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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 9/5/15

Why Biden's Bankruptcy Bill Could Complicate a Presidential Run

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Reprinted from Truthdig


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As Vice President Joe Biden reportedly mulls a bid for the U.S. presidency, his champions portray him as a credible alternative to Democratic Party front-runner Hillary Clinton, who faces accusations that she is beholden to the financial industry. But a Biden campaign risks confronting the scorn of one of the party's most influential progressives, Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Though Biden has reportedly sought her favor, Warren has historically disdained, charging him with acting as a tool of the credit card industry by limiting debt relief for people grappling with financial troubles.

As a Harvard law professor in 2002, Warren published a journal article excoriating Biden for playing a leading role in delivering legislation that made it more difficult for Americans to reduce debts through bankruptcy filings.

As the senator from Delaware, Biden's repeated push for the bill -- signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2005 -- amounted to "vigorous support of legislation that hurts women," Warren declared. She said "the group that will be most affected by the changes in the bankruptcy legislation Senator Biden so forcefully supports will be women, particularly women heads of household who are supporting children."

In a separate 2003 book she co-authored with her daughter, Warren said, "Senators like Joe Biden should not be allowed to sell out women in the morning and be heralded as their friend in the evening."

Biden's spokesman, Stephen Spector, said: "Throughout his career, the vice president has been a champion for middle-class families and has fought against powerful interests."

Biden earlier this month met with Warren, a Wall Street critic who is well-known among Democratic voters. The meeting was widely seen as an effort by Biden to try to convince the Massachusetts lawmaker to support his prospective White House bid.

Warren's 2002 writings, however, may stymie that effort both because her criticism was specifically targeted at Biden and because the criticism revolved around an issue that cuts to the heart of Democratic voters' concerns over the growing political power of the financial sector.

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David Sirota is a full-time political journalist, best-selling author and nationally syndicated newspaper columnist living in Denver, Colorado. He blogs for Working Assets and the Denver Post's PoliticsWest website. He is a Senior Editor at In These Times magazine, which in 2006 received the Utne Independent Press Award for political coverage. His 2006 book, Hostile Takeover, was a New York Times bestseller, and is now out in paperback. He has been a guest on, among others, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC and NPR. His writing, which draws on his (more...)
 

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