Energy & Environment

Warren warns Democrats must deliver more to avoid midterm wipeout

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) speaks to reporters outside the Senate Chamber to discuss the nomination of Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson during procedural votes on Wednesday, April 6, 2022.
Greg Nash
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) speaks to reporters outside the Senate Chamber to discuss the nomination of Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson during procedural votes on Wednesday, April 6, 2022.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is cautioning Democrats that they must deliver more on their promises to avoid a brutal outcome in this fall’s midterm elections.

“Democrats win elections when we show we understand the painful economic realities facing American families and convince voters we will deliver meaningful change,” Warren writes in a New York Times op-ed published on Monday.

“To put it bluntly: if we fail to use the months remaining before the elections to deliver on more of our agenda, Democrats are headed toward big losses in the midterms.”

President Biden has won approval of a $1 trillion infrastructure bill and also saw Congress pass a coronavirus relief package early in his term. But his hopes of winning approval of a larger social spending and climate change bill known as Build Back Better were thwarted by opposition from Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).

Polls show Biden’s approval ratings faltering, and Democrats are widely worried about losing the House and Senate majorities this fall, especially with rising inflation increasingly on the minds of voters.

Warren, who sought the presidential nomination in 2020 as a progressive, has been calling on Biden and fellow Democrats in the House and Senate to do more of what they said they would do.

She specifically mentions the Build Back Better agenda by referring to a budget reconciliation package, which Democrats had hoped to use to win approval of their big legislative wish list. The budget rules prevent a filibuster from being used against the package in the Senate.

“Time is running short,” she writes. “We need to finalize a budget reconciliation deal, making giant corporations pay their share to fund vital investments in combating climate change and lowering costs for families, which can advance with only 50 Senate votes.”

“Other priorities can be done with the president’s executive authority,” she writes. “It’s no secret that I believe we should abolish the filibuster. But if Republicans want to use it to block policies that Americans broadly support, we should also force them to take those votes in plain view.”

She also spends a portion of her opinion essay advocating for the “cancellation” of a significant chunk of student loan debt, an issue that she has championed from the Senate since Biden took office. Like other progressives, she wants the president to enact that through an executive order.

“Like many Americans, I’m frustrated by our failure to get big things done — things that are both badly needed and very popular with all Americans,” she writes. “While Republican politicians obstruct many efforts to improve people’s lives and many swear loyalty to the Big Lie, the urgency of the next election bears down on us.”

“Democrats cannot bow to the wisdom of out-of-touch consultants who recommend we simply tout our accomplishments. Instead, Democrats need to deliver more of the president’s agenda — or else we will not be in the majority much longer,” she concludes.

Tags 2022 midterms Build Back Better Climate change Elizabeth Warren student debt cancelation

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