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This is one in a series of semi-regular updates on our Run Warren Run effort and Senator Warren’s work to give all Americans a fighting chance.
WARREN SLAMS TRADE DEAL: In a new opinion piece in the Washington Post, Senator Warren does a deep dive on one provision in in the Trans-Pacific Partnership—a trade deal that would cost American jobs and allow massive corporations to circumvent legal systems in countries around the world, including the U.S.—and questions who the agreement would truly help. Warren’s piece explores the Investor-State Dispute System (ISDS):
“The name may sound mild, but don’t be fooled. Agreeing to ISDS in this enormous new treaty would tilt the playing field in the United States further in favor of big multinational corporations. Worse, it would undermine U.S. sovereignty. … Giving foreign corporations special rights to challenge our laws outside of our legal system would be a bad deal. If a final TPP agreement includes Investor-State Dispute Settlement, the only winners will be multinational corporations.”
POLITICO’s Ben White has more on the significance and potential impact of Senator Warren’s opposition to the TPP:
“Warren’s comments … focused on an obscure piece of the TPP agreement, the so-called Investor-State Dispute Settlement process, which allows multinational corporations to sue national governments in international forums and win cash judgments that cannot be appealed.
“Ordinarily such a wonky provision might fly deep under Washington’s radar. But Warren has proved highly adept at elevating relatively obscure issues and turning them into major causes with just a few choice words.
“Her opposition to President Barack Obama’s choice of a Wall Street banker for the No. 3 slot at Treasury quickly turned the generally low-profile post into a national issue and created a major backlash. The nominee, Antonio Weiss, eventually asked that his name be withdrawn and took a lower-profile, nonconfirmed post at Treasury.
“Opponents of Obama’s trade agenda seized on Warren’s new comments and said they raised the profile of the opposition and made defeating the deals more likely. The administration is asking Congress for fast-track status for the TPP, meaning that lawmakers wouldn’t be able to amend the deal, only vote up or down on what the administration negotiates.”
Elizabeth Warren is furious over Obama’s proposed trade deal –Ezra Klein, VOX
WARREN LAUNCHES MIDDLE CLASS PROSPERITY PROJECT: This week, Senator Warren continued fighting for the middle class and working Americans in a major way. Warren announced a new effort, The Middle Class Prosperity Project, in a joint USA Today op-edwith Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD):
“After the Great Depression, Congress enacted progressive policies to build and expand the middle class. But Washington became captive to powerful interests that game the system at the expense of the middle class. It’s time to change that system. We must free our government from the grip of armies of lobbyists and the corruption of corporate influence.”
Warren also hosted The Middle Class Prosperity Forum, the first in a series of congressional forums to hear directly from leading economists. A video of Warren’s remarks at the hearing has already been viewed more than 1.6 million times on the senator’s Facebook page.
In the hearing, she criticized members of the Republican party for employing rhetoric championing policies that benefit the middle class while working to advance policies that do just the opposite:
“Talk is cheap. It’s time for action — action that will strengthen America’s middle-class families and build a strong future, action that will produce good jobs now and in the future. It is time to put up or shut up. I have a message for my Republican colleagues: You control Congress. Stop talking about helping the middle class, and start doing it.”
WARREN SHINES SPOTLIGHT ON FED’S ALVAREZ. Warren also made headlines this week during her questioning of Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen about the conduct of the bank’s top lawyer at a hearing on Tuesday. Zach Carter has more in the Huffington Post:
WASHINGTON — Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) grilled Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Tuesday over public advocacy of deregulation by the central bank’s top lawyer, Scott Alvarez.
“The Fed’s general counsel — or anyone at the Fed’s staff — should not be picking and choosing which rules to enforce based on their personal views,” Warren said during a Senate Banking Committee hearing. “So I urge you to carefully review this issue and to assess whether the leadership of the Fed’s staff is on the same page as the Federal Reserve Board [of Governors].”
Alvarez, a Wall Street-friendly career Fed lawyer, told a conference of bank attorneys in November that he wanted to overhaul two key provisions of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law — the Volcker Rule and the “swaps push-out” measure.
At Tuesday’s hearing, Warren repeatedly asked Yellen if she or the Fed Board of Governors shared the views of their general counsel. Yellen eventually suggested that they did not.
Watch Warren and Yellen’s exchange here.
VAN JONES: WHY ‘DRAFTING WARREN IS A PLUS’: Ensuring we have the strongest possible candidate going into the general election, elevating economic issues, and firing up the Democratic base are just a few of the reasons Van Jones applauds the Run Warren Run campaign in his latest column on CNN.
Van Jones had some great things to say about the Run Warren Run campaign and the hundreds of thousands of people who have joined the movement:
“I am excited about the movement that is pushing her candidacy, unlike a whole bunch of Beltway types who have lined up to say how silly the whole notion is.
“Warren will not run, they cry—though a draft movement has convinced her before. And even if she did, she would not win—though no one gave President Obama a chance, either.
“Still, even if all of the naysayers are somehow on to something, the folks supporting ‘Run Warren Run’—MoveOn.org, Democracy for America, and the Working Families Party—and ‘Ready for Warren’ have it right.
“It is time to fire up the Democratic base, have a robust discussion of the critical issues facing our nation and hear the best ideas from our best candidates.”
FRANK UNDERWOOD CAN’T QUIT TROLLING ELIZABETH WARREN. He’s back—and our favorite corrupt politician isn’t so keen on Warren’s message, as this Facebook conversation between the unlikely duo imagines. See the satirical BuzzFeed post here.