Washington, D.C. — Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on Wednesday advocated for the role of the government in spurring the economic recovery following the pandemic and helping consumers avoid corporate price gouging amid rising inflation.
“Government is what you need in a crisis,” she said. “Government, and a strong government response, is our best hope when we hit bad economic times.”
Her remarks came at the Center for American Progress IDEAS Conference, which brings together elected officials and other leaders from around the country to discuss urgent policy challenges and the big ideas fueling the progressive movement. This year, the event celebrates CAP’s 20th anniversary as a leading think tank that helps generate and implement progressive policies.
Warren took questions from former Deputy Director of the National Economic Council Bharat Ramamurti to discuss how prioritizing the middle class over corporate profits will make the economy stronger.
She said many corporations have raised prices just to increase profits as they take advantage of the inflationary impact happening around them. She decried “corporate price gouging,” calling it “a big part of why prices go up and they stay up” even as other prices have come down.
She also defended the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for taking on unreasonable banking fees and helping consumers save money. She noted that the CFPB has already returned more than $17 billion from giant corporations back to consumers. The bureau has long been under attack by conservatives and the financial industry, and the U.S. Supreme Court is now considering a case brought by payday lenders that could threaten funding for the agency.
“The CFPB shows that government can work,” she said. “And it can work for people in ways they can see and feel.”
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) discussed his response to the Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade and described what his state has done to protect abortion access and women’s health care services. He just launched Think Big America, a new nonprofit that focuses on expanding reproductive rights across the nation.
“The opportunity arose for us to really make Illinois an island, an oasis, in the Midwest, where every state around us has restricted women’s reproductive rights,” he said.
Pritzker said Illinois has an obligation not just to preserve clinic access, medication abortion, and other necessary medical services, but also to focus on people who cannot afford it.
“I cannot imagine how we ended up in this world where you don’t have that right, where a politician is basically standing between you and your doctor in a decision that is clearly the most personal decision that can be made,” he said.
His comments came during a conversation with Fatima Goss Graves, president and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center.
Video of the discussions is available online at “2023 CAP IDEAS Conference.”
For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at email@example.com.