Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), in an indirect shot at former Vice President Joe Biden, has publicly called for the repeal of the 1994 crime bill that Biden helped write.
In a post on the website Medium, Warren declares that “the 1994 crime bill exacerbated incarceration rates in this country, punishing people more severely for even minor infractions.” Among her proposed alternative solutions are “stop criminalizing homelessness” and “stop criminalizing poverty.”
According to Politico, “the bill was part of a series of criminal justice reforms in the 80s and 90s that dramatically increased the number of people in jail and disproportionately affected people of color.” Biden, at the time a senator from Delaware, played a key role in writing the bill, officially known as the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, which was signed by President Clinton.
Warren’s plan also draws a contrast with another frontrunner, Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who was accused of being too harsh on minor infractions while Attorney General of California. In a now-infamous attack by Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) in the second Democratic debate, Gabbard pointed out that Harris fought to keep the “cash bail” system in place to make it more difficult for bail to be paid. Warren’s plan also calls for the elimination of cash bail.
The unveiling of this plan comes as Senator Warren’s numbers are continuing to steadily rise in the polls. She has now overtaken Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) as the second-place candidate, while Biden is still the frontrunner. But Warren has come in first place in several polls, including recent polls from Change Research, and was in a statistical tie with Biden in a recent YouGov poll, as well as the Iowa State Fair straw poll.