second, we need to surge our capability to both prevent and treat the coronavirus, and prepare our hospitals to deal with an influx of those needing care. This means not just getting out the testing kits and processing them quickly, but making sure communities have the hospital beds, the staff, the medical supplies, and the personal protective equipment necessary to treat patients.
The president should order FEMA to prepare the capacity with local authorities to establish temporary hospitals with hundreds of beds on short notice. The Department of Defense should prepare for the potential deployment of its resources to provide medical facility capacity and logistical support. A week from now, a month from now, we could need an instant, 500-bed hospital to isolate and treat patients in any city in the country. We can do that — but we aren’t ready yet, and the clock is ticking.
As we take these steps, state, federal, and local authorities need to ensure that there is accurate, up-to-date information easily available to every American so everyone can make an informed decision about when to get tested, when to self-quarantine, and when to seek medical treatment. And the federal government should provide states and municipalities with clear guidance about when to trigger more aggressive mitigation policies, such as closing schools.
Third, we need to accelerate the development of treatments and a vaccine. Science takes time. It will still be many months before we have a vaccine that can be proven safe for public use and produced in sufficient quantity to make a difference. Therapeutics can and should come sooner. That will save lives. We passed the Cures Act in 2016 to accelerate work at the National Institutes of Health, but now it must have every available resource to speed the process along.
We must fast-track clinical trials within the NIH, while closely coordinating with the Food and Drug Administration on trial approvals, so that the science is not hindered by the bureaucracy. And, when we do have a vaccine ready to go, it should also be made widely available, free of charge.
We should also immediately restore the White House National Security Council Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense –with a full-time, dedicated coordinator to oversee the response.
Our Administration created that office to better respond to future global health threats after the Ebola crisis in 2014.
It was designed for exactly this scenario.
President Trump eliminated the office two years ago.
Here’s the bottom line: we have to do what is necessary to beat this challenge sooner rather than later.
I assure you, if we wait for it to worsen then scramble to catch up, the human and economic toll will be far greater and last far longer.
Congress gave the Administration $8 billion last week to fight the virus. We need to know exactly where that money is going, how quickly it is going out the door, and how it is being spent.
This brings me to the second half of this challenge — the economic dislocation the coronavirus will cause in our country.
We must do whatever it takes, spend whatever it takes, to deliver relief for our families and ensure the stability of our economy.
Taking immediate, bold measures to help Americans who are hurting economically right now.
It means we will need bigger and broader measures to shore up economic demand, protect jobs, keep credit flowing to our job creators, and make sure we have the economic fire power we need to weather this storm and get our people and this economy back to full strength as soon as possible.
This crisis will hit everyone, but it will hit folks who live paycheck-to-paycheck the hardest, including working people and seniors.
Another tax cut to Google or Goldman or millionaires won’t get the job done.
Indiscriminate corporate tax subsidies won’t effectively target those who really need help.
We need to place our focus on those who will struggle just to get by.
People are already losing jobs — we need to replace their wages.
That includes workers in the gig economy who lack unemployment insurance.
Parents who are already struggling with childcare costs — we need to give them relief.
Children who rely on school lunches will need food.
And schools will need help ensuring children who do not have easy access to computers can still learn if their schools close.
People who have difficulty paying their rent or mortgage because they’ve been laid off or had their hours cut back — we need to help them stay in their homes.
Small businesses that will be devastated as customers stay home and events are canceled — we need to make sure they have access to interest-free loans.
It is a national disgrace that millions of our fellow citizens do not have a single day of paid sick leave.
We need — both — a permanent plan for paid sick leave and an emergency plan for everyone who needs it due to the outbreak.
Beyond these national measures, my plan also calls for the creation of a State and Local Emergency Fund to make sure governors, mayors, and local leaders who are battling coronavirus on the ground have the resources necessary to meet this crisis head on.
These funds could be used at the discretion of local leaders for whatever they most need: expanding critical health infrastructure, hiring additional health care and emergency service personnel, or cushioning the wider economic blow this virus will cause our communities.
We need smart, bold, and compassionate leadership that will help contain the crisis, reduce hardship to our people, and help our economy rebound.
But let me be clear: this is just a start.
We must prepare now to take further decisive action, including direct relief, that will be large in scale and focused on the broader health and stability of our economy.
But we can only protect the health of our economy, if we do everything in our power to protect the health of our people.
The last point I want to make today is this — we will never fully solve this problem if we are unwilling to look beyond our own borders and engage fully with the world.
A disease that starts any place on the planet can be on a plane to any city on earth a few hours later.
So we have to confront coronavirus everywhere.
We should be leading a coordinated, global response, just as we did for Ebola, that draws on the incredible capability of the U.S. Agency for International Development and our State Department to assist vulnerable nations in detecting and treating coronavirus wherever it is spreading.
We should be investing in rebuilding and strengthening the Global Health Security Agenda, which we launched during our Administration, specifically to mobilize the world against the threat of new infectious diseases.
It can be hard to see the concrete value of this work when everything seems well with the world.
But by cutting our investments in global health, this Administration has left us woefully ill-prepared for the exact crisis we now face.
No President can promise to prevent future outbreaks.
But I can promise you that when I’m president, we will prepare better, respond better, and recover better.
We will lead with science.
We will listen to experts and heed their advice.
We will rebuild American leadership and rally the world to meet global threats.
And I will always, always tell you the truth.
That is the responsibility of a president.
That is what is owed to the American people.
Now, and in the difficult days that still lie ahead, I know that this country will summon our spirit of empathy, decency, and unity.
Because, in times of crisis, Americans stand as one.
On International Women’s Day, Vice President Joe Biden, running for president, released a fact sheet detailing his record of working to advance gender equality at home and around the world, both as a Senator, notably championing the Violence Against Women Act (which Republicans have refused to renew) and as part of the Obama Administration which, as Obama’s first act, signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and promoted Obamacare which ended the hardship of being a woman counting as a “pre-existing condition”. This is from the Biden campaign:
Joe Biden has a long track record of working to advance
gender equality at home and around the world. As a Senator, Biden
introduced the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA), which provided
a framework for the United States to address gender-based violence globally.
Though IVAWA never became law, the Obama-Biden administration used executive
action to implement much of the bill and its comprehensive approach to
The Obama-Biden Administration promoted the health, safety, and empowerment of
women and girls around the world because it was both the right thing to do and
the smart thing to do. Women’s full participation in all spheres of
society is fundamental to achieving global peace, development, and
prosperity. Twenty-five years ago this principle was agreed to by 189
countries in the Beijing Declaration,
which set forth a platform for action to advance women’s rights
globally. Unfortunately, today, as a result of the disastrous policies of
the Trump Administration, women’s rights and their opportunities for full
economic and political participation are under assault.
Trump’s decision to reinstate and expand the
global gag rule has had devastating effects on the health and well-being of
women around the world, with fewer organizations providing critical healthcare;
and his implementation of this rule here in the United States has cut funds
to over 900 women’s health clinics that
primarily serve women of color. Trump Administration policies have sought to
cut funds for global efforts to improve child and maternal health and
to halt the spread of HIV/AIDS. His
Administration’s cruel immigration policies have rejected asylum claims for
women fleeing horrific gender-based violence and made it much more difficult for
foreign women and girls who were trafficked into the United States to obtain
visas and receive the medical and social services they need to recover. He
has watered down and threatened to veto UN
Security Council resolutions that address sexual violence in conflict, making
it far more difficult for the international community to hold the perpetrators
of such violence accountable and ensure survivors have access to the health and
support services they need.
As President, Joe Biden will restore America’s leading role as a champion for
women and girls around the world and return to a government-wide focus of
uplifting the rights of women and girls at home and around the world. He
will do so by:
As president, Joe Biden will expand his Violence Against Women Act of 1994 to
the global landscape and restore U.S. leadership internationally by championing
the fundamental human right that all women should live free from violence—a
future the Violence Against Women Act helped make possible in the United
States. President Biden will rescind the Mexico City Policy that President
Trump reinstated and
restore U.S. funding to the United Nations Population Fund, which advances child
and maternal health, and works to end female genital mutilation and
cutting, early and forced marriage,
and other practices detrimental to the well-being of women and girls. The
Biden Administration will launch multi-sectoral efforts to confront
gender-based violence globally, beginning in Central America, where women face
some of the highest rates of
femicide (the murder of women because of their gender) in the world. Biden
will spearhead a comprehensive effort that places diplomatic pressure on
governments to train law enforcement to root out the corruption that enables
gender-based violence and teaches authorities to effectively investigate and
prosecute these crimes. Moreover, he will ensure that women and girls fleeing
gender-based violence are given the opportunity they deserve to seek asylum in
the United States.
Elevating Women Economically. The Biden Administration will invest
in women as economic catalysts for growth and development around the world,
because we know that when we grow incomes and opportunity for women, entire
communities, economies, and countries benefit.We forgo trillions of dollars in
wealth globally because women aren’t fully empowered and employed, and that has
negative consequences for the well-being of families and entire communities,
because women invest a particularly large share of their income in the
education and health of their families. Alarmingly, women’s global
economic participation and opportunity actually declined in the last year. Given
the trends, it will take 257 years to
achieve gender parity. Leaving one-half of the world’s population behind
inhibits peace, prosperity, and security at home and abroad, and we must tackle
the multifaceted barriers hindering the economic advancement of women and
girls. We cannot help half the world’s population advance meaningfully
without also addressing gender-limiting laws, policies, and norms, and we can’t
do it alone, without working with other countries.
Joe Biden will invest in critical areas to advance the status of women, and
close gaps between the economic well-being of men and women, and boys and girls
around the world. Specifically, the Biden Administration will increase access
to education as a driver of empowerment and accumulation of wealth.
Additionally, President Biden will focus on enhancing financially inclusive
banking and increasing women’s access to capital, so that women have the
resources they need to start and expand businesses. And President Biden will
work with partners in countries and multilateral organizations to
systematically tackle and eliminate legal and attitudinal barriers to equity and
inclusion. . More broadly, Biden Administration efforts to advance development
globally will pay particular attention to the often unique challenges faced by
underrepresented communities around the world, including indigenous women,
Afro-Latina women, and women in the LGBTQ community. The goal will be equality.
Promoting Women’s Contributions to Peace and Security. For 20
years, the international community has recognized the critical contributions
women make to advancing peace and security,
whether it’s recognizing the first signs of violent conflict in their
communities, or helping to forge more durable peace agreements in the wake of
conflicts. Yet women continue to be excluded from conflict resolution and
President Biden will ensure that efforts to build a more peaceful and secure
world include the talents of everyone, including women. In countries affected
by war, terrorism, and insecurity, a Biden Administration will protect and
advance women’s inclusion in decision-making roles, from negotiators to
parliamentarians, from security actors to peaceful protestors. He will ensure
full implementation of the United States’ 2017 law — based
on the groundbreaking Obama-Biden Administration National Action Plan on
Women, Peace, and Security — recognizing the security benefits of women’s
participation. As president, Biden will revive the United States’ commitment to
refugees and displaced persons, raising our refugee target to admit 125,000
annually to start, and he will require that programs supporting refugees
recognize and address the specific challenges women and girls face, from targeted violence and
trafficking to unequal access to basic services. He will champion multilateral
efforts to end sexual violence in conflict in the UN Security Council and to
hold perpetrators of such violence accountable, starting with ISIS. The
Biden Administration will provide financial assistance and training for local
and international efforts to document cases of ISIS-perpetrated sexual violence,
urge the Iraqi government to prosecute ISIS prisoners for gender-based violence
crimes, and support peacebuilding efforts in Iraq and elsewhere that promote
women’s inclusion.To ensure all civilians are better protected in times of
crisis, President Biden will work with the United Nations to improve
peacekeeper performance and accountability, including by supporting the UN’s
efforts to ensure peacekeepers are trained to prevent conflict-related sexual
violence and are held accountable if they perpetrate sexual exploitation and
Supporting Women’s Leadership Globally. Women’s political and civic
leadership promotes equality and stability. When women
are represented in parliaments, their participation is associated with a
decreased risk of civil war and
fewer human rights abuses.
Around the world, women are more likely to advocate for policies on issues
like education and health,
which promote the well-being of everyone. Yet, only 4 out of 193 countries have
at least 50 percent women in the national legislature. A Biden Administration
will amplify and elevate the voices of authentic, local women leaders globally,
creating an initiative to strengthen the influence of women-led civil society
organizations in advancing women’s and girls’ well-being; combating
gender-based violence; and promoting peace, security, and prosperity.
Furthermore, recognizing the benefits to equality and stability when women are
represented in political office, the Biden administration will break down
barriers to women’s political empowerment, supporting civic education and
leadership development for women and girls around the world.
Pursue Ratification for the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of all forms
of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). For nearly 40 years, CEDAW
has been the most important international vehicle for advancing gender
equality. It is simply embarrassing that the United States has not ratified the
convention. We are in the company of some of the most oppressive countries in
the world, including Iran, Sudan, and Somalia. From the very beginning, the
Obama-Biden Administration made ratifying this U.N. convention a priority. As
president, Biden will continue to push the Senate to ratify this important
treaty, so that we can better advance the rights of women and girls here at
home and around the world.
Ensuring Gender Parity and Diversity in National Security
Appointments. To keep our nation safe and effectively advance our
national security interests, our government needs the best possible team of
national security professionals. That means developing senior leadership teams
that are diverse, by elevating more women into senior national security
positions and ensuring that women of color are well represented in senior
ranks. Women are underrepresented in our national security establishment, and
throughout the federal government their levels of representation are decreasing. 4 of the 23 positions in
Trump’s Cabinet are currently held by women. Joe Biden has pledged that, as
president, he will “strive for gender parity in senior national security and
foreign policy appointments.”
The vigorous contest of Democrats seeking the 2020 presidential nomination has produced excellent policy proposals to address major issues. In what can be described as an love letter to Senator Elizabeth Warren’s supporters, Senator Bernie Sanders has released his “Reproductive Health Care and Justice for All” plan. But you decide how many of these provisions would ever be enacted. This is from the Sanders campaign:
WASHINGTON – Senator Bernie Sanders
released a major tenet of his presidential platform: Reproductive Health Care and Justice for All. The latest
policy plan builds on the Senator’s wide-ranging agenda for quality and
affordable health care for all people. The plan centers on two primary prongs
— ensuring universal and affordable access to reproductive health care, and a
comprehensive action plan to address the crisis of maternal mortality in
communities of color across the country.
“There has been no time in the history of this country when women, especially
Black women, have had the reproductive freedom and justice that they deserve.
In my administration, that will finally change,” said Senator Bernie Sanders.
“We must once and for all put an end to the unacceptable crisis of Black
maternal mortality, and ensure every woman in this country — no matter where
they’re from — has the basic right to quality healthcare.”
Sen. Sanders continued, “When I am in the White House, we will fight back
against the Republican assault on abortion rights across this country and
defend a woman’s fundamental right to control her own body. As President, there
will be no doubt that in the United States of America, abortion is a
constitutional right. Period.”
The Reproductive Health Care and Justice for All plan reflects the fact that
issues of justice must be addressed holistically and intersectionally. The plan
will be implemented in tandem with a comprehensive, progressive agenda to end
racial disparities in our economic, criminal justice, environmental, education,
and health care systems.
The full and detailed plan can be found here. The following is a summary of key policies and action
items as part of Reproductive Health Care and Justice for All.
As President, Bernie Sanders will:
Use executive authority to reverse President Trump’s anti-choice actions.
Codify Roe v. Wade in legislative statute, require all judicial nominees to support Roe v. Wade as settled law, and require preclearance for state abortion laws to ensure that state laws do not impose undue restrictions and barriers for abortion services.
Protect and expand funding for Planned Parenthood, and repeal the Hyde and Helms Amendments.
Ban state Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) laws that put undue and unnecessary burdens and regulations on doctors who provide abortion services with the goal of restricting access.
Ensure anti-choice crisis pregnancy centers do not receive federal funds.
Ensure that all communities have access to nearby abortion care.
Make birth control available over-the-counter, in addition to free under Medicare for All.
Ban ineffective abstinence-only sex education.
Increase access to and funding for reproductive services and facilities in communities of color, eliminate “contraceptive deserts,” and increase funding to hospitals where Black mothers and parents receive care.
Work with women of color-led community organizations to develop and coordinate policy.
Educate health care providers and medical school students on providing culturally competent care.
Ban discrimination by health care providers, and provide a right of action for patients discriminated against.
Establish standard protocols to rapidly address postpartum hemorrhage, a leading cause of maternal mortality in Black women.
Require hospitals that receive federal funding to hire culturally competent care liaisons to field complaints, and provide training to all labor and delivery staff, including nurses, doctors, and clerks.
Ensure there are sufficient OBGYN physicians, midwives, lactation consultants and doulas in medically underserved communities of color.
Create and expand programs for Black maternal mortality liaisons, patient advocates, care coordinators, and social workers at hospitals serving at-risk women of color.
Expand the Special Supplemental Nutrition
Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program for pregnant mothers,
infants, and children.
The vigorous contest of Democrats seeking the 2020 presidential nomination has produced excellent policy proposals to address major issues. Vice President Joe Biden has released his plan for ending the opioid crisis and ensuring access to effective treatment and recovery for substance use disorders. This is from the Biden Campaign:
Millions of families are impacted by the opioid crisis. It’s ravaging communities coast to coast, from New Hampshire to California. The challenge of substance use disorders is not limited to opioids. Millions of individuals are affected by misuse of other substances such as alcohol or methamphetamine. Latest estimates indicate that, in 2018, almost 68,000 Americans died from a drug overdose – almost 47,000 of which involved an opioid. And, the impacts of this crisis reverberate in our classrooms and neighborhoods, in small towns and big cities.
But President Trump wants to repeal Obamacare, including its Medicaid expansion. Repeal would be disastrous for communities and families combating the opioid crisis. It is not realistic to think that grant money will fill the hole that eliminating Obamacare and its Medicaid expansion would create.
Step one of Biden’s plan to tackle the opioid epidemic and substance use disorders is to defeat Trump and then protect and build on Obamacare. And, Biden will pursue a comprehensive, public health approach to deal with opioid and other substance use disorders. His plan will:
accountable big pharmaceutical companies, executives, and others responsible
for their role in triggering the opioid crisis.
effective prevention, treatment, and recovery services available to all,
including through a $125 billion federal investment.
overprescribing while improving access to effective and needed pain management.
the criminal justice system so that no one is incarcerated for drug use alone.
the flow of illicit drugs, like fentanyl and heroin, into the United States – especially from China and
HOLD ACCOUNTABLE BIG PHARMA COMPANIES, EXECUTIVES, AND OTHERS
RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR ROLE IN TRIGGERING THE OPIOID CRISIS
Biden will demand accountability from pharmaceutical companies and others
responsible for the opioid crisis, including manufacturers, distributors, and
“pill mill operators.” Pharmaceutical executives should be held personally
responsible, including criminally liable where appropriate. Specifically, Biden
Direct the U.S. Justice Department to make actions that spurred
this crisis a top investigative and, where appropriate, civil and criminal
enforcement priority. Biden
will make sure the Department has all the necessary resources to complete this
work. Building on the efforts of the Obama-Biden Administration, Biden will also ensure the
Food and Drug Administration takes action when new information reveals harms
from previously approved drugs (including the risk of diversion, or the use of
drugs by an individual other than the one to whom the drug was prescribed),
ensures compliance with risk mitigation strategies, and punishes drug companies
for deceptive practices. And, he will appoint an Opioid Crisis Accountability
Coordinator to coordinate efforts across federal agencies and support the
enforcement efforts of state and local partners.
Direct the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to step up
its efforts to identify suspicious shipments and protect communities. Opioids distributors
knowingly shipped millions of pills to towns with hundreds
of residents, helping trigger the opioid epidemic. Biden will empower the DEA
to stop drug shipments from pharmaceutical companies and their distributors
that create risks of diversion and misuse. Biden will work with Congress to
allow the DEA to act expeditiously when a pharmaceutical distributor fails to
adequately monitor shipments that could pose an “imminent danger” to vulnerable
communities and increase penalties for companies that fail to take action to
stop suspicious shipments. In addition, Biden will direct the DEA to improve
data collection on wholesalers and pharmacies, including prescribing patterns
and suspicious order reports, and to disseminate its analysis to distributors
to prevent problems before they become disasters.
Ban drug manufacturers from providing payments or incentives
to physicians and other prescribers. Pharmaceutical companies work hard to persuade doctors and
other medical personnel to prescribe their products. These companies essentially pay providers to prescribe
opioids and other drugs by, for example, paying providers to speak at or attend
conferences, or consult for their companies. By banning these practices, Biden
will ensure that patients’ lives do not take a backseat to doctors’ bottom lines.
MAKE EFFECTIVE PREVENTION, TREATMENT, AND RECOVERY SERVICES AVAILABLE TO
ALL WHO NEED THEM
Biden has long recognized and led on
efforts to make clear that substance use disorders are diseases, not a
lifestyle choice, and that we need to change how we talk about and treat
substance use disorders to align with this fact.
He knows that the most important step we can take to address substance use
disorders is to ensure that Americans have access to affordable, high-quality
health care, including treatment for mental illnesses and substance use
disorder. That’s why Biden has a plan to
build on the Affordable Care Act and achieve universal coverage. In addition,
Biden will redouble efforts to ensure insurance companies stop discriminating
against people with behavioral health conditions and instead provide the
coverage for treatment of mental illness and substance use disorders that
patients and families need. Congress passed a bipartisan parity law 12 years ago requiring
that this discrimination stop, but the enforcement of parity has been
insufficient. As Vice President, Biden championed efforts
to implement the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici
Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act. As President, he will finish the
job by appointing officials who will hold insurers accountable, enforcing our
parity laws to the fullest extent. He will also direct federal agencies to
issue guidance making clear how state officials and the public can file a
complaint when their insurers – or Medicaid – are not
living up to their parity obligations.
In addition, Biden will work to make sure that people experiencing substance
use disorders have access to quality facilities and providers. As President, he
will ensure that the new public option, Medicare, Medicaid, the Indian Health
Service, the Military Health System, and the Veterans Health Administration
accelerate integration of substance use disorder care into standard health care
practice. Biden will double funding for community health centers and expand the
supply of health care providers, for example by growing the National Health Service Corps. And, he
will protect rural hospitals from
payment cuts, give them the flexibility they need to remain open, and invest in
telehealth so people in remote areas can still have access to mental health and
substance use disorder specialists.
Finally, Biden will make sure federal funds are specifically targeted at
improving access to treatment and recovery for opioid and other substance use
disorders, and at preventing these disorders in the first place. As Vice
President, Biden championed passage of the 21st Century Cures Act, which
included $1 billion in funding for states to address the opioid epidemic. That
was a down payment. To deal with the immense scope of the opioid and substance
use disorder crisis, Biden will dramatically scale up the resources available,
with an unprecedented investment of $125 billion over ten years. Funds will be
Pursue comprehensive strategies to expand access to
treatment, particularly in rural and urban communities with high rates of
substance use disorders and a lack of access to substance use disorder
treatment services. Biden will invest $75 billion in flexible grants to states and localities
for prevention, treatment, and recovery efforts. State and local agencies will
also be able to use funds to enhance data systems allowing them to better
target resources to individuals and communities most in need of support. As a
condition for receiving funding, grant recipients will have to provide
long-term, comprehensive strategic plans that address the multifaceted nature
of the substance use disorder crisis. Funds may be used to:
Invest in evidence-based, cost-effective prevention programs
in schools and communities to reduce the development of substance use
Mitigate harms from opioid and other drug use, including
communities will be able to use the funds to implement evidence-based programs
designed to stop the spread of diseases like hepatitis C and HIV, including
syringe service programs, or to scale up innovative programs like the safe station initiative started in Manchester,
New Hampshire, which allows those seeking help to go to fire stations in order
to be connected to treatment and recovery services.
Expand access to ongoing treatment and recovery services. Communities will be
able to use funds to increase access to substance use disorder and mental
health treatment and other services to support long-term recovery, including
peer support networks and recovery coaches, and better integrate primary care
and behavioral health. Recognizing the strong evidence that social supports,
including family support, may have a positive impact on the treatment of HIV, Biden will support the
development of family-centered models for substance use disorder treatment and
Make Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) available to all
who need it, reaching universal access no later than 2025. MAT (also referred to as
MOUD or Medications for Opioid Use Disorder) is regarded as the gold standard of care for
individuals with opioid use disorder. Yet, less than 50% of substance use disorder
the country offer even one of the FDA-approved medications. The 21st Century
Cures Act, legislation Biden championed as Vice President, provided resources to states designed to expand
access to MAT. Biden will build on this in order to ensure universal
access to MAT for all who need it, including by:
Providing $20 billion for grants to dramatically expand
capacity to administer MAT across the country, especially in underserved
establishing new facilities and developing training programs to increase the
number of professionals able to administer MAT.
Stopping insurance companies from erecting barriers to
coverage of MAT. For
example, insurers have imposed “fail first” protocols which require
prescribers to certify that other therapies were tried before covering MAT.
Insurers also may require that physicians obtain “prior authorization” for MAT
before prescribing it.
Removing undue restrictions on prescribing medications for
substance use disorder. For example, drugs containing buprenorphine were approved by the FDA in
2002 but a relatively small number of doctors or medical
personnel are certified to prescribe them. Biden will ensure that any undue restrictions on prescribing are
lifted and review methadone treatment regulations.
Help first responders and community health providers respond
to overdoses. Biden
will invest $10 billion to provide local communities with the tools needed to
prevent overdoses and respond to emergencies emanating from this crisis.
Ensure local communities have a sufficient supply of
overdose prevention drugs. Naloxone (also known as Narcan)
is a medication that can reverse an opioid overdose, making it a critical tool
in the fight to save lives. Biden will expand grants to states for the purchase
of Naloxone to be distributed to local community actors called upon to respond
to overdoses, including first responders, public health providers, and the
staff at homeless shelters and public libraries.
Demand that drug companies charge a fair price for overdose
drugs, including Naloxone. The Biden Administration will aggressively negotiate a reduction in the
drug’s price, on behalf of the federal government, and state and local
Support first responders. Police officers and firefighters are often the first
on the scene of an overdose. Biden will ensure they are equipped not just with
naloxone, but also with the mental health and resilience support anyone would
need after being exposed again and again to such trauma.
Invest in community-based prevention programs and a major
public education effort to eliminate the stigma surrounding substance use
disorder treatment. Biden
will invest $5 billion in community-based prevention efforts and public
education initiatives including training educators to recognize the signs of
mental health problems and substance use disorders and refer them to
appropriate services. Funds will also support evidence-based education programs
for young people on mental health and substance use disorders.
Expand the pipeline of medical personnel to treat substance
use disorders. Building
on legislation like the Opioid Workforce Act of 2019, Biden will work with
Congress to invest $5 billion to expand medical residencies and access to
education and training for medical personnel in substance use disorder
diagnosis and treatment. Funding will support training for primary care
providers, as well as other members of the health care team, to build an
integrated system of care.
Invest in research by doubling funding for the NIH HEAL (Helping to
End Addiction Long-Term) Initiative. This $10 billion investment will support efforts to improve
treatments for chronic pain.
Provide targeted interventions for particular
will invest $10 billion in efforts specifically designed to support populations
with unique situations or needs. Biden will ensure a portion of this funding
for state and local governments is set aside for Tribal governments. In addition
to expanding veterans’ access to
substance use disorder and mental health treatment, Biden will direct his
Secretary of Veterans Affairs to ensure VA medical personnel are sufficiently
trained in safe prescribing practices and pain treatment. Bidenwill call upon the public health and
criminal justice systems to provide evidence-based substance use disorder
treatment, including MAT, for people during their incarceration and after their
release. Finally, Biden will expand investments to help children suffering from
Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome or Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome, and to
ensure their mothers have access to effective treatment and care.
STOP OVERPRESCRIBING WHILE IMPROVING ACCESS TO EFFECTIVE AND NEEDED
An essential part of our national strategy to address the opioid epidemic must
be stopping pharmaceutical companies’ practices that lead to overprescribing.
Yet at the same time, physicians still must effectively treat pain. Chronic
pain is a growing public health challenge with wide-ranging impacts: keeping
individuals out of the workforce, negatively affecting their mental and physical
health, contributing to suicidal ideation, and otherwise limiting their quality
of life. Biden believes we need to pursue two joint goals: eliminate
overprescribing of prescription opioids for pain, and improve the effectiveness
of and access to alternative treatment for pain. Biden will:
Support development of less addictive pain medications and
alternative pain treatments, and improve standards of quality for treatment. We need pain medications
that are less addictive and more effective. Biden will invest in NIH research
to develop these new medications. By doubling funding for NIH’s HEAL program,
Biden will accelerate research regarding alternative treatments and therapies
and help providers and patients better understand the options and access alternatives.
And, he will direct the FDA to give priority to new pain medications with a
documented reduced risk of addiction.
Expand coverage for alternative pain treatments. As documented in a recent study related to back pain,
some non-pharmacological pain interventions (e.g., psychological counseling,
acupuncture, physical therapy, or occupational therapy) are not consistently
covered or have administrative barriers to coverage (e.g., pre-authorization,
visit limits). In accordance with evidence-based medicine, Biden will call for
a requirement that Medicare, Medicaid, his proposed new public option, and
private insurance companies consistently and transparently cover alternatives
to opioids for chronic pain, without barriers such as prior authorization or
high levels of cost-sharing.
Provide training to medical personnel in pain management and
substance use disorder treatment. Building on the Obama-Biden Administration’s prior
Biden will direct the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to work with
the medical community to support research and the development of curricula and
training regarding pain management. He will ensure that the systematic study of
pain management and substance use disorder is a mandatory part of the curricula
and material on which doctors and other medical personnel are tested. Those
seeking a federal DEA license to prescribe controlled substances will be required to receive training on
proper prescribing guidelines and pain management.
Expand the effectiveness of monitoring programs designed to
prevent inappropriate overprescribing of opioids. Prescription Drug Monitoring
Programs (PDMPs) are electronic databases designed to prevent drug abuse. For
example, a provider can check the database before prescribing in order to
determine whether his or her patient has been getting the same prescription
from multiple providers. In order to receive any of the $125 billion in new
grants under the Biden Administration, states will have to institute a
requirement that every prescriber checks the database every time they write a
new opioid prescription. Biden will also set aside some of these grant dollars
to ensure states improve Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs data-sharing
across state lines.
Ensure regular updating of the Centers for Disease the
Control and Prevention (CDC) prescriber guideline based on the best available
evidence. The CDC
has issued a guideline to help prescribers
make evidence-based decisions regarding when and how to prescribe opioids in
order to minimize the risk of abuse while also effectively treating pain. Biden
will ask the CDC to commit to regularly updating these guidelines as new
evidence emerges regarding opioid abuse risk factors and alternative pain
treatments. And, he will partner with health care providers and states to
maximize providers’ awareness and use of the guideline.
REFORM THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM SO THAT NO ONE IS INCARCERATED FOR
DRUG USE ALONE
Biden has released a criminal justice plan
that will strengthen America’s commitment to justice and reform our criminal
justice system by building a system focused on redemption and rehabilitation.
Biden believes that no one should be incarcerated for drug use alone, and as
President he will treat drug use as a disease rather than a crime.
Specifically, Biden will:
End all incarceration for drug use alone and instead divert
individuals to drug courts and treatment. Biden will require federal courts to divert these
individuals to drug courts so they receive appropriate treatment and services.
He’ll incentivize states to put the same requirements in place. And, he’ll
expand funding for federal, state, and local drug courts and other programs
that divert individuals who commit crimes as a result of or in furtherance of
substance use disorders to treatment rather than incarceration.
Get people who should be supported with social services –
instead of in our prisons – connected to the help they need. Too often, those in need of
mental health care or treatment for a substance use disorder do not get the
care that they need. Instead, they end up having interactions with law
enforcement that lead to incarceration. To change the nature of these
interactions, the Biden Administration will fund initiatives to partner mental
health and substance use disorder experts, social workers, and disability
advocates with police departments. These service providers will respond to
calls with police officers so individuals who should not be in the criminal
justice system are diverted to treatment for substance use disorder or mental
illness, when appropriate, or are provided with the housing or other social
services they may need.
STEM THE FLOW OF ILLICIT DRUGS LIKE FENTANYL, ESPECIALLY FROM CHINA AND
As part of a comprehensive agenda that prioritizes prevention, treatment,
recovery, and harm reduction, Biden believes that part of the solution to the
opioid crisis involves preventing bad actors from smuggling opioids and other
illicit drugs into our country. Specifically, Biden will:
Make fentanyl a top priority in our dealings with
Treasury Department has already sanctioned a small number of Chinese nationals in connection with
fentanyl – it’s a good start, but going after individuals will not alter Beijing’s
thinking long-term. Biden will pressure Beijing to crack down on illicit
fentanyl production in China and stem the flow of the drug into the United
States. Biden will also develop regional strategies in the Asia-Pacific and the
Americas to deal with shifts in the routes and sources of fentanyl in response
to a Chinese crackdown.
Enhance cooperation with Mexican authorities to disrupt the
movement of heroin and fentanyl across the U.S.-Mexico border. Chinese fentanyl is
frequently transshipped through Mexico, and then smuggled across the
border in pure form or combined with
China takes steps to police fentanyl and its precursors, production and
distribution will increasingly shift to Mexico. Biden will pursue strong,
sustained cooperation with Mexican authorities to disrupt suppliers and supply
routes, including the importation of precursor chemicals from China. The Biden
Administration will also provide technical assistance to enhance the Mexican
Post Service’s (SEPOMEX) ability to detect and electronically track shipments
of fentanyl and precursors that come through Mexico. As President, Biden will
repair the damage to U.S.-Mexico ties inflicted by Donald Trump and develop a
common agenda with Mexico that looks beyond our shared border to promote our
shared prosperity and protect U.S. national security interests.
Enforce sanctions on international actors engaged in the
trafficking of illicit drugs like heroin and fentanyl. Biden’s Treasury Department sanctions team will
map the financial institutions and networks that facilitate the distribution of
fentanyl and key precursors and develop sanctions packages based on that
evidence and task the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to
support these efforts with a focus on illicit finance.
Increase cooperation among global law enforcement
will direct U.S. law enforcement agencies to work closely with foreign
counterparts, share threat information, and use technology to assist in
tracking and seizing illicit shipments.
Ensure federal agencies have the tools and resources they
need to stop the flow of fentanyl from abroad. Fentanyl producers have exploited gaps in monitoring through
the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to flood the U.S. with the deadly product. Biden
will give the USPS the tools and resources it needs to carry out that mandate
and disrupt the large supplies of fentanyl that are sent through the mail
system, working with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. In addition, the vast majority of opioids and
fentanyl are shipped through legal ports of entry—not in between them. Rather
than waste resources building a wall or tearing families apart, Biden will
direct resources to the ports of entry to interdict opioid shipments there.
Combating the Opioid Epidemic and Substance Use
Disorders, Paid for By Making Sure Pharma Pays Its Fair Share
Biden’s $125 billion investment in a comprehensive response to the opioid
epidemic and substance use disorders is paid for by raising taxes on the profits
of pharmaceutical corporations.
In contrast with the disjointed, chaotic,
ineffective, politicized handling to stem the coronavirus pandemic offered by
the Trump Administration still more concerned about the stock market than lives
(Trump suggested a new benchmark, that since as many as 65,000 people die each
year from seasonal flu – “Who knew? I find that amazing” – that anything less
would be considered victory), every Democratic candidate to replace Trump has
demonstrated more effective leadership. Trump has honed in on pushing the
Federal Reserve to lower interest rates, and for further tax cuts which will do
nothing to address the actual global economic impacts of a pandemic – curtailed
production and consumer demand as well as general business uncertainty – Senator Elizabeth Warren released her plan to
take decisive action to both keep American families healthy and stabilize the
economy. This is from the Warren campaign:
Charlestown, MA – Today, Elizabeth Warren
released her plan to take decisive action to keep American families healthy and
stabilize our economy as the virus spreads.
Elizabeth Warren’s plan will:
Ensure that every American — including the millions of
Americans who are uninsured — can get all recommended evaluation and care for
coronavirus for free, including any recommended coronavirus vaccine once it is
Create an emergency paid leave program so that anyone who
meets the CDC’s description of relevant symptoms of coronavirus or is exposed
and placed under quarantine can get fully paid time off of work to consult a
doctor and recover—or provide care to a family member or other dependent who
Enact at least a $400 billion fiscal stimulus package to
head off the potential economic impact of coronavirus.
Elizabeth discussed these
concrete solutions to the coming economic shocks of coronavirus at a town hall
in Houston over the weekend. The plan released today builds on her
comprehensive plan to prevent, contain, and treat infectious diseases outbreaks
like coronavirus she released more than four weeks
ago — before any of the other candidates, or the incumbent in
the White House.
Protecting our People and our Economy from Coronavirus
Coronavirus is a public health emergency and a serious threat to the American
economy. While it’s important that our leaders communicate calmly and clearly
about the situation to avoid unnecessary panic, it’s just as important that we
take decisive action to keep American families healthy and stabilize our
economy as the virus spreads.
I rang the warning bells for years
before the 2008 crisis. Quicker action during the Bush
Administration could have reduced the severity of the crisis — or averted it
entirely. While we still don’t know the full scope of the public health and
economic impact of coronavirus, and even further actions may be necessary in
upcoming months, we should take the following steps right now to limit the
spread of the virus and get ahead of its economic impact:
Ensure that every American — including the millions of
Americans who are uninsured — can get all recommended evaluation and care for
coronavirus for free, including any recommended coronavirus vaccine once it is
Create an emergency paid leave program so that anyone
presenting with the symptoms of coronavirus, or who has a family member or
other dependent presenting with the symptoms of coronavirus, can get fully paid
time off of work to see a doctor, get treatment, or provide care.
Enact at least a $400 billion fiscal stimulus package to
head off the potential economic impact of coronavirus.
Ensuring Every American Can Get Free Care for Coronavirus
Medicare for All will prevent this kind of problem in the future. But in the short term, facing a potential outbreak, we must ensure that every person in this country can talk to a doctor if they think they might have coronavirus—and get the recommended testing and care they need if they do.
Our response must ensure that every person in this country can get recommended evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment for coronavirus for free. Congress should dedicate sufficient funding to reimburse health care providers and hospitals for uncompensated care relating to coronavirus. This fund should also be large enough to cover the costs of government mandated quarantines or isolation for patients who cannot afford any bills that it may generate. Congress should also require that insurers fully cover all recommended care for coronavirus, including appropriate evaluation, diagnostic testing, and treatment.
What does my plan mean for you? It means that you could get all recommended medical advice and care for coronavirus for free—regardless of whether you have hit your deductible, whether you’re on Medicare or Medicaid, or have no insurance at all.
Ensuring Hospital and Health System Capacity. Because of the way coronavirus spreads, many more people will be exposed to it than we saw with Zika or Ebola. That means our health system will see a surge in demand for basic primary care and diagnostic screenings in the midst of an already brutal flu season that has stretched hospitals’ capacity. To address the likely increase in people seeking medical evaluation and treatment for coronavirus, Congress should provide a temporary surge in funding for Federally Qualified Health Centers, Community Health Centers, Rural Health Clinics, and safety-net hospitals to increase their capacity.
Ensuring Access to Vaccines and Other Medical Countermeasures. We must increase federal investment in developing a coronavirus vaccine and ensure that every person who needs the vaccine can get it at no personal cost. As we did during the outbreak of H1N1 (the “swine flu”), the government should guarantee that it will purchase a bulk quantity of the eventual vaccine for coronavirus. This will create an incentive for the private sector to develop it quickly and ensure manufacturers of sufficient demand.
We must also ensure — either under existing laws or through new congressional action — that health insurance companies and federal health programs cover any recommended coronavirus vaccine with no cost sharing, similar to the H1N1 vaccines from 2009. The government can also distribute the vaccines to vulnerable populations and provide them for free to the uninsured. In the event that a private sector manufacturer wants to charge an outrageous price for the vaccine once it is developed, the government should contract for its manufacture or invoke compulsory licensing as I have called for in other drug pricing contexts, and as the government threatened to do during the 2001 anthrax scare.
Together, these actions will ensure that every American can get the vital medical advice and care they need for coronavirus for free. That is not only the moral thing to do, it limits the spread of the disease and keeps us all safer.
Guaranteeing Every American Fully Paid Emergency Leave for Coronavirus Testing and Recovery
America’s shameful lack of national paid leave and sick days will worsen the spread of coronavirus. People who feel sick will go into work anyway, afraid of losing their jobs or the pay they badly need. Parents may feel compelled to work even as their kids or their elderly relatives might need medical attention. Research shows that mandated paid leave and sick days dramatically reduce the spread of diseases.
Congress must act to pass Senator Gillibrand’s FAMILY Act, which would provide up to twelve weeks per year of paid leave to all workers to care for themselves and their loved ones in case of serious medical issues or the welcoming of a new child. As President, I will fight to make this policy the law. But in the face of a public health crisis, we can’t wait — and should immediately make cash assistance available to people who need time off because of coronavirus through an “emergency paid leave” program.
Here’s how it would work:
Anyone who meets the CDC’s description of relevant symptoms
or is exposed and placed under quarantine — or has a family member or other
dependent who meets that description — will be eligible for emergency paid
leave to take time off to follow CDC’s recommended course of action, which may
include self-isolation, evaluation and testing, or treatment.
Emergency paid leave will be available pursuant to CDC’s
guidelines about the appropriate length of recovery and quarantine or isolation
time for those who contract or are exposed to coronavirus. If a family
caretaker is also required during this period, that person will also be
eligible for emergency paid leave.
Anyone eligible for the program will receive emergency paid
leave that fully replaces their actual wage income — up to a cap set at the
99th wage percentile.
My emergency paid leave program will accomplish two critical
goals. First, it will give people the financial peace of mind to take time off
to stay home and recover or care for a loved one who has the symptoms of
coronavirus or has been exposed to it. That will help limit the spread of the
disease. Second, providing access to paid leave benefits funded by the
government rather than by employers during this health crisis will help
stabilize businesses, who will be relieved of the burden of potentially paying
large shares of their workforce for long absences.
Enacting At Least a $400 Billion Stimulus to Head Off the Projected Economic
Effects of Coronavirus, and Announcing a Federal Reserve Emergency Lending
Based on those factors and the range of projections for the economic impact
of coronavirus, we should immediately enact a stimulus package that represents
an authorization of at least 2% of GDP, or roughly $400 billion.
The stimulus should focus on the following categories of spending:
Low or no-interest loans to companies of all sizes that are
negatively affected by supply chain disruptions, reductions in tourism, or
other temporary coronavirus-related impacts, and that will use the funds to
avoid layoffs and hours reductions, not for additional executive compensation,
dividends, or share buybacks.
Unemployment insurance and other direct payments to
households — with exact amounts tied to unemployment levels and wage growth.
Other aid to state and local governments that may be losing
revenue because of coronavirus, in order to minimize reductions in services for
Jump starting our ability to make our own active
pharmaceutical ingredients and their base components by establishing a strategy
to support domestic manufacturers—with the ultimate goal of requiring all
federal agencies that procure or reimburse for drugs (like the DOD, VA, and
Medicare) to preference drugs with American-made ingredients. My legislation to
allow the government to manufacture drugs would provide a strong foundation for
Green infrastructure investments, like domestically produced
clean energy, that can be accomplished even with the supply chain disruptions
that are likely to exist with a widespread coronavirus outbreak.
In addition, whether the Federal Reserve Board chooses to cut interest rates or not, itshould announce as soon as possible — and no later than the markets opening on Monday — that it stands ready to use its emergency lending authority to create a broad-based emergency lending facility program to help real economy companies whose supply chains have been disrupted because of the coronavirus and who will use the money to do right by their workforce.
Companies across America are already struggling with supply chain disruptions, and we don’t want these temporary struggles to lead to widespread layoffs or for otherwise solid companies to go under. While Congress should deliver the stimulus package I described above to help these types of companies, an immediate announcement from the Fed of this type of program will give companies — and markets — confidence that the Fed is available as a lender of last resort if Congress fails to deliver, and could help avert a more severe downturn.
Capitalists are actually much more responsive to the public will than lawmakers – which may not be saying much. But as the United Nations Climate Summit demonstrated, corporations and the financial institutions that fund them are becoming more conscious of climate change. Even former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has become an advocate for climate action. More investors are factoring in the cost of climate disasters as well as the change to agriculture, human productivity and health, availability of resources including potable water. Still, corporations that are wedded to the status quo and an economy and society oriented around fossil fuels and intense carbon emissions, that don’t respect air and water quality, need a nudge. Senator Elizabeth Warren, running for president, has just released a plan to stop Wall Street from financing the climate crisis.
“Climate change poses a systemic risk to the health and stability of our financial system,” Senator Warren stated. “And yet, Wall Street is refusing to listen, let alone take real action. My plan to Stop Wall Street From Financing the Climate Crisis is just the first step to ensuring our financial system is ensured against the worst effects of climate change and Wall Street stops financing the climate crisis.“
This is from the Warren campaign:
Charlestown, MA – Senator Elizabeth Warren released her
plan to stop Wall Street from financing the climate crisis. Elizabeth’s plan
will limit and manage the risk that climate change poses to our economy by
reining in Wall Street and ensuring our banks, asset managers, and insurers pay
the true cost of climate change, instead of passing it on to millions of
Elizabeth rang the alarm in
the lead up to the 2008 financial crisis. She is sounding the alarm on Wall
Street once again as we face the existential threat of our time: climate
change. It’s clear that our entire financial system is in major
danger from the climate crisis. And yet, neither the largest U.S. financial
institutions, nor the public watchdogs that
are supposed to hold them accountable, have taken adequate steps to address
Wall Street’s role in exacerbating the crisis.
As President, Elizabeth Warren will:
Direct the Federal Reserve to invoke its authority under Section 165 of
Dodd-Frank to impose “enhanced prudential standards” –– things like
higher capital standards, or tougher stress testing –– on large
financial institutions based on their exposure to climate-related risks.
Treat climate change as the systemic risk to our financial system that
it is and use existing financial regulations to push the Financial Stability
Oversight Council (FSOC) to carefully examine the risks posed by climate change
and use its authority to designate financial institutions as
“systemically important” if appropriate.
Go beyond her Climate Risk Disclosure Plan by strengthening
SEC rules that govern the climate change expertise in the composition
of boards of directors, as well as in shareholder representation and disclosure
in proxy voting.
Elizabeth will also require U.S. banks to report annually how much
fossil fuel equity and debt is created, and/or held as assets, with respect to
all fossil fuel extraction and infrastructure.
Fight for pensions by pushing the Securities and Exchange
Commission and Department of Labor –– the two government bodies charged with
regulating pensions –– to declare carbon-intensive investments not consistent
with a fund manager’s fiduciary duty to its clients.
Hold insurance companies accountable for the risk they’re
spreading through the financial system — and through vulnerable communities —
by working with Congress to make large insurance companies doing business in
the U.S. disclose the size of the premiums they’re deriving from coal, oil and
gas projects, associated infrastructure, and companies.
Elizabeth will also investigate insurers who talk out of both sides of
their mouth when they deny coverage to policyholders under
the guise of too much climate risk, while simultaneously insuring fossil fuel
Transition us away from Donald Trump’s climate-denying
administration at a speed unmatched by any transition in modern
history. As part of that transition, she will announce her choices for Cabinet,
including a Treasury Secretary who understands the financial risks of the
climate crisis, by December 1, 2020. And she will staff all senior and mid-level
White House positions, like financial regulators, by Inauguration Day.
Requiring implementation of the Paris Climate accord and the
elimination of fossil fuel subsidies as preconditions for any trade
Dedicating $100 billion to helping other countries purchase and deploy
American-made clean energy technology that is manufactured right here at home
under the Green Marshall Plan.
Ending all American support for international oil and gas projects
through the Export-Import Bank and the Overseas Private Investment
Committing to using America’s voting power in the World Bank and other
global financial institutions to cut off investment in fossil fuel projects and
to direct that investment into clean energy projects instead.
Stop Wall Street from Financing the Climate Crisis
I’ve spent most of my career getting to the bottom of what’s happening to
working families in America. And when I saw the seeds of the 2008 financial
crisis growing, I rang the alarm as
loud as I could. But the people with the power to stop the crisis didn’t listen
— not enough of them anyway. Not the banks, not Alan Greenspan or other federal
regulators, not Congress. And when the financial crisis hit in 2008, working
families lost it all while the big banks that broke the economy got a fat
And once again, as we face the existential threat of our time –– climate
change –– Wall Street is refusing to listen, let alone take real action.
It’s clear that our entire financial system is in major danger from the climate
crisis. And yet, neither the largest U.S. financial institutions, nor the public watchdogs that
are supposed to hold them accountable, have taken adequate steps to address
Wall Street’s role in exacerbating the crisis. In fact, many of the largest banks and assetmanagers have
actually increased their holdings of fossil fuel assets since
the Paris Agreement was signed. And in the two years immediately after the
Paris Agreement was adopted, the six largest U.S. bank investors in fossil
fuels companies loaned, underwrote, or otherwise financed over $700 billion for fossil fuel
companies. Wall Street banks are making a quick buck accelerating
climate change, all while communities across the country are suffering from the lasting impacts
of industrial pollution and the increasingly devastating
effects of climate change.
There has been some movement by big financial firms. A recently leaked report from J.P. Morgan —
the world’s largest financial backer of fossil fuel companies — stated that
the climate crisis could lead to “catastrophic outcomes where human life as we
know it is threatened.” Late last year, Goldman Sachs announced that
it will spend $750 billion over ten years on sustainable finance projects,
restrict financing to all new oil production and exploration in the Arctic, and
impose stricter lending requirements for coal companies. And in a letter to
investors earlier this year, Blackrock –– the world’s largest asset manager ––
announced that it will exit investments with high
environmental risk, like thermal coal, and launch new investment
products that screen for fossil fuels. While these actions are a small step in
the right direction, they are long overdue given the relative impact the
financial industry has had on the climate crisis — and they’re not enough to
protect us from a climate-fueled financial collapse, either.
We will not defeat the climate crisis if we have to wait for the financial
industry to self-regulate or come forward with piecemeal voluntary commitments.
Winning a Green New Deal and achieving 100% clean energy for our global economy
–– or enacting any of my 13 plans to defeat the climate
crisis –– will be near impossible so long as large financial
institutions are allowed to freely underwrite investments in dirty fossil
This ends when I am president. A Warren administration will act
decisively and swiftly to manage the risk that climate change poses to our
economy by reining in Wall Street and ensuring our banks, asset managers, and
insurers pay the true cost of climate change instead of passing it on to
millions of Americans. We can make the financial system work for good
as we transition to 100% clean energy, but first, we have to change the way
Wall Street is currently doing business.
Use existing financial regulations to tackle climate change because it is
a systemic risk to our financial system
Foreign financial regulators understand that the climate crisis poses serious
risks to the financial system. European regulators are warning of a “green swan” event that
could trigger a climate change-driven financial crisis. The Governor of the
Bank of England, Mark Carney, and the Governor of the Banque de France,
François Villeroy warned that climate change poses a
“catastrophic effect” to the global economy that could lead to
“a sudden collapse in asset prices” similar to the to the 2008 financial
crisis, and has urged central banks, such as the Federal Reserve Board, to play
a much larger role in tackling the crisis.
I am sounding the alarm on Wall Street once again –– just as I did in
the lead up to the 2008 financial crash.
The Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was our country’s
response to the 2008 crisis. It included tools that our federal regulators
could use to protect the safety and soundness of our financial
system. Regulators should use those tools now to address the systemic risk that
climate change poses.
Specifically, the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) –– a body
created by Dodd-Frank to bring together heads of financial regulatory agencies
to assess threats across jurisdictions and markets –– should carefully examine
the risks posed by climate change and use its authority to designate financial
institutions as “systemically important” if appropriate. And the Federal
Reserve should invoke its authority under Section 165 of Dodd-Frank to impose
“enhanced prudential standards” –– things like higher capital standards and
margin requirement, or tougher stress testing –– on large financial
institutions based on their climate-related risks.
By using the authorities Congress has already given them, federal regulators
can mitigate the climate-related risk in our financial system and help accelerate
the transition towards a clean energy economy.
Increase corporate accountability through the Securities & Exchange
That’s a problem in two ways. First, there are a lot of companies that could be
badly hurt by the likely environmental effects of climate change, and their
financial implications such as stranded assets, and supply-chain risk. We’ve
already seen how record storms, flooding, and wildfires can cause billions of dollars in damage.
Second, global efforts to combat climate change will have an enormous impact on
certain types of companies, particularly those in the energy sector. The Task
Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures found that reductions in greenhouse
gas emissions and increasingly affordable deployment of clean
energy technology could have “significant, near-term financial implications”
for Big Oil and fossil fuel companies.
My Climate Risk Disclosure plan addresses
these problems by requiring companies to publicly disclose both of these types
of climate-related risks. It directs the Securities and Exchange Commission
(SEC) to issue rules that make every public company disclose detailed
information, including the likely effect on the company if climate change
continues at its current pace and the likely effect on the company if the world
successfully restricts greenhouse gas emissions to meet the targets of the
Paris Agreement. My plan also requires the SEC to tailor these disclosure
requirements for specific industries so that, for instance, fossil fuel
companies will have to make even more detailed disclosures.
But disclosure is just the first step. There is more the SEC can do to ensure
companies are more accurately accounting for climate risk, which is why a
Warren administration will go further by strengthening SEC rules that govern
the climate change expertise in the composition of boards of directors, as well
as in shareholder representation and disclosure in proxy voting. My
administration will also require U.S. banks to report annually how much fossil
fuel equity and debt is created, and/or held as assets, with respect to all
fossil fuel extraction and infrastructure. And a Warren administration will
work with the SEC Office of Credit Ratings to direct credit rating agencies to
impose process standards — like climate due diligences — that incorporate the
physical and financial risks that climate change presents to securities and
other financial assets, as well as to the companies that issue them.
For the millions of public school teachers, firefighters, police officers, and
other state and federal public employees who spend their careers in service to
our government, pension funds provide a shot at a decent retirement. Most
simply, pensions are deferred wages for our public employees. And yet
today, our pension systems are failing our public employees.
That’s in part because they are invested in fossil fuels –– leaving
all the risk of fossil fuel investments in hard working Americans’ retirement
One recent analysis found
that pension funds would be significantly more successful without risky fossil
investments. California’s $238 billion state teachers retirement fund CalSTRS
–– which serves nearly a million public school teachers –– would have earned an
additional $5.5 billion over ten years without its fossil fuel investments. And
Colorado’s state pension fund PERA –– which serves 600,000 current and former
teachers, state troopers, corrections officers, and other public employees ––
would have earned almost $2 billion more in value. This matters for
hard-working pension-holders: investments in fossil fuels over the last 10
years have lost many of California’s public school teachers $5,572 each, and
cost many of Colorado’s public employees $2,900 each. And yet, despite calls
from environmentalists to divest from fossil fuels, in January of this
year CalSTRS rejected divestment,
claiming it would have a “lasting negative impact on the
health of the fund.”
As president, I will fight for every person’s pension, because every
American deserves the right to retire with dignity after spending their career
in service of our local, state and federal government. A Warren
administration would explicitly state policy preferences for limiting climate
risk, beginning with divestment from fossil fuels and prioritizing investments
in environmental, social and governance (ESG) options. And I would go further
by pushing the Securities and Exchange Commission and Department of Labor ––
the two government bodies charged with regulating pensions –– to declare
carbon-intensive investments not consistent with a fund manager’s fiduciary
duty to its clients.
And, as a matter of justice, we should tighten bankruptcy laws to prevent coal
and other fossil fuel companies from evading their responsibility to their
workers and to the communities that they have helped to pollute. In the
Senate, I have fought to improve the
standing of coal worker pensions and benefits in bankruptcy ––
and as president, I will work with Congress to pass legislation to make these
changes a reality.
Instead of halting the effects of climate change, insurers are passing on
the high prices to consumers — or foregoing offering protection to vulnerable
Americans altogether. In some places, insurance companies are pulling
out of areas entirely, leaving consumers exposed. For example, the number of
new and renewed homeowners’ insurance policies fell by 8,700 in
California counties at greatest risk for wildfires. But some insurance
providers will still write policies in vulnerable areas, ratcheting up the monthly prices
consumers pay to counterbalance their increased risk. Premiums
rose in every single state in the nation over the past decade, with states
in tornado alley experiencing the
highest jumps by an average of over $500. And private companies
are taking advantage of the price increases: the number of private flood
insurers has more than doubled since 2016, and they’ve taken in an additional half
a billion in premiums since the prior year.
It’s time to hold insurance companies accountable for the risk they’re
spreading through the financial system — and through vulnerable
communities. I’ll work with Congress to make large insurance companies
doing business in the U.S. disclose the size of the premiums they’re deriving
from coal, oil and gas projects, associated infrastructure, and companies. I’ll
investigate insurers who talk out of both sides of their mouth when they deny coverage to policyholders under
the guise of too much climate risk, while simultaneously insuring fossil fuel
projects. I’ll push the SEC to require insurance companies to show that they
have evaluated climate-related risks in their underwriting processes and in
their reserves. I will reform the National Flood Insurance Program by making it
easier for existing residents to move out of flood-prone properties – both
inland and coastal – including a program to buy back those properties from
low-income homeowners at market value. And within my first term I will ensure
the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s flood maps are fully updated, so that
we can raise the standard for new construction through the Federal Flood Risk
Personnel is Policy
At the World Economic Forum in Davos last month, economic leaders from across
the world highlighted the vital need to include climate risks in
economic analysis. But Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin found himself in a
minority of one, arguing that costs were being overestimated when
considering the impacts of climate change. Either he’s uninformed or he’s
lying: study after study shows that we
are drastically underestimating the cost of the climate
I have often said that personnel is policy. The
regulators in charge of protecting the American people need to understand the
risk that the climate crisis poses to our entire financial system — and the
millions whose livelihoods depend on it. That’s why I will appoint at every
level of the system financial regulators committed to holding financial
institutions accountable for climate risk. Here’s what that means:
I will appoint a Treasury Secretary who — unlike Steven Mnuchin —
believes in the power of markets to help defeat the climate crisis: because
right now, research in both of those fields shows
how vital it is that we expose the climate risk.
I’ll appoint financial regulators — including Federal Reserve
governors, Commodity Futures Trading Commission commissioners, and leadership
of every other agency represented on the Financial Stability Oversight Council
— who understand the clear threat climate change poses to our financial system
and who implement policy that addresses financial institutions’ exposure to
climate risks and hold them accountable to addressing.
I’ve already pledged to appoint an SEC
chair who will use all existing tools to require robust
disclosure of climate-related risks. I’ll also appoint SEC commissioners who
will manage the threat climate change poses to the economy by pushing for
corporate disclosure of climate risk and a shift of finances away from fossil
The size and the scope of the risk that climate poses to our financial
system requires immediate action. I’ve committed to transitioning us
away from Donald Trump’s climate-denying administration at a speed unmatched by
any transition in modern history, so that we can begin tackling the urgent
challenges ahead on Day One. As part of that transition, I will
announce my choices for Cabinet, including a Treasury Secretary who understands
the financial risks of the climate crisis, by December 1, 2020. And I’ll staff
all senior and mid-level White House positions, like financial regulators, by Inauguration
Day — so that we can begin de-risking our financial system from the moment I’m
Work with international allies
One of the next catastrophic global financial crises may well be caused by the growing
climate crisis. The 2008 recession proved how financial crises are
no longer isolated: their impact echoes across countries. That’s why addressing
the financial risks of the climate crisis is an international issue. But
the United States isn’t just lagging behind other countries on addressing the
climate risk: right now, we’re not even in the same league.
A Warren Administration will work with international allies to build a more
resilient financial and environmental future for our planet. And I’ll use every
tool in the box to build that world. As President I’ll advocate for the Federal
Reserve to join the global coalition of central banks known as the Network on Greening the Financial
System. As we transition to a 100% clean energy economy, the United
States should be a leader on the global stage, and having a seat at the table
is the first step. As part of my New Approach to Trade, I
will require implementation of the Paris Climate accord and the elimination of
fossil fuel subsidies as preconditions for any trade agreement. My Green
Marshall Plan will dedicate $100 billion to helping other countries purchase
and deploy American-made clean energy technology that is manufactured right
here at home. And we should end all American support for international oil and
gas projects through the Export-Import Bank and the Overseas Private Investment
Corporation. We should also commit to using America’s voting power in the World
Bank and other global financial institutions to cut off investment in fossil
fuel projects and to direct that investment into clean energy projects instead.
Our efforts should be dedicated to accelerating the global transition to clean
The vigorous contest of Democrats running for president has produced excellent policy proposals to address major issues. Senator Elizabeth Warren released her plan for Justice for Border Communities – a stark contrast to what Trump has done to punish asylum seekers, separating children from their parents, and most recently, using the coronavirus pandemic to raise the prospect of shutting the border to Mexico entirely.
“Our border region is made up of multinational, multicultural, economically vibrant communities that reflect the best of what our country can be. From affordable housing to investing in small businesses to stopping Trump’s monument to hate, we can make big, structural change to promote accountability, opportunity, and prosperity at the border,” Senator Warren stated.
This is from the Warren campaign:
Charlestown, MA – Senator Elizabeth Warren, running for president, released her plan to ensure accountability in our border communities by rolling back the Trump administration’s incessant militarization, immediately stopping the construction of Trump’s wall on the border between Mexico and the United States, creating a fair and welcoming immigration system, and respecting the rights of people and our fragile border ecosystem.
She will also work to build a 21st century border economy by boosting small businesses, growing access to financial services, closing the digital divide, uplifting labor and environmental protections through trade, and developing the green workforce of the future.
Some new proposals in her plan include:
In her first 100 days, she will convene a borderlands
summit, bringing together federal, state, and local representatives, Tribal
Nations, members of the business community, community organizations and
stakeholders to undo the harm of the Trump administration and create more
prosperity in the region.
She will create a new position in the White House that
serves as an advisor to the president on border communities. This person will
direct an Interagency Task Force on Border Community Prosperity and coordinate
the entire federal government’s investment in our border communities.
She will end Trump’s deployment of military forces to the
Despite the immediate public health threat, the Trump
administration is demanding that we cut spending elsewhere to pay for emergency
funding we need to prepare for and respond to coronavirus — so she is
introducing a bill in the Senate to redirect funding diverted to the wall
toward coronavirus instead.
She will end Constitution-Free Zones: She will hold
immigration enforcement to the same due process and standards as other law
enforcement agencies — no more warrantless property searches, no more
arbitrary stops, no more violations of basic Constitutional rights.
She will reverse the Trump administration’s policy giving
Border Patrol agents the power to make “credible fear” determinations for
asylum-seekers rather than asylum officers.
She will invest resources in more culturally competent asylum
officers and immigration judges and better coordinate a full federal government
response to the humanitarian crisis at the border, just like we would with FEMA
under a natural disaster.
She will pardon those convicted of providing food and water
to migrants — because no one should go to jail simply for providing
humanitarian aid to another person in need.
She will create a Border Health Initiative within the
Federal Office of Rural Health Policy to focus on strengthening these health
institutions in ways that serve the unique needs of this region and its people.
She will build a 21st century border economy by investing in
our ports of entry.
The campaign recently did a Texas Latino Engagement tour —
and listened and learned from hundreds of Latino, Latina, and Latinx people in
San Antonio, Laredo, McAllen, Corpus Christi, and Houston.
Elizabeth will be in San
Antonio with former Secretary of HUD Julián Castro today.
But the challenges at the border did not start with Donald Trump’s ignorance
and bigotry. For decades, decisions made in Washington have divided and
disrupted communities, cities, Tribal Nations, and families — many of whom
have lived along what is now the border for longer than the United States has
The 15 million residents living
in our Southern borderlands — from Brownsville, Texas to San Diego, California
— deserve a champion and a partner in the White House. Building an
America that reflects our values means elevating the voices of those who have
traditionally been overlooked and underserved. We’ve got to make sure everyone
has a seat at the table, and that includes border communities and immigrant
advocacy groups. In my first 100 days, I will convene a borderlands summit,
bringing together federal, state, and local representatives, Tribal Nations,
members of the business community, community organizations, and stakeholders to
undo the harm of the Trump administration and create more prosperity in the
region. I will also create a new position in the White House that serves as an
advisor to the president on border communities. This person will direct an
Interagency Task Force on Border Community Prosperity and coordinate the entire
federal government’s investment in our border communities.
A Warren administration will ensure accountability in our border
communities by rolling back the Trump administration’s incessant
militarization of the border, creating a fair and welcoming immigration system,
and respecting the rights of people and our fragile border ecosystem. I’ll
fight for healthy and safe border communities with affordable housing,
high-quality education, health care, and economic opportunities. And together,
we’ll build a 21st century border economy by boosting small
businesses, growing access to financial services, closing the digital divide,
uplifting labor and environmental protections through trade, and developing the
green workforce of the future.
Accountability in Border Communities
We need a federal government that’s accountable to our border
communities. That means an immigration system that keeps families
together, preserves our security, grows our economy, honors our Constitution,
and reflects our values. That also means an approach to national security that
respects the rights of people and our fragile border ecosystems. As president,
my administration will:
Welcome those in need and protect rights and due process. My immigration plan commits
to decriminalizing migration, significantly reducing detention and ending
private detention facilities, providing rights and due process for all
immigrants, reaffirming asylum protections for those fleeing violence, and
ending policies like metering and the “Remain in Mexico” policy. As president,
I’ll also reverse the Trump administration’s policy giving Border Patrol agents
the power to make “credible fear” determinations for asylum-seekers rather than
asylum officers. A Warren administration will invest resources in more
culturally competent asylum officers and immigration judges and better
coordinate a full federal government response to the humanitarian crisis at the
border, just like we would with FEMA during a natural disaster. And I’ll pardon
those convicted of providing food and water to migrants — because no
one should go to jail simply for providing humanitarian aid to another person
Remake CBP and ICE in a way that reflects our values. We
spend billions of dollars each year on a
massive and cruel immigration detention and enforcement system that
breaks up families and keeps thousands locked up — with little evidence that it makes
our nation safer.A Warren
administration will reshape CBP and ICE from top to bottom, reducing
funding for detention and instead focusing their efforts on ports of entry and
homeland security efforts like screening cargo, identifying counterfeit goods,
and preventing smuggling and trafficking. And to change the culture, I’ll
insist on transparency and strengthen the authorities of independent internal
watchdogs to prevent future abuses. I’ll designate a Justice Department task
force to investigate accusations of serious violations, and give it independent
authority to pursue any substantiated criminal allegations.
The Supreme Court ruling that a family can’t seek damages after
their son was killed by a border patrol agent because he was on
the Mexican side of the border when the agent shot him shows us that our system
of accountability is broken. In spite of the Supreme Court’s decision, a few
steps to one side of the border or another should not serve to forfeit basic
rights. As president, I’ll work to reverse the decision legislatively in order
to ensure accountability for victims of border patrol violence — regardless of
the side of the border. Furthermore, I support requiring Customs and Border
Patrol (CBP) agents to wear body cameras, a best practice in local law
enforcement that reduces use-of-force incidents and increases transparency.
And as new technology is deployed, a Warren administration will monitor
violations of privacy and limit the use of facial-recognition software. Let
there be no ambiguity on this: if you are violating the basic rights of
immigrants, now or in the future, a Warren administration will hold you
Stop Trump’s Militarization of the Border. Despite Trump’s
rhetoric, the people seeking asylum at the southern border are not a threat to
our national security. And Trump’s wall is a monument to hate — and only the
latest attempt to treat the southern border as a war zone rather than as a
vibrant community. Many of the apprehensions at the border are families and
children who commonly turn themselves in to
Border Patrol to apply for asylum. This is a humanitarian
crisis in need of medical doctors, immigration lawyers, and social workers —
not military troops. As president, I will end Trump’s deployment of
military forces to the border. I’ve listened to communities at the border when
they say we do not need Trump’s failed wall, and I will immediately stop the
construction of Trump’s wall on the border between Mexico and the United
States. I will also work to repeal the sections of law that allow the federal government to
waive federal procurement rules or environmental impact reviews.
Despite the immediate public health threat, the Trump administration is demanding
that we cut spending elsewhere to pay for emergency funding we need to prepare
for and respond to coronavirus — so I am introducing a bill in the Senate to
redirect funding diverted to the wall toward coronavirus instead. We need to
get our priorities straight and focus on keeping the American people safe,
rather than funding some useless vanity project. Let’s be clear: our border
communities are not a war zone.
End Constitution-Free Zones. CBP has the authority to
operate within 100 miles of any “external boundary” — an area deep into
the interior of the country that covers about 200 million people, including
9 of the 10 largest U.S. cities. The Border Patrol operates numerous
immigration checkpoints and regularly stops people to check their immigration
status, raising concerns about racial profiling and violations of the
Constitution’s Fourth Amendment protections. During natural disasters and daily
life, immigrant families are afraid to travel freely in their own communities.
Citizens of Tribal Nations such as the Tohono O’odham Nation who have tribal ID cards face
unnecessary hurdles with border patrol checkpoints. Agents also have the authority to enter private property
(except dwellings) 25 miles from the border, which includes almost
all of El Paso. There is no reason Border Patrol agents should have special
access to private property without receiving a warrant from a judge just like
the rest of law enforcement. As president, I will hold immigration enforcement
to the same due process and standards as other law enforcement agencies — no
more warrantless property searches, no more arbitrary stops, no more violations
of basic Constitutional rights. It’s time to rein in CBP, and ensure everyone’s
rights are respected.
Root Out White Nationalism. We need to call out white
nationalism for what it is—domestic terrorism. It is a threat to
American safety and security. In a Warren administration, we will use every
tool we have to defeat it, and that includes from within our military, our law
enforcement, and our immigration enforcement agencies. To start, I will
instruct these federal agencies to tighten their background check processes and
to better track incidents of bias crimes and reports of affiliation with white
nationalist or neo-Nazi groups in their ranks. Extremist ideology is a threat
to our values, and it has no place inside our government. As part of my plan to
reshape ICE and CBP, I’ve said that I will strengthen the authorities of
independent internal watchdogs to prevent future abuses. This includes tasking
the Inspectors General at both agencies to focus explicitly on reports of bias
crimes or racism on the job. A Warren administration will have zero tolerance
for these types of infractions.
From the 1918 Porvenir massacre through
today, we must also recognize the long history of racist violence along
the U.S.-Mexico border. Tragically, we have seen how this horrific
history repeated itself just last August, when a white nationalist, directly
echoing the rhetoric of President Trump, drove hundreds of miles to commit an
act of terror against the people of El Paso. As I laid out in my plan to combat white nationalism,
combatting white nationalist crime will be a top priority for the Departments
of Justice and Homeland Security in a Warren administration. My administration
will also work with federal and local law enforcement to crack down on
dangerous anti-immigrant vigilante militias at the border, which often include members of hate groups or
individuals with a history of violence,
including against U.S. citizens.
Respect Tribal Sovereignty. My plan for public lands
includes aggressive steps to
stop private interests from pillaging sacred lands. I will use all legal
authorities, including the Native American Graves
Protection and Repatriation Act, to protect sacred sites like Organ
Pipe. And absent extraordinary circumstances, respect for tribal sovereignty
means that no project, development or federal decision that will have a
significant impact on a tribal community, their lands, resources, members or
religious practices, should proceed without the free, prior, and informed
consent of the Tribal Nation concerned. I have also called for a new Sacred Lands Religious
Freedom Restoration Act to dramatically improve the
ability of Tribal Nations to block the imposition of development, extraction,
and land use decisions with respect to tribal lands.
Fighting for Safe, Healthy, High-Quality Living on the Border
A generation of barely budging wages and rising costs for basics like housing,
health care, child care, and education have squeezed family budgets. Many
families living in communities at our borders are hanging on by their
A lack of affordable housing and decades of systemic discrimination has
driven hundreds of thousands of people,
predominantly U.S. citizens of Mexican-descent, in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico,
and California to live in neighborhoods, called colonias, without basic
necessities like potable water, electricity, and safe housing. Border
communities have uninsured rates that are much higher than the national average
and have some of the highest rates of chronic diseases like diabetes in the
country. In the colonias in Texas, over 50% of adults do not have a
high school diploma.
A Warren administration will:
Invest in safe and affordable housing for all. My Housing Plan for America invests
$500 billion over the next ten years to build, preserve, and rehab more than
three million units that will be affordable to lower-income families —
including $523 million to create 380,000 affordable rental homes in rural
communities and $2.5 billion to build or rehabilitate 200,000 homes on
tribal lands, where overcrowding, homelessness, and substandard
housing have reached crisis levels. My plan will lower rents by 10%, reform
land-use rules that restrict affordable housing construction and further racial
segregation, and take a critical first step towards closing the racial wealth gap.
My plan to protect and empower renters tackles the growing cost of rent,
strengthens fair housing law and enforcement, fights for a nationwide right to
counsel for low-income tenants in eviction proceedings, and creates a national
small dollar grant program to help make sure families aren’t evicted because of
My administration will also take on “land contracts”
agreements, predatory loans that arefrequently targeted at
communities of color and areprevalent in border communities. In
these contracts, tenant-buyers can be subject to unjust eviction
proceedings, homes can be in such bad condition they’re basically
uninhabitable, interest rates exorbitantly high, and in the case of some
colonias, developers have failed to provide basic infrastructure
like a sewer system or paved roads. And because of the “forfeiture clause”
embedded in these kinds of agreements, if tenants fall behind on these
high-interest payments, lenders can seize the property — and keep the payments
that have been made as “liquidated damages.”
Texas is one state that has moved toward increasing protections after
a certain amount has been paid, but there’s more we can do. I’ll choose a CFPB
Director committed to reining in land contracts, work with states to require
that these contracts be recorded to collect better data and formalize land
titling, and strengthen protections and rights of these residents to ensure
their property isn’t lost to exploitative practices and can be passed onto
Protect Clean Water.Clean water is
vital to our health and welfare and to our economy. But decades of
environmental racism have allowed corporate polluters to
pump dangerous amounts of pollution into our border communities and unaccountable developers to
leave these communities without the resources and infrastructure to take it
on. 30% of people living in colonias
don’t have safe drinking water. Meanwhile, border communities have
been battling toxic waste dumping in
their neighborhoods. And yet, Trump’s 2021 budget proposal eliminates much of
the federal money allocated for water and wastewater projects that could have
been used to work towards clean drinking water in border regions.
A Warren administration will invest in our nation’s water systems. I have
committed to fully capitalize the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and the
Clean Water State Revolving Fund to refurbish old water infrastructure and
support ongoing water treatment operations and maintenance, prioritizing the
communities most heavily impacted by inadequate water infrastructure. I will
also fully enforce Safe Drinking Water Act standards for all public water
systems and aggressively regulate chemicals that make their way into our water
supply, including from agricultural runoff. I’ll restore all funding to water
and wastewater projects the Trump administration has proposed to eliminate.
And, for the thousands of people who rely on private
sources for drinking water, a Warren administration will fight for
adequate funding so that everyone can have access to safe water. I’ll also make
giant agribusinesses pay the full costs of the environmental damage they wreak
on the border communities that surround them by closing the loopholes that they
use to get away with polluting and by beefing up enforcement of the Clean Air
and Clean Water Acts against them.
Health care is a human right and that’s why we need
Medicare for All. Under Medicare for All, every single person in this
country will be able to see the doctor they need and get their recommended
treatments. As president, I will immediately act to lower the cost of
prescription drugs, using every available tool to bring pressure on the big
drug companies and bring down the high costs of many common prescription drugs,
including Insulin. And within 100 days, I’ll work with Congress to expand
coverage to every American by expanding Medicare and creating a Medicare for
All option that is free for all kids and families at or below 200 percent of
While we work to deliver Medicare for All, a Warren
administration will roll back the Trump administration’s efforts to rip health
coverage away from people. The Trump administration’s reinterpretation of
Section 1557 would undermine critical nondiscrimination protections, weakening
requirements to make health information language-accessible. As president, I will
direct HHS to reinstate the Obama administration’s 2016 guidance that fully
upholds civil rights and nondiscrimination protections. I’ll roll back the
Trump administration’s Public Charge rule change, which is harming immigrants
with disabilities and forcing immigrant families to choose between staying
together and ensuring their children can get critical services. And I’ll
reverse the Trump administration’s harmful Medicaid policies, like work
requirements and block grants, that take coverage away from low-income
individuals and families.
Strengthen the Health System. While coverage is critical,
it’s only part of ensuring access to high-quality care. We also have a
responsibility to make sure that places that have experienced a loss in
services or are otherwise medically underserved get support to improve their
health systems and meet the needs of their communities.
That’s why I’ve committed to protecting health care in rural communities by
creating a new designation under Medicare for rural hospitals, ending the
harmful effects of consolidation, and dramatically increasing funding for
Community Health Centers. I will also establish a $25 billion dollar capital
fund to support a menu of options for improving care in health professional
shortage areas, including: constructing a new facility like a
Community Health Center, Rural Health Clinic, School-Based Health Center, or
birthing center; expanding capacity or services at an existing clinic;
establishing pharmacy services or a telemedicine program; supporting a diabetes
self-management education program; improving transportation to the nearest
hospital; or piloting models like mobile clinics and community paramedicine
programs. A Warren administration will also expand our health care workforce by
investing more resources in building the pipeline of culturally-competent and
language-inclusive medical professionals in rural areas and other areas with
shortages, from physicians to promotoras.
But we also need to support robust public health efforts to keep these
communities healthy and prepared to handle potential outbreaks — and to work
in partnership with the international community, including Mexico, in our
global health response. That’s why I’ve committed to fully fund the critical
agencies that support our public health infrastructure. To
double down on this commitment in the border region, I will also create a
Border Health Initiative within the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy to
focus on strengthening these institutions in ways that serve the unique needs
of this region and its people.
Fight for high-quality education from the earliest years through college. 33 of the 44 counties along the
Southern border are non-metropolitan counties. Today, a majority of rural communities lack
sufficient access to child care. My plan for Universal Child Care will
provide high-quality child care free for millions and affordable for everyone.
My administration will also work closely with local providers and tribal
governments to make sure there are high-quality child care options available in
every community — including home-based child care services. And as part of a
comprehensive early childhood education system, I will ensure all children can
attend free high-quality universal pre-K.
I’m also committed to protecting English Language Learners by enforcing their
rights to meaningful access to rigorous coursework, teachers, special education
services, and integration with the rest of the student body, while fostering
their home language. And I will protect the rights of immigrant students,
ensuring that all immigrant children have access to a quality education, no
matter their native language, national origin, or immigration status.
Border states are
facing an acute teacher shortage.
My administration will treat teachers and staff like the professionals they are
by strengthening the ability of educators to organize and bargain for just
compensation and ensure that educators aren’t drowning in debt. I’ll also build
a more diverse teacher and school leadership pipeline by investing in Grow Your
Own and teacher residency programs. And I will push to fully fund the Teacher
Quality Partnership program to support teacher residency programs in high-need
areas, like rural communities, and in areas of expertise like Special Education
and Bilingual Education.
My student debt cancellation and
universal public college plan will cancel up to $50,000 in
student loan debt for more than 95% of Americans who carry it and make two-year
or four-year public college or technical school free. My plan also makes a
minimum $50 billion investment in HBCUs, Hispanic Serving Institutions, Tribal
Colleges and Universities, and other Minority-Serving Institutions.
Prevent Gun Violence in Border Communities and in Mexico. After
Trump, we’ll have work to do to restore our relationship with our Mexican
neighbors. One area where we can begin to make improvements immediately is
in stopping the flow of American guns
to Mexico. As Mexico struggles with record violence, Americans must
face the fact that our weak gun laws have not only fed an epidemic of gun
violence at home, but are also a leading driver of instability among our
neighbors. This instability in turn is displacing people across Mexico and
elsewhere in Latin America, feeding the humanitarian crisis that border
communities in both the U.S. and Mexico are facing today. I will fight to end gun violence,
recognizing that this is part of addressing the root causes of migration and improving
our relationship with Mexico. And as president, I will pass a new federal
anti-trafficking law making clear “straw purchases” are a federal crime and
prosecute gun traffickers by instructing my Attorney General to go after the
transnational gun trade with all the resources of the federal government.
Building a 21st Century Border Economy
A thriving border economy is crucial to the economic wellbeing of the rest of
our country. And when Trump has threatened to shut it down, the ramifications
have been felt quickly and acutely. In 2018, a 5 hour border crossing closure
at San Ysidro in California — the busiest land border crossing in
the world — cost local businesses $5.3 million. We
need a strong border economy that works for everyone. That means investments in
local small businesses, growing access to financial services, closing the
digital divide, trade that uplifts labor and environmental protections, and
developing the green workforce of the future.
Boosting Small Businesses. Small businesses are
essential to the prosperity of border communities, but these businesses have
been harmed by increased border militarization and Trump’s reckless tariff by tweet approach
to trade. People along the U.S.-Mexico border also confront barriers to
accessing the capital and financial services necessary to start and grow their
businesses — barriers that disproportionately affect Latino,
Native American, and Black entrepreneurs. My comprehensive agenda to boost
America’s small businesses will level the playing field for
small business owners on the border by providing access to credit, helping
small businesses deal with regulatory requirements, and unleashing the full
purchasing power of the federal government to support small businesses.
Protecting and Expanding Financial Services. The number of
rural counties without a locally owned community bank has doubled since 1994, and
border communities are increasingly becoming banking
deserts. I’ve proposed allowing the U.S. Postal Service to partner with
local community banks and credit unions to provide access to
low-cost, basic banking services online and at post offices. A Warren
Administration will also strengthen lending to small businesses in underserved
areas by expanding support for Community Development Financial Institutions,
which provide an important source of funding for
women, people of color, and rural communities. As president, my
administration will also protect immigrant families sending remittances by
enacting stronger rules at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau around
remittances to ensure fees are transparent, and I will oppose President Trump’s
proposed tax on remittances that targets wire transfers to Mexico, Latin
America, and the Caribbean to pay for his wall.
Extend Broadband to Border Communities. The communities
along the U.S.-Mexico border have some of the lowest levels of internet
connectivity in the nation. This digital divide is a
major barrier for people to find jobs, students to complete homework, small
business to connect to new markets, and it holds back the entire community.
That’s why as president, I will make it clear in federal statute that
municipalities have the right to build their own broadband networks and
establish a new $85 billion federal grant program to
massively expand broadband access across the country. I will also require all
telecommunications services to contribute fairly into the Universal Service
Fund to shore up essential universal service programs that provide subsidies to
low-income individuals, schools, and libraries to increase broadband adoption –
because every home in America deserves a fiber broadband connection at a price
families can afford.
Decreasing Wait Times. Under the Trump Administration, wait times
at ports of entry are dramatically increasing, reducing trade and commerce
and even impacting air quality for
surrounding communities. Every day almost $2 billion worth of products crosses
the U.S.-Mexico border, but delays in Texas can exceed 10 hours — this is
unacceptable. In places like Deming, New Mexico, students pushed across the
border because of unaffordable housing or to be with deported family
members get up at dawn to wait hours
through highly-militarized security checks to make it to school on
the U.S.-side on time. An estimated 40,000 children cross the
U.S.-Mexico border for school every day. First, we will
invest in dedicated pedestrian lanes for both U.S. citizens and students, and
the “All Lanes Open Initiative” so that there is better traffic flow
during the morning rush and expand the program to include evenings. We also
need to completely repeal the “hardening measures,” such as concrete
barriers topped with razor wire, and limit “tactical exercises” that create
choke points and slow down traffic. With the passage of the USMCA, we will
increase the number of custom officials and invest in modern technology to more
efficiently and effectively inspect and verify goods.
Leveling the Playing Field with Trade. As a Senator, I voted
for the USMCA — the revised NAFTA agreement. I supported the agreement because
it made some improvements for American workers, farmers, and consumers, and
Mexican workers too. It guarantees the right to organize for Mexican workers,
provides for new investments in combating pollution such as $300 million
to stop cross-border sewage flows,
and strengthens diplomatic ties with our neighbors at a time that President
Trump seeks to divide us.
But we will do much better for border communities in a Warren administration.
We need a new approach to trade that works for Americans who have been left
behind, including the communities on the U.S.-Mexico border. Instead of pursuing
a race to the bottom when it comes to worker’s rights and environmental
protection, it is time to use our leverage of the American market to encourage
other countries, including Mexico, to elevate their policies. When we raise
labor and environmental standards worldwide, we help millions of people living
abroad and let American workers compete on a more level playing field.
Building the Green Workforce of the Future. Border states
are emerging as leaders of the new green economy.Texas is the leading producer of
wind energy in the country, California is the leading producer
of solar energy, and clean energy investments in New Mexico and Arizona are on the
rise. To really bend the curve on climate, we’ll need sustained big, structural
change across a range of industries and sectors. My administration will commit
to investments in retraining, joint labor management apprenticeships, and
creating strong career pipelines to ensure a continuous supply of skilled,
available workers. And, we will look for every opportunity to partner with high
schools and vocational schools to build pathways to the middle class for kids
who opt not to go to college. Outside experts that have looked at my ideas for
a Green New Deal to analyze how they will drive job creation have estimated
that they will create 10.6 million new green jobs.
That means millions of new clean energy jobs in border states and honoring our
commitments and a just transition for fossil fuel workers, so that no one is
Honoring our Border Servicemembers and Veterans. Military
bases and military families are key drivers of local border economies, from the
Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma to Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio. Rather
than defunding military projects — like military base child care
facilities — to build Trump’s “wall”, we should be investing
in military readiness, infrastructure, and veterans and their families. From
military housing and child care to a 21st century VA system, I will keep our
promise to care for our nation’s veterans, service members, and military