Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who has made it her mission to highlight and ameliorate the challenges middle-class Americans face, recently seized on the new Republican rhetoric being used to acknowledge wage stagnation and inequality.
Her comments about the Republican Party's obligation to help the middle class, given its support for the policies that helped them fall behind in the first place, came Tuesday during a forum to introduce the "Middle Class Prosperity Project," which she launched with Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.).
The clip of Warren's remarks has already been viewed on Facebook more than 1 million times in the past two days, making it one of her most successful viral videos to date. In it she says:
Recently Republicans seem to have discovered the struggles of America's middle class. Out of nowhere, they're suddenly talking about this problem. Well that's great, but talk is cheap and when it comes to action, these Republicans seem to have amnesia about what they've actually done to hard-working Americans. Republican trickle-down policies created tax breaks and loopholes for the wealthy while leaving working families to pick up the pieces. I'll believe Republicans care about what's happening to America's middle class when they stop blocking legislation that would require billionaires to pay taxes at least at the same rate that teachers and firefighters do. Republican trickle-down economics blocked increases in the minimum wage that would have lifted 14 million people out of poverty.
I'll believe that Republicans care about what's happening to America's working families when they stop blocking minimum wage increases and agree that no one, no one in this country should work full time and still live in poverty. Republican trickle-down economics squeezed billions of dollars of profits out of people who had to borrow money to go to college. I'll believe Republicans care about what's happening to America's future when they agree to refinance student loans.
I could go on, but the point is the same: Talk is cheap. It's time for action -- action that will strengthen America's middle-class families and build a strong future, action that will produce good jobs now and in the future. It is time to put up or shut up. I have a message for my Republican colleagues: You control Congress. Stop talking about helping the middle class, and start doing it.
Warren went on to mention that top priorities of Republican legislators, two months into Congress' new session, have included "debating a pipeline that will mostly benefit a giant foreign oil company" and "threatening a government shutdown of the Homeland Security Department."
"That's not good enough," she concluded.
Watch the video above.