Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren released a new plan Monday to tackle corruption in Washington, part of the Democratic presidential candidate’s ongoing promises to enact “big structural change” if elected.
Warren’s wide-ranging new proposal seeks to dramatically limit the influence of federal lawmakers and lobbyists while also expanding protections for workers. Under the plan, lobbyists would be banned from all campaign fundraising activities – including serving as campaign bundlers – and campaigns themselves would not be able to receive “intangible benefits” such as opposition research from foreign governments.
Under a new definition of “official act,” politicians would not be able to accept gifts or payments in exchange for government action. Senior government officials and members of Congress would be prohibited from serving on for-profit boards, even if they receive no compensation.
Warren also proposed banning both arbitration clauses and class-action waivers “for all employment, consumer protection, antitrust and civil rights cases.”
Warren has previously released other anti-corruption plans, which included proposals to require lobbyists to register and to prohibit foreign governments from hiring Washington lobbyists.
The new plan’s release comes hours before Warren is slated to give a speech Monday night in New York’s Washington Square Park, near the site of the former Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. A fire there in 1911 killed 146 workers, many of whom were young immigrant women.
The tragic fire – exacerbated by poor working conditions – galvanized the women’s suffrage and labor movements and led to federal reforms that remain in place for workers, women and immigrants today. It was a theme that Warren hoped to tie to her modern-day bid for the White House.
“They fought back. They got organized. They persisted. And they changed the course of history,” Warren said in a campaign video posted over the weekend. “Big structural change, brought to you by women.”