Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) released a detailed plan Friday focused on “honoring and empowering tribal nations and Indigenous peoples” that includes numerous proposals ranging from tribal criminal jurisdiction expansion to implementing Medicare for All.
The comprehensive plan, detailed in a lengthy Medium post, aims to protect indigenous people and their land on all fronts– from digital infrastructure to housing to health care.
My housing plan would create or rehabilitate millions of housing units across the United States. It would also substantially expand the Indian Housing Block Grant to $2.5 billion, to build or rehabilitate 200,000 homes, and the Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant to $8 million in the first year. It also respects tribal sovereignty by restoring the ability of tribes to administer their own Section 8 federal housing vouchers. The proposal has been unanimously endorsed by the National American Indian Housing Council, who said it “would make a substantial impact in addressing housing needs in Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian communities.”
On the wage gap:
As compared with white men, in 2017, Native American women made 58 cents on the dollar. That’s why, on day one of my presidency, I will sign a set of executive orders to hold private contractors accountable for pay equity, make the senior ranks of the federal government look like America, and strengthen enforcement against systemic discrimination.
On Medicare for All:
Protecting Medicaid and Transitioning to Medicare for All. Over 20 percent of Native Americans are uninsured, depending solely on an already underfunded system of clinics and hospitals for care. Medicare for All will be a foundation for Native communities, providing coverage and supporting additional essential programs that deliver the extra support. Under Medicare for All, coverage disparities for Native populations can be eliminated. All Native people could potentially seek care at fully-funded IHS facilities in tribal areas and with other non-IHS providers in their communities. And as an eligible Medicare for All provider, IHS would have consistent funding for all patients instead of a patchwork of federal and private payers.
On universal child care:
Investments in Native American education should start early to ensure all kids start school ready to reach their full potential. My plan to provide affordable, universal child care and pre-K for every child in this country would guarantee free, high-quality child care and pre-K to scores of kids in Indian Country. My plan includes Tribal governments as local administrators of my universal child care and pre-K program — directly providing the resources necessary for universal quality care and education while fully respecting Tribal sovereignty. It would also raise the wages of child care workers and pre-K teachers in Indian Country, which is critical to address the shortage of workers.
On pipeline construction:
As President, I’ll expand federally protected land that is important to tribes and protect historic monuments and sacred sites from companies that see it as just another place to drill or mine. I will stop giant corporations from stealing tribal resources and threatening tribal lands with ill-advised energy projects. And I’ll make respect for sacred tribal religious interests the law of the land.
Warren has faced fierce criticism for identifying as a Native American woman in the past. She openly identified as a minority professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and Harvard Law School and repeated the same claim on her Texas Bar registration card, claiming Native American heritage:
However, a DNA test revealed that she has somewhere between 1/64th to 1/1,024 Native American ancestry stemming with “residents of Colombia, Mexico, and Peru,” as Breitbart News reported.
Warren has since apologized for her inaccurate claims but contends they did not play any role in her career advancement.
Democrat voters seem to be overlooking her past claims, with the latest Economist/YouGov poll showing Warren in a statistical tie with Joe Biden (D) for first place– holding 20 percent to Biden’s 21.
Warren also seems to be surging in the Hawkeye State, with the Iowa Starting Line-Change Research poll showing the Massachusetts senator 11 points ahead of her rivals.