Massachusetts Sen. and former University of Texas law professor, Elizabeth Warren, is among the Democratic presidential candidates spending time in Texas ahead of next week’s Super Tuesday primary. Warren held a rally in San Antonio Thursday, sharing the stage with the city’s former mayor, and former Democratic presidential candidate, Julián Castro. Warren will also be in Houston on Saturday.
Warren says her approach to immigration and border issues is collaborative. She recently unveiled what she calls a Border Communities Plan.
“It involves strengthening our border communities, and recognizing that these are communities that have existed for a long time, and have people who are working on both sides of the border, and need to be acknowledged as such,” she says.
Stopping the Trump administration’s border wall, and what Warren calls “militarization of the border,” are also among her priorities. She would expand legal immigration and create a pathway to citizenship for immigrants without documents.
Warren blames Senate filibuster rules for preventing agreement between Democrats and Republicans on comprehensive immigration reform.
When it comes to gun laws, Warren says Congress is an impediment to passing any regulation. She says more than 90% of Americans want to see “just some basic steps on gun safety in this country.” She supports background checks, and getting “weapons of war” off the streets. But these measures haven’t been considered by Congress, she says
“Who’s really calling the shots there? It’s the NRA and the gun industry,” she says. “I believe in democracy. And in a democracy, when the majority of people want to see us vote on something, and get something done, that’s what we ought to be doing.”
Warren says gun violence is about more than mass shootings. She also cites domestic violence, suicide and shootings that affect communities of color as important factors in determining gun regulations.
“There’s not going to be a single bill or a single answer. It’s a public health emergency,” Warren says.
Beyond background checks and restrictions on assault weapons, Warren advocates waiting periods for gun purchases.
When it comes to health care, Warren supported a “Medicare for All”-type approach earlier in her campaign. Such a plan would do away with private health insurance. But she has since pulled back from that, and now favors changes to the health care system that could be phased in over time.
“I approach this as saying we need the most help to the most people as quickly as possible,” Warren says. “On day one as president, I will support the Affordable Care Act from the sabotage of the Trump administration. I will use the power the president already has to bring down the cost of prescription drugs.”
Warren says her plan would provide full health care coverage to those who want it. Coverage would be free to children under 18, and to those making less than $50,000 a year, she says.
Warren also wants to give people a chance to “try” government-subsidized health care coverage.
“And then we’ll vote on Medicare for All,” she says. “And I think people are going to vote to say, ‘This is a good system, and we like it.'”
After Castro left the presidential race in January, he endorsed Warren. Some speculate that he could be the vice presidential candidate if Warren becomes the Democratic nominee.
“I think it would be presumptuous of me to be talking about a vice president at this point,” Warren says. “But I’ve got to tell you, I’ve known Julián for many, many years, and worked with him when he was secretary of housing and urban development.”
She won’t say more about whether she’d choose him as a running mate, but says they “share a vision” for America. She also calls him her “partner” in the campaign.
Written by Shelly Brisbin.