Elizabeth Warren’s next chapter

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wants Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer replaced, lamenting that there’s no one ready to step in. Elizabeth Warren has a different approach.

The Massachusetts Democrat is a member of Schumer’s leadership team and is working closely with the Senate minority leader on a policy priority that could fuel the first intra-party fight with President-elect Joe Biden.

A few months before the election, Warren asked Schumer to join her effort to cancel $50,000 of student loan debt for millions of Americans. The president can do it without Congress, she argues. The New York Democrat, who is up for reelection in 2022, was “immediately interested.”

“Chuck Schumer has a hard job. And he has to confront the fact every single day that Mitch McConnell controls what gets a vote on the floor of the Senate,” Warren said in an interview. Student loan cancellation is an “example of Chuck’s good partnership on things we’d like to get done. And using every tool available to us to make it happen.”

Recruiting Schumer on student loans shows how Warren will use her sway in Democrats’ impending internal debates as a centrist Biden confronts a narrowly divided Congress. Unlike some liberals, Warren also plays the inside game to shape policy — and picks her spots carefully.

Along with a seat at Schumer’s leadership table, Warren now has a presidential run under her belt plus a progressive record that includes hard-fought battles both with her own party and the GOP.

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