Category: Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders Speaks For An Entire Nation By Calling Trump An Embarrassment To America
| August 16, 2017 | 8:25 pm | Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, Fascist terrorism | 1 Comment

Bernie Sanders Speaks For An Entire Nation By Calling Trump An Embarrassment To America

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) responded to Trump’s defense of racists by calling the President an embarrassment to America.

Bernie Sanders Speaks For An Entire Nation By Calling Trump An Embarrassment To America

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) responded to Trump’s defense of racists by calling the President an embarrassment to America.

In a statement provided to PoliticusUSA, Sen. Sanders said, “President Trump. You are embarrassing our country and the millions of Americans who fought and died to defeat Nazism. The violence in Charlottesville was not caused by the ‘alt-left,’ (whatever that may be). It was caused by Neo-Nazis and white supremacists who are attempting to spread their hateful and racist ideology.”

Sanders was right. There is no”alt-left.” It is a term that was invented by the far right to justify the racist actions of Trump’s supporters. Donald Trump was an embarrassment to America long before the press conference. Trump’s defense of white supremacists and their violence was nothing more than more than a year of Trump behavior boiled down to an easily consumable few minutes for the entire country to see.

There is no shock here. None of this was out of character. Trump began his presidential campaign by calling Mexicans murderers and rapists. What Trump said today is who he really is.

Donald Trump is trying to help racists spread their hate and ideology. He is a disgrace to this country who should have never been elected president, and many argue wouldn’t have been elected president without the help of Putin, who deserves to be sent back to his tacky Trump Tower to live out his days in exile.

Real leaders denounce racists. They don’t enable them.

Sanders urged to woo black voters
| August 3, 2017 | 8:36 pm | Bernie Sanders, political struggle | 1 Comment

Sanders urged to woo black voters

Sanders urged to woo black voters
© Getty Images

As Bernie SandersBernie SandersDemocrats’ new ‘Better Deal’ comes up short for people of colorEconomy-focused Dems headlining Iowa fundraiserOPINION | Tomi Lahren: The liberal media twisted my words on ObamaCareMORE considers another White House bid, advisers and confidants are urging him to spend more time in the South in an effort to woo black voters.

While Sanders won over many white working-class and millennial voters in his 2016 campaign, he failed to secure black voters — and particularly support from older black women — when he challenged Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonCongress wants Trump Jr. phone records related to Russia meetingZuckerberg hires top Clinton pollster amid rumors of presidential run: reportDemocrats’ new ‘Better Deal’ comes up short for people of colorMORE for the Democratic presidential nomination.

“There’s a narrative that follows him from the campaign that he doesn’t care about the South,” said Symone Sanders, who served as the senator’s spokeswoman during the campaign. “He needs to physically show up so people feel differently.”

Bernie Sanders appeared at the NAACP national convention in Baltimore late last month, where he criticized Senate Republicans’ healthcare bill, which ultimately failed.He also stopped in states like Kentucky and West Virginia for rallies slamming Republicans on the issue.

Last month, he endorsed former NAACP chief Ben Jealous for governor of Maryland, a move one Sanders confidant said was “no accident.”

In March, Sanders also marched in Mississippi with thousands of Nissan workers at a rally for organized labor. At the rally, he congratulated the workers for “standing up for justice.”

People close to Sanders want him to spend more time in Alabama, Tennessee and other Southern states, where Sanders took a beating in last year’s primaries.

In Tennessee, Clinton won 82 percent of the black vote, while Sanders received 12 percent support, according to a CNN exit poll. In Virginia, Clinton won 84 percent of the black vote, while she took 83 percent in Georgia. She coasted to huge victories in all of these states, running up her delegate lead on Sanders.

In 2020, if Sanders runs, he is unlikely to have to face the Clinton machine. But he’ll have to do better with black voters regardless of the competition.

“Bernie Sanders was popular with white intellectuals and with many white liberals, but he didn’t have much of a brand with older African-Americans,” said Democratic strategist Jamal Simmons.

“The real challenge with Sanders is how to court older black voters,” said Simmons, who called them the “bedrock” of Clinton’s campaign.

Even if Sanders doesn’t run for president, broadening his base could give him more political power and influence. Simmons noted that black voters propelled former President Barack ObamaBarack ObamaOvernight Tech: Senate panel approves FCC nominees | Dem group invests in progressive startups | Tech groups rip Trump immigration planRussian PM: New sanctions amount to ‘full-scale trade war’America’s divisions: The greatest strategic vulnerability of our timeMORE’s campaign but that his coalition was broad.

A new GenForward survey obtained by The Hill shows that millennial voters are divided when it comes to who should lead the Democratic Party.

African-Americans and Asian-Americans would like to see Obama lead the party, while white and Latino voters prefer Sanders.

Sanders has represented the largely white state of Vermont during his congressional career, first in the House and then in the Senate.

The reality of being elected by a state with lax gun control laws led Sanders in 2005 to support legislation preventing victims of gun violence from suing companies making and selling guns. Clinton used this against Sanders during the campaign, particularly as a wedge issue with blacks.

Before the senator launched his 2016 presidential bid, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, told Sanders he needed to make inroads with black communities.

“I just want to be really frank,” Lee told Sanders in one small meeting in late 2014 with other Sanders supporters, according to attendees. “You are someone who represents a white state and you don’t have any connection to the African-American community, and that will hurt you.”

The advice stuck with those in the room and replayed over the course of the campaign, sources close to Sanders say.

At one 2015 event in Seattle, Sanders was confronted by three Black Lives Matter protestors who wanted him to focus on the anniversary of the shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black man who was killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo. The protestors confronted Sanders and demanded to speak and the moment caused headlines, portraying Sanders as out of touch with the needs of some African-Americans.

“It’s a soft spot,” one Sanders adviser acknowledged. “He’s gotta work on it and repair it.”

Symone Sanders, who is black, has been one confidante who has been getting in her former boss’s ear about what he needs to do to fix his 2016 mistakes.

“I think he’s been receptive to this idea,” Sanders said. “He’s someone who is clearly keen on what he wants, but he is definitely open to sound and concrete suggestions and advice especially to help bridge some of these gaps.”

Another confidant added that Bernie Sanders is aware that he lacked support from black voters in 2016 and “is more intentional” about issues serving the black community.

“He knows that as a country we have to work on it and not just check the box and say ‘oh we took care of that,’” the confidant said. “He believes we need to find issues that link us together and stay on those issues.”

In his speech to the NAACP, Sanders kept the focus on the Republican healthcare bill, calling it one of “the most destructive and irresponsible pieces of legislation brought to the U.S. Senate in the modern history of our country.”

He touched briefly on the need to fix a broken criminal justice system along with “the outrageously high level” of youth unemployment. He also mentioned the need for police reform “and the need to cut back on the use of lethal force, so that innocent people, often black, are not shot down in cold blood.”

Those close to Sanders say he’ll increasingly speak about issues important to black communities — from racial justice issues to the economy. And he’ll look to talk to voters not just at rallies but in smaller settings in churches and colleges.

“I think it would behoove him and other folks in the party to go out there and talk to various parts of the electorate,” Symone Sanders said. “It’s only logical.”

This story was updated at 9:23 a.m. 

Bernie Sanders will ‘absolutely’ be releasing single-payer legislation

Bernie Sanders will ‘absolutely’ be releasing single-payer legislation

Bernie Sanders will ‘absolutely’ be releasing single-payer legislation

July 30, 2017

Aidan Quigley
Posted with permission from Newsweek

Vermont Independent Senator Bernie Sanders said Sunday he would “absolutely” introduce a single-payer healthcare bill following failed Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare.

“Absolutely, of course we are,” Sanders told CNN’s Jake Tapper Sunday. “We’re just tweaking the final points of the bill and we’re figuring out how we can mount a national campaign to bring people together.”

“We are the only major country on earth, the only one, not to guarantee healthcare to all people,” he said. “The result is 28 million people who are uninsured, millions of people who are paying deductibles and copayments that are far too high.”

The GOP’s push to repeal Obamacare was stymied in the Senate when three health care proposals were voted down. The Senate had voted to proceed to debate on a 50-50 vote with a tie-breaking vote by Vice President Mike Pence, but were only able to secure 49 votes on the “skinny” repeal bill, the closest to being passed.

“And if the Republicans had gotten their way, there would have been another 30 or 32 million people thrown off health insurance,” he said. “That is crazy. What we should do is move in the direction of every other major country and guarantee health care as a right, not a privilege.”

A single-payer healthcare system has been picking up support among Democrats in recent years, with a single-payer bill in the House receiving 115 co-sponsors, almost double the amount similar efforts had last session.

In a political move, Republican Senator Steve Daines had tried to force Senate Democrats to vote for-or-against single payer last week during the most recent round of health care votes. But Democrats rejected the efforts, with none voting for it and most voting “present.” Four Democrats voted no: North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp, West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, Indiana’s Joe Donnelly and Montana’s Jon Tester. Liberal-leaning Maine Independent Angus King also voted no.

“I suspect that what Sen. Daines is doing is nothing more than an old political trick, trying to embarrass Democrats,” Sanders said before the vote. “I suspect it’s just a political game.”

Sanders previously introduced a single-payer, Medicare-for-all bill in 2013, that didn’t attract a single co-sponsor. But more Senate Democrats have spoken positively about single payer this year, with New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, California Senator Kamala Harris and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren all saying they support single-payer.

The Senate voted down a single-payer healthcare system — and there’s a specific reason Bernie Sanders opposed it

The Senate voted down a single-payer healthcare system — and there’s a specific reason Bernie Sanders opposed it

Lydia Ramsey
Business Insider
steve daines
steve daines

(Republican Sen. Steve Daines of Montana.AP)

In a twist that exemplifies just how wild the healthcare debate has been, on Thursday the Senate voted on a single-payer healthcare plan. Introduced by a Republican. Who doesn’t support it.

The plan, proposed as an amendment to the House bill by Sen. Steve Daines of Montana, was called the Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act.

It was overwhelmingly voted down, with the 57 voting “no” and many Democrats choosing to vote “present.” There wasn’t a single “yes” vote.

The amendment was the third healthcare plan to face a key vote during the 20-hour Senate debate period. Votes on both a plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and a plan to repeal the ACA without a finalized replacement have also been unsuccessful.

The amendment would have set up a virtual universal healthcare system in which all Americans would be covered through Medicare, the federal government’s health program that today covers only those who are at least 65 years old.

The intent was to try to expose which senators would vote in favor of a single-payer system.

“I do not support a single-payer system, but I believe Americans deserve to see us debate different ideas, which is why I am bringing forward this amendment,” Daines said in a statement emailed to Business Insider ahead of the vote. “It’s time for every Senator to go on the record on whether or not they support a single-payer healthcare system.”

A representative for Sen. Bernie Sanders — who has been a proponent of “Medicare for All” — called the Republican plan a “sham” and said the Democratic caucus wouldn’t be considering amendments until the final bill is out. Democrats also won’t be introducing amendments until the debate period is over.

He said in a statement:

“The process Republicans have used to try to take health insurance away from millions is a sham. The Democratic caucus will not consider amendments until we see Republicans’ final legislation and know what bill we are amending. Once Republicans show us their final bill, Sen. Sanders looks forward to getting a vote on his amendment that makes clear the Senate believes the United States must join every major country and guarantee healthcare as a right, not a privilege.”

During the debate on Thursday, Sanders called the amendment an “old political trick.”

“I hope that this is really a breakthrough,” Sanders said of the bill.

“I think this is not a time for political games,” he added.

Sanders: Senate healthcare fight ‘totally bananas’

Sanders: Senate healthcare fight ‘totally bananas’

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersFive takeaways from ObamaCare repeal’s collapseLive Coverage: Senate votes down ‘skinny’ ObamaCare repealSanders: Senate healthcare fight ‘totally bananas’MORE (I-Vt.) on Thursday ripped the Senate’s current healthcare battle as “totally bananas,” accusing Republicans of upending the “regular order” of the chamber’s business.

“There has not been one public hearing on a bill that impacts one-sixth of the American economy and every single American,” Sanders said during an appearance on CNN.

“You have a process in which the bills being brought forth are opposed by the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, the AARP — every major healthcare organization in America — and they’re trying to push this thing through.”

Senate Republicans voted on Tuesday to open debate on efforts to overhaul the country’s healthcare system, setting off a series of back-to-back votes on amendments.

Democrats, however, have refused to offer any amendments until a final bill is unveiled.

Senate Republicans hit another snag on Thursday, when three GOP senators said they would not vote for a so-called “skinny” repeal of the Affordable Care Act, unless the House guaranteed that a more comprehensive healthcare bill would be hammered out in conference.

The “skinny” bill repeals certain provisions of ObamaCare, such as the individual and employer insurance mandates, while leaving intact other pieces of the law, like the Medicaid expansion.

Democrats Cripple A Key Mechanism To Lower Premiums In Republican Healthcare Bill
| July 27, 2017 | 7:48 pm | Bernie Sanders, Health Care | No comments

Democrats Cripple A Key Mechanism To Lower Premiums In Republican Healthcare Bill

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The key mechanism of waivers for rules governing preexisting conditions and mandatory benefits must be passed with 60 votes, the Senate Parliamentarian ruled after a successful challenge from Senate Budget Committee Democrats.

Democrats Cripple A Key Mechanism To Lower Premiums In Republican Healthcare Bill

The key mechanism of waivers for rules governing preexisting conditions and mandatory benefits must be passed with 60 votes, the Senate Parliamentarian ruled after a successful challenge from Senate Budget Committee Democrats.

In a press release provided to PoliticusUSA, the Budget Committee Democrats explained the ruling:

The Senate parliamentarian determined Thursday that portions of Section 207, “Waivers for State Innovation,” of the Republican health care bill are not permissible under Senate rules. Notably, the part that would have amended Section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act to allow states to waive essential health benefits and other pre-existing condition requirements so long as their proposal does not increase the federal deficit violates the Byrd Rule.

Under current law, 1332 waivers allow states to waive certain Affordable Care Act provisions as long as they can ensure that they cover the same number of people, same level of services and same protections against high out of pocket costs.

The ranking member on the Budget Committee, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said, “The function of reconciliation is to adjust federal spending and revenue, not to enact major changes in social policy. The parliamentarian’s latest decision reveals once again that Republicans have abused the reconciliation process in an attempt to radically change one-sixth of the American economy by repealing the Affordable Care Act.”

This ruling blows a hole in the mechanism that Republicans were going to use to lower premiums. It also means that Republicans can’t use reconciliation to go it alone and do whatever they please with healthcare.

The fight is long, but details matter, and little by little Senate Democrats are chipping away at this disastrous Republican health care bill.

Report: $15 minimum wage bill would benefit 20.7 million workers in 21 states
| July 24, 2017 | 8:46 pm | Bernie Sanders, Labor, political struggle | No comments

Report: $15 minimum wage bill would benefit 20.7 million workers in 21 states

Report: $15 minimum wage bill would benefit 20.7 million workers in 21 states

Democrats’ proposal to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2024 would provide raises for 20.7 million workers in 21 states where the minimum wage is currently set at $7.25 an hour, according to a report released Monday by the National Employment Law Project.

The analysis of the Raise the Wage Act of 2017, which Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersNew Dem message doesn’t mention TrumpOvernight Healthcare: Trump pressures GOP ahead of vote | McConnell urges Senate to start debate | Cornyn floats conference on House, Senate bills | Thune sees progress on Medicaid GOP seeks to meet referee’s rule on healthcare repealMORE (I-Vt.) introduced with Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerCharles SchumerTrump: Why aren’t ‘beleaguered AG,’ investigators looking at Hillary Clinton?Trump: Washington ‘actually much worse than anyone ever thought’Schumer: Dems didn’t ‘tell people what we stood for’ in 2016MORE (D-N.Y.), Sen. Patty MurrayPatty MurrayReport: minimum wage bill would benefit 20.7 million workers in 21 statesLawmakers send McCain well wishes after cancer diagnosisTrump labor board nominees advance in SenateMORE (D-Wash.) and 28 other Democrats in May, comes on the eighth anniversary of the last increase in the federal minimum wage.

Reps. Bobby ScottBobby ScottReport: minimum wage bill would benefit 20.7 million workers in 21 statesRepublicans aim to kill off Obama franchise standardBipartisan group defends national security against climate riskMORE (D-Va.) and Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) reportedly introduced the bill in the House with 152 co-sponsors.

The report, based on data and estimates from researcher David Cooper of the Economic Policy Institute, found that in the 21 states with minimum wages at $7.25 an hour, an average of 36.8 percent of the workforce would receive raises.

In Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — two key battleground states won by President Trump — the percentages are similarly high at 35.4 and 32.5 percent, respectively, the report said.

“The federal minimum wage is supposed to provide a meaningful standard to ensure that workers everywhere in the country are paid at least an adequate wage to meet their basic needs,” Christine Owens, the group’s executive director, said in a statement.

“But with the federal minimum wage stuck now for eight years at a poverty-level of $7.25 per hour, it is falling far short of that critical role. Instead, at such an appallingly low wage level, it’s being used as a weight to suppress workers’ wages.”