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Elizabeth Warren owes Hillary Clinton an Apology

In April, as it became more clear that Hillary Clinton was on the path to winning the Democratic nomination, her Campaign Chairman, John Podesta, told a Boston Globe reporter that “there is no question that there will be women” on the list of potential running mates Clinton considers.  The internet lit up with excitement as people discussed the historical implications of an all-female Presidential ticket.

Many pointed to the populist Senator from Massachusetts as the perfect candidate for Vice-President.  They surmised that Elizabeth Warren would be the only one able to rein in members of the ‘Bernie or Bust’ movement who have vowed to write-in their preferred candidate during the general election instead of casting a vote for Hillary “Wall Street Sellout” Clinton.

Those who recommend Elizabeth Warren as the perfect running mate fail to recognize that she was one of the first to label Hillary Clinton a Wall Street Sellout on national TV during an interview with Bill Moyers in 2004.  During the 2008 and current Presidential primaries, both Obama and Sanders pointed to Elizabeth Warren’s interview as evidence that Clinton is corrupt and indebted to corporate donors.

During the interview, Elizabeth Warren lied about Clinton’s record on the Bankruptcy Bill.  The bill in question was introduced to address the spike in personal bankruptcies, which jumped from 300,000 a year to over 1.2 million per year, between 1980 and 2005.  When Bill Moyers asked Warren why Hillary Clinton opposed the bill during her husband’s Presidency and then supported it when she became a Senator, Warren accused her of flip-flopping on the bill to accommodate her Wall Street constituents:

As Senator Clinton, the pressures are very different…The credit card companies have been giving money, and they have influence.  She has taken money from the groups, and more to the point, she worries about them as a constituency.

As Bankruptcy Reform was being debated in Congress in 1998, then Harvard Professor Elizabeth Warren, wrote an Op-Ed for the New York Times titled, “Bankrupt? Pay Your Child Support First.” She expressed concern about how the bill would force women to compete with lenders for child support and alimony payments.

After reading the Op-Ed, First Lady Hillary Clinton reached out to Warren to set up a meeting to discuss her concerns.  In 2000, the bill passed the House and Senate. Hillary Clinton recommended that her husband veto the bill.

When Hillary Clinton became Senator of New York, one of the first bills up for debate was the Bankruptcy Bill that President Clinton had vetoed. Senator Clinton worked with colleagues to add amendments to protect women, children, and veterans.  Before the bill moved to the House of Representatives for review, she promised to oppose the bill if it came back to the Senate with those amendments stripped.

In 2005, the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act returned to the Senate from the House with all the amendments protecting women, children, and veterans stripped from it.  Senator Clinton railed against Republicans for stripping protections for the most vulnerable members of society.  Although, she was unable to vote on the bill because her husband was in the hospital having heart surgery that day, she made her stance clear in her Senate Speech that morning:

While I strongly believe that Congress should act to fix the problems in our bankruptcy system, I also believe that this bill is misguided and deeply flawed.

This bankruptcy bill fundamentally fails to accord with the traditional purposes of bankruptcy, which recognize that we are ALL better off when hard-working people who have suffered financial catastrophe get a “fresh start” and a second chance to become productive and contributing members of society… sometimes bad things happen to responsible, hardworking people. Sometimes, conscientious Americans need help and support against forces that are too big for them to stand against alone. It should be about making sure that both large corporations and individual citizens are held to the same standards of responsibility and accountability.

This bill is flawed in a number of ways…In this bill, the Senate had an opportunity to take one important step to help citizens driven to the point of bankruptcy by unavoidable medical problems. Instead, the Senate rejected this opportunity to lighten the load on Americans dealing with the twin blows of medical and financial difficulties…

This is not a rare occurrence; we all know people who have endured hardships like medical emergencies that break the bank, layoffs, or vanishing pension plans. These are the people the bankruptcy laws are designed to protect. They are facing hardships because of forces outside of their control.

The world has changed since this bill was first considered in 2001. During the past 4 years, workers have sustained unprecedented job losses, endured termination of pension plans, and faced wage cuts and elimination of health care and other benefits as a result of their employer’s bankruptcy.

Many of these bankruptcies have been the direct result of wrongdoing by corporate mismanagement. The people who take the biggest hit when big companies go bankrupt aren’t the top executives, but the ordinary employees whose pensions and healthcare coverage disappear overnight.

In the last four years, the global economy has become relentless. Workers are living with more employment insecurity, and many have to retrain mid-career to adjust to the changing dynamics of the American economy.  Yet this bill does nothing to help these responsible Americans who suddenly find themselves in dire financial straits. In fact, it makes things harder for these individuals to find refuge in bankruptcy. Why is the majority committed to making things harder?

So the bottom line is that this bill’s proponents, while touting the need for bankruptcy reform and accountability, are willing to address only part of the problem, dealing only with the most vulnerable in our society, and leaving the reform of corporate bankruptcies on the sidelines, requiring no additional accountability with respect to our nation’s companies…

I am baffled by the majority’s rejection of Senator Durbin’s “G.I. Protection Amendment,” which I was proud to co-sponsor…I can’t understand why the entire Senate didn’t cosponsor this amendment to better protect our men and women in uniform and their families. It is troubling and incomprehensible to me that most of my colleagues would refuse to vote for it.

And while refusing to support an amendment that would have helped military families in a meaningful way, the majority of the Senate had no problem rejecting an amendment that was designed to make it harder for millionaires to hide their assets from creditors, even after filing for bankruptcy.

Even though there appears to be a near universal recognition that the bankruptcy law contains a major loophole, one that enables wealthier Americans who file for bankruptcy to shield their assets through what are called “asset protection trusts,” a majority of the Senate rejected a meaningful amendment to close that loophole.

To make matters even worse, yesterday the Senate, again led by the Republican leadership, rejected an amendment offered by Senator Kennedy, which would have outlawed unlimited homestead exemptions. This would have prevented the wealthiest Americans from avoiding responsibility by hiding their assets from creditors.

In other words, bill proponents, led by the Republican leadership, have called for additional significant financial accountability, but not if you are a corporate entity, not if you are wealthy, and not if you are an organization that a court has found to have violated the law and infringed upon the rights of others.

Almost without exception, the majority has voted across the board against these and other amendments, apparently under strict orders from the Republican leadership to oppose any and all amendments, regardless of whether the amendments were designed to help our troops, to remove loopholes for millionaires, to help families facing medical and financial crisis.

This is the antithesis of the American and family values that many of my colleagues so like to talk about.  This legislation, especially after refusal, after refusal, after refusal to support amendments to improve it, is unfair and unjust…

Because of unforeseen and unavoidable circumstances, I will not be present when the Senate votes on final passage of this bill today. But were I able to be here, I would vote no, because this bill is clearly not in the best interests of the American people.

Hillary Clinton’s stance didn’t change because she received money from Wall Street constituents. Her stance remained the same over the years: she fought to close loopholes for the wealthy and to protect the vulnerable.  She opposed the bill during her husband’s Presidency because it didn’t protect women and children.  In 2001, she supported it when amendments were added to prioritize women and close loopholes for the wealthy.  In 2005, she opposed it after Republicans stripped those amendments.

Elizabeth Warren continued her criticism of Hillary Clinton in her book, The Two-Income Trap.  In it she wrote, “The bill was essentially the same, but Hillary Rodham Clinton was not. Hillary Clinton could not afford such a principled position.  Campaigns cost money, and that money wasn’t coming from families in financial trouble…Of far more importance was the fact that the bill would permit credit card companies to compete with women after bankruptcy for their ex-husbands’ limited income, and this provision remained unchanged in the 1998 and 2001 versions of the bill.”

A quick comparison of the 1998 and 2001 versions of the Bankruptcy bill reveals that Elizabeth Warren lied when she said the provisions remained unchanged.  The 1998 bill (HR 2415) did not include an amendment to prioritize the needs of women and children; the 2001 bill (S 420did.  In 2001, Senator Barbara Boxer introduced Amendment 42 to prioritize child support and alimony.  During the Senate debate of the bill, Boxer thanked Senator Hillary Clinton for working closely with  her on the amendment.

Nevada Senator Robert Torricelli described the 2001 amendment as follows:

This bill protects the American family, the vulnerable child, the single mother. Under current bankruptcy law, a single parent and the child are seventh in line behind the Government, accountants, rent, storage, and tax claims. Under this bill, a mother and child seeking money in bankruptcy stand behind no one. They are first in line in claiming assets in any bankruptcy.

It’s clear that Hillary Clinton told the truth when she said she changed her mind because the 2001 version included amendments to protect women and children.  So, why did Elizabeth Warren fabricate this elaborate tale to demonstrate Hillary Clinton’s corruption?  Why would she try to tear down one of the most accomplished and admired women in the world?

Warren’s damning testimony has been one of the most effective propaganda tools for Clinton opponents.  Not only did Warren lie about Clinton’s record and attack her character, she is also the only female Senator who did not endorse Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential race.

It’s of interest to note that Warren was a registered Republican when the Clintons were in the White House.  Could she be harboring anti-Clinton sentiments left over from the days she identified as Republican?  What ever the motive, it’s time to set the record straight.  Elizabeth Warren owes Hillary Clinton an apology.  Until then, her lack of integrity on this issue makes her a poor choice for Hillary Clinton’s running mate.

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21 thoughts on “Elizabeth Warren owes Hillary Clinton an Apology

  1. You can call this post ‘left-leaning’ all you want. That doesn’t make it so. Definitely ponders to Clinton who IS NOT A LIBERAL, but in the pockets of big business.

    1. Very funny Lee. I guess it depends on how you define “liberal” – I define it as someone who puts the welfare of the disadvantaged ahead of others. Clinton has a long history of doing that.

  2. Warren owes Clinton NOTHING! can’t understand the right-wing slant of this article. Must be a propaganda site for Clinton. Don’t need to read this kind of garbage.

  3. It also handed credit card companies and financial institutions a HUGE win. I’m sick of the “what about the children” crap and how she “did it for single mothers”. This is more of the same. It was put in to give cover to people like Clinton and her nasty little lap dog Wasserman Schultz. Both are long standing suck ups to Wall Street. This article is crap. Warren owes nothing to Clinton. Clinton is as corrupt as any and more than most.

    1. You may not like Clinton but this article isnt about whether she’s corrupt. It’s about whether Warren lied (she did). You can acknowledge Warren lied and still hold onto your anti-Clinton beliefs.

      1. She did not lie. That clause was put in to give cover so when called out for voting on a terrible bill she can say “I did it for single mothers and children”. Horse crap. This screwed way more people than it helped. This piece is a heaping pile of dung

        1. There was a conspiracy for Barbara Boxer to make an amendment to help Senator Clinton all these years later? Are you kidding me?

          This bill stopped people who ran up their debt then said “I declare bankruptcy!” and walked away scott free. You know how you probably think all corporations are evil? Well some people are bad too. I’ve known people who did just this before the bill – including running out and maxing every last credit card before they declared bankruptcy, buying TVs and luxury items, knowing they wouldn’t have to pay for it.

          This bill stopped that, and stopping it was a good thing. It had problems, and Hillary tried to fix those problems.

    2. Neil, You must be a Bernie/Trump voter. They like free things instead of personal accountability. Bankruptcy and Welfare reform were necessary.

  4. I used to admire Elizabeth Warren. I thought she was destined to be one of the next great leaders but then my sister-in-law sent me this video last year and now I really dont know what to think of her. smh

    1. I can’t believe Warren lied about Hillary, I Didn’t know she was republican. She really owed an apologize to Madam President Hillary Clinton.

    2. I think she’s too Sanders-y. Her worldview colors her perception of reality too much and she apparently is starting to see conspiracies and evil corporations everywhere too.

      She also chastised Biden regarding Wall Street. I think, like Sanders, she’s someone whose reality is different from their romanticized public image.

  5. We need to put this behind us and keep Warren in the Senate. There is too much at stake in this election. She may have lied (what politician doesnt!?) but I’ll take her over a Republican any day.

    1. How do we “put this behind us” when republicans and even bernie sanders keep pulling it off the shelf year after year

  6. I saw Bernie Sanders campaign mgr on HardBall with Chris Matthews. When he was asked to provide ONE example to prove Hillary was influenced by money, he couldnt. He said ask Elizabeth Warren about the bankruptcy bill. Too bad Warren cant be trusted! I agree, she needs to go on national TV to make a public apology.

    1. She needs to do nothing of the sort. Clinton owes America an apology for dragging us into deadly conflicts and being a lying shape shifter.

      1. Clinton has never been the President, so she’s never “dragged us into deadly conflicts”. The myth of Hillary being a liar is like the belief that lemmings jump off cliffs: it’s not true, but everyone believes it anyway.

        1. You are ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. Seems too many people bought into the lies fed to us about the Clintons without doing their own fact checking.

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