Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts delivered a sharp warning to members of her party on Sunday: "If we don't get up and deliver, then I believe that Democrats are going to lose."
Warren's remarks to CNN came months out from the 2022 midterms, elections that will determine whether Democrats maintain control of Congress or relinquish it to the increasingly authoritarian Republican Party, which has unified over the past year to obstruct action on coronavirus relief, renewable energy investments, voting rights, and more.
"We have the tools, but we've got to get up off our rear ends and make it happen."
The Massachusetts senator said she sees "real trouble" ahead for the majority party unless it works urgently to pass more of President Joe Biden's domestic policy agenda, much of which has been blocked by a handful of right-wing Democrats, including Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.).
Warren argued specifically that, in the coming weeks, Democrats and the president should authorize the Federal Trade Commission to investigate and prosecute corporate price-gouging—which voters blame for soaring inflation—and enact a ban on stock trading by members of Congress.
"Let's cancel student loan debt," Warren added, pointing to one of dozens of executive actions that progressives are urging Biden to take. "The president has the power to do that all by himself and would touch the lives of tens of millions of people across this country."
Earlier this month, the Biden administration announced its fourth extension of the payment freeze, which is now set to end on August 31—just weeks before the November elections. Warren, along with other top Democrats, has said the president should cancel at least $50,000 in student loan debt per borrower, a move that would wipe out all of the student debt for 80% of federal borrowers.
Warren has also called on her party to pass a windfall profits tax on oil and gas corporations that are exploiting Russia's war on Ukraine to hike prices at the pump.
"There's so much we can do," the senator said.
Survey data released in recent days has intensified fears that the GOP is well-positioned to retake control of one or both chambers of Congress in the upcoming elections.
Polls have shown that Biden's support is slipping among young voters and other key constituencies, including those who received the Child Tax Credit boost that expired in December due largely to Manchin's opposition. The enhanced program's lapse sent child poverty surging in January, the first month since July 2021 that eligible families didn't receive the benefit.
"We've got less than 200 days until the election and American families are hurting. Our job, while we are here in the majority, is to deliver on behalf of those families," Warren said Sunday.
"Families are paying more at the pump, they're paying more when they go to the grocery store, they're paying more when they try to buy a hamburger," the senator continued. "So it's the responsibility of Congress, of the president, to get out there and make the changes we need to make to bring down those prices for families."
"We can do that," she added. "We have the tools, but we've got to get up off our rear ends and make it happen."
This content originally appeared on Common Dreams - Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community and was authored by Jake Johnson.