Warren released a comprehensive climate change plan in September with inspiration from Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a former 2020 Democratic presidential candidate who focused on rigorous action to combat climate change. Her plan echoes Inslee’s call to move toward 100 percent clean energy over a 10-year period, placing a $3 trillion price tag on the issue. Warren’s latest climate action blueprint is only one component of her multifaceted approach to fighting climate change. She also has outlined a Green Manufacturing land use plan, a Green Apollo research plan and a green military plan. She says reversing Trump’s tax cuts for the wealthiest individuals and corporations would cover $1 trillion of the plan. “Nothing less than a national mobilization will be required to defeat climate change,” Warren wrote in a Medium post announcing the climate plan.
The cornerstone of Warren’s campaign is her wealth tax: 2 cents on every dollar of wealth above $50 million and 6 cents on every dollar over $1 billion. She also wants a $15-an-hour minimum wage, stronger unions and more worker voices on corporate boards. Warren has called for 12 weeks of guaranteed paid family leave and is open to testing a jobs guarantee. Like Sanders, she wants big tech companies broken up, saying they have “hurt small businesses and stifled innovation.”
Warren, a former Harvard law professor who spent a year teaching K-12 special education, has made universal free public college tuition and canceling student loan debt for 42 million Americans bedrocks of her campaign. She has also blasted Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and promised that she would choose an educator for that post. Warren pledged to use Title I funding to incentivize states to increase teacher pay. She also released a plan that would end federal funding for new charter schools and increase accountability for existing ones. In the past, she expressed support for charter schools and co-sponsored an amendment upholding standardized test scores as accountability checks, but she has since changed her positions on both of those issues.
The senator frames the United States’ foreign involvement as an opportunity to defend democracy and question the role of capitalism in exacerbating inequalities worldwide. “Every decision the government makes should be grounded in the recognition that actions that undermine working families in this country ultimately erode American strength in the world,” she wrote in an op-ed in Foreign Affairs in February. Generally cautious about military force, Warren favors ending U.S. involvement in Yemen and opposes military intervention in Syria and Iraq. Her vision for U.S. activity abroad falls in line with a new “progressive foreign policy” that focuses on the distribution of wealth worldwide and the implications of autocratic leadership.
On an issue that has split Democratic presidential candidates, Warren came out against the electoral college. “I believe we need a constitutional amendment that protects the right to vote for every American citizen and makes sure that vote gets counted,” she said at a CNN town hall event in March at Jackson State University in Jackson, Miss. Warren also has called for an end to the Senate filibuster and used the importance of passing a firearm background check bill to explain the significance of the 60-vote threshold. In terms of the Supreme Court, Warren is admittedly still figuring out her position. She has said that “all options are on the table,” including term limits and adding justices. She also has called for a national commission to study reparations for slavery.
After initially adopting Sen. Bernie Sanders’s Medicare-for-all proposal, she came out with a more detailed plan that would start out with a public option before a second phase, three years later, that would institute a single-payer system. Under her public option, anyone younger than 18 would be automatically enrolled and would not be charged any premiums. Her plan came after repeated questions about how Medicare-for-all would be funded. Her $20.5 trillion health-care funding plan includes a tax of 6 percent on wealth above $1 billion, and Warren says it does not include a tax on the middle class.
Warren says she would make crossing the U.S. border without papers a civil offense as opposed to a criminal one. Her plan calls for an increase in financial aid to Central America and for the elimination of private detention facilities in the United States. In 2018, she spoke in favor of replacing Immigration and Customs Enforcement, but this year she said the agency needs to be “reorganized significantly.”
Like all other Democratic presidential candidates with comprehensive immigration policies, Warren has called to reverse the controversial tenets of President Trump’s border policy. The senator wants to work with Congress on reinstating and expanding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program but says she would consider using presidential powers if necessary. “I’ll work with Congress to pass broad-reaching reform, but I’m also prepared to move forward with executive action if Congress refuses to act,” Warren wrote in a Medium post announcing her plan.