V.P. Biden visit recalls Elizabeth Warren’s statements against bankruptcy bill

Vice President Joe Biden is in town this evening to raise money for the Democratic National Committee and the Obama-Biden reelection campaign.

His visit to Boston recalls the strong anti-Biden statements once made by a near-member of the Obama administration in which he serves, Elizabeth Warren.

In 2002, the Harvard Law School professor – and now Democratic US Senate candidate – panned proposed changes to the US bankruptcy code in general and Biden’s support for them in particular.

Biden’s support for the changes, which made it harder to declare bankruptcy when eventually enacted in 2005, was rooted in the heavy presence of credit card companies in his homestate of Delaware.


Opponents also complained about political contributions Biden received from some of the firms. He was one of the few Democrats to support the legislation, which also became a flashpoint when he and President Obama were briefly opponents for their party’s 2008 presidential nomination.

“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. Indeed, women are not the largest demographic group in bankruptcy, outnumbering men by about 150,000 per year,’’ Warren wrote in a spring 2002 article for the Harvard Women’s Law Journal.

The piece, which contained several similar passages, was titled, “What is a Women’s Issue?’’

Warren nearly became a member of the administration after spending the past year setting up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. But Obama decided against nominating her after Senate Republicans threatened to block her confirmation.

Instead, Warren has come home and is now among seven Democrats vying for the right to challenge Senator Scott Brown for reelection next year. She is staking out territory on the left side of the political spectrum, and as a middle- and working-class advocate.

Her opinions on the issue have not changed.


“Elizabeth believes that the bankruptcy bill passed in 2005 – while good for big banks and credit card companies – was very bad for American families living paycheck-to-paycheck and for women in particular. Her opposition to the bill is consistent with her strong advocacy on behalf of middle class families,’’ spokesman Kyle Sullivan said in a statement.

As to whether Warren was attending either of Biden’s fund-raisers at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel and the Grill 23 & Bar, Sullivan said no.


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