Underperforming presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) has portrayed herself as a bipartisan dealmaker by taking credit for sponsoring bills she ultimately voted against.
“I do work with the other side,” Warren said in October during a radio interview in New Hampshire. “I’ve gotten more than a dozen bills passed into law, and they’ve been bipartisan. And that’s just been since Donald Trump has been elected president.” A post on the “Fact Squad” section of Warren’s campaign website similarly boasts that “Donald Trump has signed more than a dozen of Elizabeth’s proposals into law” and lists 15 pieces of legislation Warren sponsored.
Three of the items included in that tally, however, are bills that Warren ultimately voted against. The Gambling Addiction Prevention Act, the Sexual Trauma Response And Treatment Act, and the National Guard Promotion Accountability Act all passed the Senate in August 2018 as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2019. Warren was one of only 10 senators who voted against the 2019 NDAA, along with fellow 2020 contenders Kamala Harris (RIP), Kirsten Gillibrand (RIP), and Bernie Sanders.
The Warren campaign did not respond to a request for comment on the apparent discrepancy.
Warren does not appear to have issued a press release explaining her decision to vote against the 2019 military spending bill. She voted for and celebrated the enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2018, and was criticized by progressive activists for doing so. Warren missed the vote on the defense spending bill for 2020, as did Sanders.
Warren’s campaign website applauds the senator’s work on the National Guard Promotion Accountability Act, which was designed to streamline the promotion process for National Guard officers. It cites the bill as an example of how Warren is “looking after our veterans and servicemembers.” The website says Warren added “key provisions” to the 2019 NDAA, which “was passed into law.” The bill passed without Warren’s approval.
The passage of bills she voted against is not the worst thing for which Warren has tried to claim undeserved credit (Native American heritage). Anti-capitalist filmmaker Michael Moore said on his podcast that Warren has a propensity to “embellish the truth” with half-truths and exaggerations for political gain.
Warren is hardly the first Democrat in the Trump era to claim credit for legislation she voted against. In late December, celebrity freshman representative Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) applauded the House’s passage of a bill that included debt relief for her native Somalia, despite being one of the 75 Democrats who voted against the legislation.
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