Q16: Do you support strengthening minority and women-owned businesses through expanded federal programs?
Biden: Yes. I will double down on the State Small Business Credit Initiative. In 2010, the Obama-Biden Administration created the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) to support small businesses. The program transfers funds to state small business lending initiatives, driving $10 billion in new lending for each $1 billion in SSBCI funds. I will extend the program through 2025 and double its federal funding to $3 billion, driving close to $30 billion of private sector investments to small businesses all told, especially those owned by women and people of color.
I will also establish a competitive grant program for new business startups outside of our biggest cities. To help redirect investments to more communities across the country – not just our biggest cities – I will enact legislation to provide $5 billion in funding to states with policies to encourage small business startups, for example by supporting the transfer of technology from public universities to the private sector, or by implementing training programs for new entrepreneurs.
Bloomberg: Yes. Mike’s Small Business Plan will extend opportunity to everyone. Mike will ensure that all entrepreneurs, especially women, minority and veteran business owners, are given fair access to the support, capital and mentorship they need to succeed. That includes encouraging local Business Solution Centers to certify women, minority, and veteran-owned businesses to bid for government contracts, and ensuring fair access for those businesses to capacity-building support so that they can compete for larger contracts. In addition, Mike’s plan includes support for specialized services for underrepresented groups by expanding and improving on models like the 8(a) Business Development program and expanding the Small Business Administration’s “Boots to Business” educational program to connect veteran entrepreneurs, while measuring outcomes and focusing funding on the most successful providers.
Mike’s Greenwood Initiative: Economic Justice, will spur the creation of 100,000 new Black-owned businesses, nearly doubling their number. To boost Black-owned businesses, the plan will set up user-friendly one-stop shops for entrepreneurs across the country, expand mentorships and incubators, increase access to capital (both debt and equity), support Black-owned banks and expand procurement from Black-owned businesses. These efforts are aimed particularly at benefitting Black female entrepreneurs, the fastest growing group of new entrepreneurs.
Buttigieg: Yes. My Walker-Lewis Initiative aims to triple the number of entrepreneurs from underrepresented backgrounds within 10 years, in order to create up to 3 million new jobs in communities of color and across the country overall. This initiative includes investing in entrepreneurs from underrepresented backgrounds, introducing a Debt-for-Jobs Plan to help students start businesses, awarding 25% of federal contracting dollars to small business owners from underserved communities, and convening a task force to identify additional ways to reach our entrepreneurship goals.
De La Fuente: Yes. While minority and women-owned businesses are on the rise, the discriminatory barriers to venture capital and government loans stay the same. As president, I will strengthen programs that eliminate obstructive and discriminatory lending practices so that women and minority- owned businesses can flourish.
Klobuchar: Yes. Senator Klobuchar is committed to addressing disparities in access to capital, which is an issue she has taken on as co- chair of the Entrepreneurship Caucus. As President, she will strengthen the Minority Business Development Agency, which provides technical and managerial expertise to help minority businesses overcome social and economic disadvantages. In addition, she will take action to restore oversight to eliminate discriminatory lending practices. She will direct financial regulators to restore Community Reinvestment Act protections, develop policies to encourage financial institutions to make loans and investment in local communities, especially communities in need, and conduct greater outreach to assess the true credit needs of certain areas.
Sanders: Yes. A Bernie Sanders administration will work to drastically increase the number of minority entrepreneurs. As President, Bernie will expand the Small Business Administration to provide low-interest loans and grant opportunities to help small businesses thrive. As part of this effort, we will provide targeted set-asides for women and people of color. This includes creating a $20 billion grant program within the Minority Business Development Agency to provide grants to entrepreneurs of color who continue to face discrimination in access to capital. Using the revenue generated by legalizing marijuana, we will create a targeted $10 billion small business billion grant program and a $10 billion USDA grant program, both of which will focus on businesses and farms and growing operations that are at least 51% owned or controlled by those in disproportionately impacted areas or individuals who have been arrested for or convicted of marijuana offenses.
Steyer: Yes. I will build up community prosperity and ensure economic diversification by adopting wealth-building strategies for diverse businesses nationally. This includes implementing strong targets for procurement from local, women-, and minority-owned businesses; rewarding companies that adhere to fair labor practices and employ a union workforce; advancing community-led economic development strategies by supporting projects that include local hire, targeted hiring, and first-source hiring requirements; and building community benefit agreements, responsible contractor policies and best value contracting in to federal projects.
Warren: Yes. Today, the playing field is tilted against entrepreneurs of color. The small business gap is another example of how the racial wealth gap in America holds back our economy and hurts Black, Latinx, Native American, and other minority families and communities. And because the government helped create that wealth gap with decades of sanctioned discrimination, the government has an obligation to address it head on — with bold policies that go right at the heart of the problem. That’s why I’ve proposed a Small Business Equity Fund to help close the startup capital gap for entrepreneurs of color. This new program will have $7 billion in funding to provide grants to entrepreneurs — not loans or loan guarantees. It will operate through states and municipalities and be targeted at closing the startup capital gap for entrepreneurs of color by limiting it to those who have less than $100,000 in household wealth. It’ll also direct all state-level efforts to distribute this new funding to partner with diverse investment managers. And it will support 100,000 minority-owned businesses and create over a million jobs – many of which would serve communities of color.
Q17: Do you support stronger accountability measures to support existing federal programs for minority and women-owned businesses?
Biden: Yes. The Obama-Biden Administration supported changes to the certification process designed to ensure the intended beneficiaries benefit from federal programs for minority and women-owned business through the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act. As president, I will ensure their enforcement and take additional steps as needed.
Bloomberg: Yes. Mike will ensure that all entrepreneurs — especially underrepresented groups such as women and minorities– are given fair access to the support, capital, and mentorship they need to succeed. Mike’s plan will encourage local business solution centers to certify women-, minority-, and veteran-owned businesses to bid for government contracts, and support those businesses with building capacity so they can compete for larger contracts. Federal contracts are a $500 billion industry, and Mike will work to double the value of contracts going to qualified minority-owned small businesses. Mike will also create a national corps of small business mentors who will support entrepreneurs, including in communities where there are few small businesses.
Buttigieg: Yes. I am deeply committed to the growth and prosperity of women and of communities of color through entrepreneurship, and accountability measures are integral to the support of the program.
De La Fuente: Yes. We must update and upgrade accountability measures to eliminate fraud and have a level playing field for women and minority business owners across the nation. As president, I will ensure that there is a uniform set of guidelines for regulations, and the collection of evidence (that the company is truly women or minority-owned) so that the “bait and switch,” fraudulent, practice of white, male-owned companies paying off women or minority-owned businesses to subcontract and serve as the “face” of the companies is eliminated.
Klobuchar: Yes. Senator Klobuchar supports strong accountability measures to make sure that programs designed to support minority and women-owned businesses are effectively serving minority and women-owned businesses.
Sanders: Yes. The government needs to do more to encourage and support minority and women-owned businesses. As President, Bernie would expand the Small Business Administration to provide low-interest loans and grant opportunities to help small businesses thrive. As part of this effort, we will provide targeted set-asides for women and people of color with strict accountability standards and enforcement mechanisms.
Steyer: Yes. My administration will set a strong example with strong labor standards embedded within federal contracts and hiring.
Warren: Yes. I have already committed that my Small Business Equity Fund program will have clear federal standards and accountability, and existing programs should too.
Q18: Do you support expanding Small Business Administration funding for 8a, HUB zones, Office of Women’s Business Ownership and/or targeted set-asides for minorities?
Biden: Yes. I support programs designed to strengthen women and minority-owned businesses. The Obama-Biden Administration worked to expand access to credit for women business owners. We expanded Small Business Administration loans, which support minority- and women-owned businesses at 3 to 5 times the rate of small business loans made by banks. We also expanded women business owners’ access to federal contracts, through a Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract program, providing support to women-owned businesses in industries where women are underrepresented. As president, I will build on these efforts. I will provide better access to capital for Black women-owned small businesses. I will double the Obama-Biden State Small Business Credit Initiative, which provided $1.5B to states to support small businesses and leveraged more than six times in private sector funding. More than 41% of the program’s funding went to minority and women entrepreneurs. This program transfers funds to state small business lending initiatives, driving $10 billion in new lending for each $1 billion in SSBCI funds. I will double its federal funding to $3 billion, driving close to $30 billion of private sector investments to small businesses all told, especially those owned by women and people of color.
Bloomberg: Yes. Mike’s plan includes support for specialized services for underrepresented groups by expanding and improving on models like the 8(a) Business Development program and expanding the Small Business Administration’s “Boots to Business” educational program to connect veteran entrepreneurs, while measuring outcomes and focusing funding on the most successful providers.
Buttigieg: Yes. Yes. This is described in my Walker Lewis Initiative as part of my Douglass Plan (https://peteforamerica.com/policies/douglass- plan/#EqualEmploymentandBusinessOpportunity). This initiative includes the Walker-Lewis Promise to aim to award 25% of federal contracting dollars to small business owners from underserved communities in urban and rural areas, including minority-owned firms (currently nearly 10%) and women-owned firms (currently at 5%). Overall federal contracting in 2017 was over $500 billion, so awarding more contracts to business owners who are economically and socially disadvantaged would inject over $100 billion in underserved communities.
De La Fuente: While I do not have a formal proposal as of yet, the team of America’s best and brightest that I will bring into my administration will hammer out the details.
Klobuchar: Yes. As President, Senator Klobuchar will expand Small Business Administration (SBA) lending programs and make it easier for minority and women-owned businesses to get the loans and technical assistance they need to grow. She will also work to increase small dollar lending by the SBA, which can be particularly important for women and people of color seeking to start a small business.
Sanders: Yes. A Bernie Sanders administration will expand funding for 8a, HUB zones, Office of Women’s Business Ownership and provide targeted set asides for minorities and women. The government needs to do more to encourage and support minority and women-owned businesses. As President, Bernie would expand the Small Business Administration to provide low-interest loans and grant opportunities to help small businesses thrive. As part of this effort, we will provide targeted set-asides for women and people of color with strict accountability standards and enforcement mechanisms.
Warren: Yes. Further, my Small Business Equity Fund will only make grants to entrepreneurs who are eligible for the Small Business Administration’s existing 8(a) program and who have less then $100,000 in household wealth. And we should lift the current cap on sole-source contracts issued to Tribally-owned, ANC-owned, and NHO-owned companies under the Small Business Administration’s Native 8(a) program to promote economic opportunities for small businesses and to ensure that this economic growth benefits Tribal communities.
Q19: Will you commit to tracking federal contracts by race/ethnicity and gender so that it will be possible to determine dollar amounts of contracts relative to total
dollar amount for the category of contract by agency?
Biden: Yes. Maintaining accurate data about federal contracts, including information related to race, ethnicity, and gender, is critical to ensuring that federal contractors represent the diversity of our country.
Bloomberg: Yes. Mike will have agencies track how federal contract dollars are spent so agencies know where their federal dollars are going.
Buttigieg: Yes. Transparency is a critical first step towards accountability and tracking progress to our goal. Tracking federal contracts by race/ethnicity and gender will also enable us to reassess our strategy along the way if our approach is not working.
De La Fuente: Yes. Yes, we need a uniform set of criteria to collect data and enforce accountability.
Klobuchar: Yes. Senator Klobuchar supports improving the data the federal government collects to provide more accurate statistics on the distribution of federal contracts by race/ethnicity and gender.
Sanders: Yes. Bernie will track federal contracts by race/ethnicity and gender to ensure federal contracts are reaching diverse business owners. Bernie knows that black-owned businesses are more likely to hire black workers. To help create jobs in African Americans communities, he will increase contracts to black-owned businesses.
Warren: Yes. You measure what you care about—and I care about leveling the playing field for entrepreneurs of color.
Q20: Do you have a plan to reduce poverty and close the wealth gap?
Biden: Yes. My vision for America is based on a middle class where everyone—regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or disability—comes along. I will revitalize communities in every corner of the country so that no one is left behind. Whether in our biggest cities or our smallest towns, too many low-income communities are bearing the brunt of our nation’s decaying infrastructure. I will boost federal investments in those neighborhoods to ensure that every American has access to clean drinking water, well-paved roads, high-speed broadband, safe schools, and affordable housing. I will invest in historically marginalized communities and bring everyone to the table for transportation planning. I will make unprecedented investments in rebuilding and connecting historically underserved areas to better transportation options.
I will double funding for the Economic Development Administration and task it with creating a new division devoted to helping underserved communities apply for federal aid. This initiative complements my proposal for a new White House “StrikeForce” to assist rural communities in persistent poverty and will help to ensure that every community can seek and receive the federal resources it needs to build a more prosperous economy. And, I will fund anchor institutions – which include hospitals, colleges and universities, and government administrative offices – in distressed areas to serve as contributors to economic vitality. To tackle persistent poverty in all communities, in both urban and rural America, I support applying Congressman James Clyburn’s 10-20-30 formula to all federal programs. The formula will allocate 10% of funding to counties “where 20% or more of the population has been living below the poverty line for the last 30 years.”
I will increase the federal minimum wage to $15; ensure federal dollars do not flow to employers engaging in union-busting activities or wage theft; stop employers from denying overtime pay; and eliminate non-compete clauses and no-poaching agreements that hinder employees’ ability to seek higher wages by changing jobs. I will provide a federal guarantee for public sector employees to bargain for better pay, benefits, and working conditions. I will support legislation, like the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights, that expands federal protections to domestic workers, ensuring they have the right to basic workplace protections. I will support the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment—as I have for over 45 years—and I will build on the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the first bill the Obama-Biden Administration signed into law, with the Paycheck Fairness Act.
Homeownership is how many families save and build wealth. I will end redlining and other discriminatory and unfair practices in the housing market by protecting homeowners and renters from abusive lenders and landlords, eliminate local and state housing regulations that perpetuate discrimination, hold financial institutions accountable for discriminatory practices, restore the federal government’s power to enforce settlements against discriminatory lenders, and tackle racial bias that leads homes in communities of color being assessed by appraisers below their fair value.
Bloomberg: Yes. Today, there’s a prosperity divide in America. Economic growth is concentrated in a relatively small number of places, while people in many of America’s former industry centers are struggling. Too many are stuck in low-paying jobs, or lack the skills needed to find a better job. President Trump promised to look out for the people and places left behind by a shifting global economy, but, as with so many other promises, he didn’t deliver. Instead of helping workers, President Trump has undermined their economic security. As president, Mike will bring better jobs to the people and places that President Trump has failed. With his All-In Economy Mike will put more Americans to work in exciting and growing new industries, reinvigorate communities, and provide education and training to millions.
The legacy of discrimination has excluded Black Americans from opportunities in housing, employment and education and kept many Black Americans from building real wealth. Mike’s Greenwood Initiative creates generational wealth through expanding access to homeownership and strategic investments in Black-owned businesses while also addressing systematic discrimination and other social and civic barriers. The Greenwood Initiative lays out a path to the creation of 1 million new Black homeowners and 100,000 new Black-owned businesses in the next decade. His plan also includes a $70 billion investment in the country’s 100 most disadvantaged neighborhoods.
Buttigieg: Yes. The racial wealth gap is the most visible economic consequence of our long history of discrimination against Black Americans. My Douglass Plan for Black America (https://peteforamerica.com/douglass-plan/) proposes ways to invest, at an unprecedented scale, in Black Americans and to intentionally dismantle racist systems. We do this through several policies. For example, we propose a 21st Century Community Homestead Act to launch a public trust that would purchase abandoned properties and provide them to eligible residents in pilot cities while simultaneously investing in the revitalization of surrounding communities. This plan will attack the racial wealth gap by directly fostering asset ownership among those previously prevented from accumulating capital. We plan to pair this with the Walker-Lewis initiative to address the entrepreneurship gap and create jobs in minority communities. Our nation’s pay gap for women, which is worse for women of color, is unacceptable. In my plan for empowering workers, A New Rising Tide (https://peteforamerica.com/policies/empower-workers/), we share policies to ensure that women are equally compensated as well as promoted into and retained in the well-paid jobs they deserve. This starts with gender pay transparency. Total pay gap transparency would be a down payment on more granular reporting requirements, such as by gender, race, and job within companies–building on the Obama Administration’s Equal Opportunity Office compensation data collection. We will also pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, raise a $15 federal minimum wage that is indexed to wage growth, end the tipped minimum wage that disproportionately affects women, and end the subminimum wage for workers with disabilities. My Administration will also strengthen labor protections for domestic workers who have historically been excluded from such protections. In addition, I will ensure that my policies promote the economic well-being of middle-income and low- income Americans. For example, in my Medicare for All Who Want It plan (https://peteforamerica.com/policies/health- care/), I propose generously expanding premium subsidies for low-income people to make marketplace coverage more affordable for individuals and families. I will also cap marketplace premium payments at 8.5% of income for everyone, which will primarily help middle-income families. In my climate change plan, Mobilizing America: Rising to the Climate Challenge (https://peteforamerica.com/climate), I propose a carbon tax with revenue rebated to low-income and middle-income families. Through policies like these, my Administration will strive to safeguard economic security for all low- and middle-income Americans.
De La Fuente: Yes. One immediate step I will take is to sign-into law a massive infrastructure bill that will add millions of dignified new jobs for all people.
Klobuchar: Yes. Senator Klobuchar believes we must beat back decades of systemic racism, discrimination and inequality. She believes this begins by focusing on economic justice and opportunity, which means investing in underserved areas, providing early-childcare, fixing our education system, addressing racism in health care such as disparities in maternal and infant mortality rates, overhauling our country’s housing policies by totally eliminating the Section 8 backlog and ending housing discrimination, and tackling racial disparities in wages and in retirement savings. Today, Black and Latino households have only about a tenth of the median net worth of white households. Senator Klobuchar’s proposal to establish portable, employer-funded UP-Savings Accounts for retirement savings will help address this disparity. She is also co-chair of the Diversifying Technology Caucus and the Entrepreneurship Caucus with Senator Tim Scott and as President she will work to get more women and people of color in STEM jobs. During her first 100 days as President, Senator Klobuchar will work to close the pay gap for women and women of color. Senator Klobuchar is also a co-sponsor of Senator Patty Murray’s Paycheck Fairness to ensure that employers pay employees equally for equal work — including by prohibiting employers from asking about the salary history of prospective employees — and she will get this important legislation passed as President. She has also released a plan of more than 100 actions she will take during her first 100 days as President that include immediately reversing the harmful administrative actions taken by the Trump Administration. That means priorities like implementing rules to prevent pay discrimination that the Trump Administration has tried to block, restoring and strengthening the Obama Administration’s overtime rules to expand overtime pay to millions of workers, protecting student borrowers who believe they were defrauded by their colleges and holding for-profit colleges accountable if they put profits above students, restoring staffing levels at the Office of Civil Rights and the Office of Federal Student Aid, combating segregation in housing, putting back in place rules protecting workers’ rights, and ending attempts to reduce federal housing subsidies, which would be particularly harmful for seniors, families with children and people with disabilities. Additionally, Senator Klobuchar has committed to cutting child poverty in half within a decade and ending it within a generation. To lift millions of children in our country out of poverty, she released a plan based on a National Academies of Sciences report to expand the earned income tax credit, the child care tax credit, and nutrition benefits and to increase affordable housing opportunities.
Sanders: Yes. When Bernie is President, we will treat poverty and the racial wealth divide like the crisis it is. He’ll guarantee housing for all; significantly expand sustainable homeownership in this country, ensuring African Americans are able to benefit from the wealth generation that comes from home ownership; and end the structural racism in our housing system. He’ll also create a commission to establish a financial relief program to the victims of predatory lending, mortgage fraud, redlining and those who are still underwater on their mortgages as a result of the 2008 crash which will address the fact that Black Americans lost 40 percent of their wealth in the 2009 housing crisis and were directly targeted by predatory lenders. Bernie will end the discriminatory practices in our financial services. He will put an end to predatory lending, allow every post office to offer basic and affordable banking services, and end lending discrimination once and for all. He will create a $20 billion grant program within the Minority Business Development Agency to provide grants to entrepreneurs of color who continue to face discrimination in access to capital.
He will guarantee tuition and debt-free public colleges, universities, HBCUs, Minority Serving Institutions and trade-schools to all and cancel all student debt. Black students, particularly black women, are saddled with more student debt than their white counterparts, and, because of income disparities, take longer to pay it off while paying more interest. Canceling student debt would cut the racial wealth gap for young African Americans by more than half– from 12:1 to 5:1. He’ll raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour and enact a federal jobs guarantee. Raising the minimum wage will increase the wages of 38% of African American workers. He’ll also guarantee Equal Pay for Equal Work. His Thurgood Marshall Plan for Public Education and Educators is a ten-point policy platform that addresses problems of racial and economic segregation in American pre-K-12 by calling for a transformative investment in our children, our teachers, our schools—and our country’s future.
Steyer: Yes. My economic agenda prioritizes policies that lift families out of poverty. I support increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit and the minimum wage, and providing universal Pre-K and affordable healthcare for all families. I will fight to enact these policies. The real answer to historic inequality is NOT a government takeover of huge parts of our economy, but rather, direct investment in the American people. We need to put people in the driver’s seat — and let the innovation and competition of the private sector drive growth and prosperity.
The way we measure economic success in this country is broken. The averages mask the truth and we can’t manage what we don’t measure. High employment doesn’t help if jobs don’t pay enough to live on. Economic growth doesn’t matter if there’s no wage growth to go along with it. And industry success is not success — when it’s poisoning our families, destabilizing the planet, and robbing from our children’s futures.
Among other things, we should be measuring economic mobility — the real opportunity for Americans to lift themselves up and improve their own lives. That’s the American dream.
Warren: Yes. Economic justice is not – and has never been – sufficient to ensure racial justice. That’s why I’ve proposed plans that would substantially narrow the racial wealth gap. I’ve proposed a first-of-its-kind down payment assistance program for people living in formerly-redlined communities so that everyone has access to safe and affordable housing. My plan would also build or rehabilitate 3.2 million housing units, lower rents, and create 1.5 million jobs. My plan for affordable higher education includes cancelling up to $50,000 in student loan debt for 95 percent of people who carry it, ensuring free access to public two-year or four-year public college or technical school and establishing a minimum $50 billion fund for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority-Serving Institutions. I’ve proposed creating a $7 billion Small Business Equity Fund to help close the startup capital gap for entrepreneurs of color, and I’ve proposed a new set of executive actions that I will take on day one as president to boost wages for women of color and open up new pathways to the leadership positions they deserve. A number of these proposals would be funded by my Ultra-Millionaire Tax — a two-cent tax on net worth over $50 million and a six-cent tax on net worth over $1 billion. This new tax would only apply to the 75,000 wealthiest families in the country, but it would generate trillions of dollars in revenue over ten years. These are just a few of the ways that my plans will tackle systemic discrimination and build opportunity for Black Americans. You can read more about how my plans contribute to a working agenda for Black America here: https://elizabethwarren.com/plans/agenda-black-america/. This agenda is a work in progress and will continue to be updated based on input and insight from Black activists, community leaders, organizers, policy experts, and stakeholders.
Q21: Do you support fully-funding and protecting the independence of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and support its authority to empower
consumers with the information they need to make financial decisions in the best interests of them and their families?
Biden: Yes. I was proud to work with President Obama to get the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau going, returning nearly $12 billion to consumers cheated by predatory and abusive lenders. As president, I will reverse Trump’s efforts to weaken the CFPB and will work to instead strengthen it so it can better protect consumers.
Bloomberg: Mike will reinvigorate the CFPB by ensuring continued funding and appointing a director who will put consumers’ interests first. He will support restoring the CFPB’s payday-lending rule, which struck a reasonable balance by allowing people to pay down loans gradually and encouraging traditional banks to enter the market. He will support restoring the CFPB’s mandatory arbitration rule, which defends consumers’ ability to take financial companies to court. He will support granting the CFPB clear jurisdiction over auto lending and credit reporting.
As mayor of New York City, Mike fought for fair treatment of consumers. As president, Mike will work with Congress and the relevant authorities to improve consumer protection by reinvigorating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and appointing a director who will put consumers’ interests first.
Buttigieg: Yes. I will fully fund the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and revive its enforcement authority. As consumers, we should always have the right to a fair process and strong protections that keep companies honest in the first place.
De La Fuente: Yes.
Klobuchar: Yes. Senator Klobuchar supported the Dodd-Frank Act, which created the independent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and has opposed attempts to undermine and weaken the CFPB. In her first 100 days as President, Senator Klobuchar will direct consumer protection agencies, including the CFPB, to re-evaluate any Trump Administration actions that have weakened protections for consumers.
Sanders: Yes. As a Senator, Bernie fought for the creation of CFPB and has fought against every attack to dismantle or weaken it. The CFPB has worked to protect Americans across this country from the greed and recklessness of corporate America. A Sanders administration will support these efforts and stand against any attacks from large corporations.
Bernie will appoint a CFPB commissioner who will aggressively investigate corporate wrongdoing and hold bad actors accountable. His CFPB will reverse the Trump administration’s disastrous rules on debt collectors, payday lending, and forced arbitration. His CFPB will develop a public, secure credit registry to replace for profit credit rating bureaus, end abusive and predatory practices by debt collectors, ban deceptive and unfair practices throughout consumer finance, and provide restitution for those taken advantage of by corporate greed.
Steyer: Yes. When Wall Street banks took advantage of millions of Americans during the recession, my wife Kat and I took action. We started a non-profit community bank with a simple theory: give people a fair deal and a shot at real economic power, giving people an alternative to the big financial institutions that have treated customers, communities, and the planet so badly. Corporate greed in the banking industry has left many Americans out of shared prosperity. At Beneficial, we put the interests of consumers and borrowers first, and promote a regulatory framework that aligns with our philosophy that banks must do no harm and operate in a fair, transparent, and inclusive way. We invested in the community, in businesses owned by women and people of color, and affordable housing. As president, I will build on my work in community banking and:
● Expand funding for Community Development Financial Institutions including in rural areas and Tribal lands to promote financial education, reduce predatory lending, and foster entrepreneurship; expand funding from the Community Reinvestment Act to reach more rural residents and foster local economic development.
● Protect against predatory lending to consumers for mobile home loans or mortgages, vehicle loans and payday loans through a fully funded and aggressive Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and an active Department of Justice.
Warren: Yes. Wall Street’s greed led to the 2008 financial crisis. People were tricked, squeezed, misled and outright cheated by lenders. They were handed loans the big banks knew they couldn’t pay off. Black and Latinx families were targeted with the worst-of-the-worst mortgages. These financial giants crashed our economy, costing millions of Americans their homes, their jobs, and their savings. Today, the Black-white homeownership gap is larger than it was back when housing discrimination was legal in our country. I’ve spent most of my career studying why families go broke and I raised the alarm that a crisis was coming. In the aftermath, I fought for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, built public support for it, and President Obama signed it into law in 2010. Then I helped build the agency up from scratch including by building a coalition of consumer financial groups, civil rights and faith leaders to set up the agency with a specific Office of Fair Lending to fight back against predatory lending that disproportionately impacts communities of color. Today, the CFPB helps students, seniors, veterans and other consumers who have been cheated. Since it opened, the CFPB has forced the big financial institutions to return more than $12 billion directly to the people they cheated — and I’ll protect it, strengthen it, and empower the CFPB to hold financial institutions accountable.