Sep 16, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Elizabeth Warren unveils sweeping anti-corruption plan

Presidential Candidate Elizabeth Warren speaks at a Democratic Party convention.

Elizabeth Warren speaks at Massachusetts' Democratic Party convention. Photo: Preston Ehrler/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

2020 Democratic contender Sen. Elizabeth Warren released Monday a massive new plan to prevent corruption in Washington, D.C., as a part of her promise to institute what she calls "the most sweeping set of anti-corruption reforms since Watergate" if elected.

Why it matters: If enacted, the wide-ranging proposal would dramatically restructure the federal government by limiting lobbyists' influence on Congress, expanding protections for workers and requiring federal judges to publicly post their financial reports and speeches.

Details: To prevent conflicts of interest in the executive branch, her plan would force presidents and vice presidents to place their businesses into a blind trust to be sold off and senior government officials to divest from privately owned assets.

  • It would also restrict the crossover between lobbying and government by preventing former elected officials and senior government appointees from becoming lobbyists and vice versa.
  • It would apply the Code of Conduct for United States Judges, which governs the behavior of most federal judges, to Supreme Court justices. Federal judges would also have to post their financial reports, recusal decisions and private speeches.
  • It would prevent companies from putting arbitration clauses in employee contracts for employment, which forces individuals to agree to never file a lawsuit in federal court against the company.
  • Worth noting: These are only some of the top-line proposals from Warren's lengthy plan.

What they're saying: Warren said the plan's goal is "to take power away from the wealthy and the well-connected in Washington and put it back where it belongs — in the hands of the people."

Between the lines: Warren believes the rest of her far-reaching legislative goals like the Green New Deal and Medicare for All hinge on her anti-corruption plan.

Yes, but: "There are some unresolved questions on the legality of Warren’s plan to ban all fundraising activities for lobbyists given recent Supreme Court rulings on campaign finance and free speech," per Politico.

What's next: Warren will give a speech in New York City's Washington Square Park at 7pm ET to discuss the plan — near the site of 1911's Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire.

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