Elizabeth Warren has made no secret about her desire to be a champion for the middle class, and recently she seized upon the new language being used by the Republican Party as they highlight their own concerns for middle class wage stagnation and income inequality.
Once again, Elizabeth Warren confronted Republicans — this time during a forum to introduce her newest project, the “Middle Class Prosperity Project,” which she has started with Representative Elijah Cummings (D – Md.). In the clip that shows Warren’s speech, which has already been viewed more than a million times, Warren speaks of the need for action more than speaking and held Republican policies responsible as the reason why the middle class is struggling.
“Recently Republicans seem to have discovered the struggles of America’s middle class. Out of nowhere, they’re suddenly talking about this problem. Well that’s great, but talk is cheap and when it comes to action, these Republicans seem to have amnesia about what they’ve actually done to hard-working Americans. Republican trickle-down policies created tax breaks and loopholes for the wealthy while leaving working families to pick up the pieces. I’ll believe Republicans care about what’s happening to America’s middle class when they stop blocking legislation that would require billionaires to pay taxes at least at the same rate that teachers and firefighters do. Republican trickle-down economics blocked increases in the minimum wage that would have lifted 14 million people out of poverty.”
In April of 2014, Senate Republicans blocked Democratic legislation that would have increased the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour, with only one Republican voting in favor of the measure. Congressional Republicans have also signaled that they will continue to block any tax increase on America’s wealthiest, even when those tax increases would be used to fund more tax breaks for the middle class.
Elizabeth Warren is asking Republicans to now put actions behind their new concern about middle class prosperity.
“I’ll believe that Republicans care about what’s happening to America’s working families when they stop blocking minimum wage increases and agree that no one, no one in this country should work full time and still live in poverty. Republican trickle-down economics squeezed billions of dollars of profits out of people who had to borrow money to go to college. I’ll believe Republicans care about what’s happening to America’s future when they agree to refinance student loans.”
Refinancing student loans in order to give students much lower rates and make higher education affordable and more accessible has been an important issue to Elizabeth Warren. Efforts to lower interest rates on student loans to under four percent have been blocked by Congressional Republicans several times.
Warren believes that the Republican rhetoric about middle class concern is just that — rhetoric, with no policies to back it up. And on Tuesday, she let Republicans know that she’s watching.
“I could go on, but the point is the same: 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.”
Elizabeth Warren has never been shy about stating her opposition to policies she believes are bad for the middle class and America, frequently calling out her colleagues. Her willingness to do so, coupled with her strong support of populist ideas, has made her a leading figure in the Democratic party. Click here to watch her take on Congress over what she terms “corporate welfare.” And watch the video of Elizabeth Warren making her case against Republican policies below.