The Latest: Democratic candidates tout plans for housing

ATLANTA (AP) — The Latest on the Democratic presidential debate (all times local):

10:20 p.m.

Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker say they’d address racial and income disparities in housing, while Tom Steyer says he’d make it harder for local governments to halt building.

These are some of the proposals from the Democratic White House hopefuls on how to tackle the nation’s housing crisis. Their remarks come during a debate in Atlanta, a city facing its own housing challenges.

Steyer notes the problem is particularly bad in his home state of California. He says he would put federal money toward building affordable units.

Warren similarly says she’d invest taxpayer money to build more than 3 million new homes.

Booker, a former New Jersey mayor, says he’d give renters a tax credit if they pay more than a third of their income in rent.


10:18 p.m.

Kamala Harris says she has crafted her plans for paid family leave around what she characterizes as a campaign-wide position on policies to help elevate women.

The California senator said during Wednesday night’s Democratic debate in Atlanta that much of the “burden” of raising children and caring for aging parents falls to women, whom she noted are “not paid equally for equal work in America.”

Harris’ plan would provide leave for up to six months, a timeframe she said was selected in part due to women having children later in life than in previous generations.

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s own plan would cover up to three months. She said she kept plan costs in mind when selecting that timeline, noting an obligation to being “fiscally responsible” while still helping people.


10:15 p.m.

South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg is defending his lack of national experience by punctuating his executive experience, albeit in a city of roughly 100,000 people.

He says during Wednesday night’s debate that his isn’t traditional establishment, Washington experience but that “I would argue we need something very different right now.”

But Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar is repeating her argument that, were Buttigieg a woman, he would not be on the debate stage as a top-tier candidate for president.

Klobuchar has been arguing that her trove of passed legislation is proof of pragmatism, and victory in conservative parts of Minnesota proof she can beat President Donald Trump.

She says, “What I said is true,” adding, “Otherwise, we could play a game called name your favorite woman president.”


10:10 p.m.

Sen. Cory Booker took a moment during Wednesday night’s debate to remind voters that he too is a Rhodes scholar — a distinction more regularly pointed out in reference to 2020 Democratic rival Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

The line drew applause from the debate audience in Atlanta. Booker also pointed out that both candidates are mayors. Some observers suggest the discrepancy is because Booker is African American and Buttigieg is favored by the news media.

Booker was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford University and earned an honors degree in U.S. history in 1994. He was later mayor of Newark, New Jersey.


10 p.m.

Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard has criticized 2016 nominee Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party, prompting a sharp back-and-forth with Sen. Kamala Harris.

The congresswoman from Hawaii and California senator are among 10 Democratic candidates debating Wednesday night in Atlanta.

Gabbard doubled down on earlier comments that Clinton represents the “personification of the rot in the Democratic Party.” She says the party is influenced by a “foreign policy establishment” that supports regime-change wars. She calls it the “Bush, Clinton, Trump foreign policy doctrine.”

Harris responded by saying it’s unfortunate to have a candidate on stage who criticizes President Barack Obama on Fox News, “buddied up” to Trump adviser Steve Bannon to get a meeting with Trump and wouldn’t call out a war criminal.

Gabbard accuses Harris of “smears and innuendo.”


9:45 p.m.

Former Vice President Joe Biden is continuing to push for modifications to Obama-era health care reforms over the holistic “Medicare for all” proposals from two of his Democratic presidential rivals.

In Wednesday night’s Democratic debate, Biden argued that voters are hesitant to make the transformative, government-backed changes pushed by candidates including Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

Biden says he doesn’t want to force anyone to give up private health insurance.

Warren says that she wants to “bring as many people in and get as much help to the American people as fast as we can.”

When questioning came to Sanders, he responded: “Thank you, I wrote the damn bill.”


9:35 p.m.

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker is disagreeing with the wealth tax proposed by Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren as they join other Democratic presidential candidates for a debate Wednesday night.

Booker says Warren’s proposal “is cumbersome,” has failed in other countries and would stunt economic growth in blighted urban areas.

Warren has proposed raising taxes by 2 cents on wealth over $50 million to finance a host of programs including universal preschool and higher teacher pay.

Warren, who has come under attack recently for the proposal, called her policy “transformative.”

Booker is fighting to break out in the debate, hosted by MSNBC and The Washington Post, in part because he has not yet qualified, by fundraising and polling criteria, for the December debate.


9:15 p.m.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is challenging her Democratic presidential rivals to promise they won’t give ambassador posts to campaign donors.

Warren’s comments kicked off the Democratic presidential debate in response to a question about the ongoing impeachment proceedings.

She says Gordon Sondland, the president’s ambassador to the European Union and a central figure in the proceedings, is not qualified for the job and his appointment is evidence of corruption in Washington.

Sondland gave more than $1 million to President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee. Sondland testified before Congress on Wednesday.

Warren says none of her Democratic rivals has agreed with her pledge to block donors from getting ambassador posts.


9 p.m.

Pete Buttigieg’s dramatic rise in the Democratic race for president makes him a prime target at Wednesday night’s debate.

The candidates bunched at the front of the pack are seeking to distinguish themselves on the debate stage in Atlanta with just three months until 2020 presidential voting begins.

The 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has gained significant ground in recent months in Iowa, which holds the nation’s first caucuses on Feb. 3. But with top-tier status comes added scrutiny, as the other front-runners discovered in four previous debates throughout the summer and fall.


1: 15 p.m.

Four Democrats jumbled at the top of the party’s presidential primary are looking to begin separating themselves in the final debate before Thanksgiving begins sapping voters’ attention.

And that may mean sharpest criticism for the one with the most-recent rise, Pete Buttigieg.

The 37-year old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has gained significant ground recently. But with top-tier status comes added scrutiny, as the other front-runners discovered in four previous debates throughout the summer and fall.

Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont all faced attacks previously.

The pressure will be on Wednesday night in Atlanta for Buttigieg to demonstrate he can woo black voters and that running a city of only about 100,000 residents qualifies him to be president.


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Categories: National News