Sen. Bernie Sanders on Wednesday inched closer to supporting impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, saying “it may be time” for the House Judiciary Committee to determine whether to start the process.
“I do understand where House members are coming from. And you’ve got this guy who is refusing to respect the Constitution, equal powers, and is rejecting requests for members of the administration to come forward,” the 2020 Democratic White House hopeful said on CNN.
“So, you know, I think it may be time at least to begin the process through the Judiciary Committee to determine whether or not there are impeachment proceedings.”
Calls by Democratic lawmakers to launch an impeachment inquiry have ramped up since Monday, when the administration directed former White House counsel Don McGahn to defy a subpoena from the House Judiciary Committee to testify publicly and produce documents related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Sanders said Wednesday that if Trump “continues to not understand the Constitution of the United States, the separation of powers, the fact that the Congress has every right to subpoena,” it might be time to start the impeachment process.
Sanders, a Vermont Independent, also said House Democrats must remain focused on progressive legislative priorities.
“The House has got to continue going forward, raising the minimum wage to a living wage, making sure that all of our people have health care, dealing with climate change, dealing with voter suppression,” Sanders said. “If all we talk about is Trump, Trump, Trump, I think he benefits.”
The White House is continuing its march to war with Iran, but resistance is growing—most recently by a group of 62 organizations that issued an open letter to Congress on Tuesday calling for the representative body to exercise its power and stop U.S. aggression.
In the letter, the 62 groups call on Congress to “fulfill its constitutional duty and enact further constraints to unequivocally prevent the administration from launching an unauthorized war.”
The push to war has been led mainly by President Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Trump himself has been noncommittal, expressing support and hesitance in nearly equal measure depending on the day.
Nevertheless, a number of the letter’s signatories said in a statement, the administration’s actions require pushback from Congress.
“Trump and his National Security Advisor John Bolton are taking this country to the brink of a completely avoidable military confrontation,” said Jamal Abdi, president of the National Iranian-American Council. “It’s time for Congress to turn its words into action by passing legislation to stop Trump and Bolton from starting an illegal war.”
Under the Constitution, only Congress has the ability to declare war. But that right has been eroded over the last seven decades as presidents have used language like “police actions” and other euphemisms to go around Congress and start wars at will. The 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) in the wake of the 9/11 attacks has been used (pdf) over 37 times by Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Trump in over 14 countries.
In response to congressional cooling on war, the administration on Tuesday used a briefing from Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan to continue to raise the specter of a vicious, calculating foe while telling members of Congress that the threat, for now, has abated.
“I’d say we’re in a period where the threat remains high,” Shanahan told reporters Tuesday. “And our job is to make sure that there is no miscalculation by the Iranians.”
Gwen DuBois, the president of the Chesapeake Bay chapter of PSR, made clear that the horror that could be seen in Iran was previewed in Iraq. In a war with Iran, DuBois said, “likely hundreds of thousands if not a million or more people would die, as in Iraq, from the indirect consequences of war—such as infections and the collapse of the healthcare system.
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Well, I never expected our ‘(away from) home movies’ to be the subject of a @MotherJones article. But it does illustrate 2 things – 1) the focus was on peace & friendship & 2) Bernie has a sense of curiosity & humor! Still ❤️ my guy! https://t.co/9yj1huYJr1
Over the past two decades, education reform has been a major topic of debate and policymaking, from President Bush’s No Child Left Behind bill to President Obama’s Race to the Top initiative. Reforms have generally followed the pattern of adapting mechanisms from the for-profit business world to “fix” supposedly broken aspects of the public education system: weakening teacher unions, replacing public schools with privately-run charters, tying teacher pay to test score results, and so on.
Yet there is one idea that was once a major focus of reform efforts, but has been set aside for years: racial desegregation.
That is, until now. Last week, Bernie Sanders released a plan to revitalize school integration efforts. It’s both an excellent plan and brings attention to a vitally important racial justice issue.
Historical context is important here. For a couple decades after the civil rights legislation of the 1960s, the federal government put real effort into forcing school districts to integrate their populations. The main objective was to equalize educational opportunity, particularly in the South. Stuffing black populations into crummy, under-resourced institutions was one of the major mechanisms of the Jim Crow apartheid system — but if white and black children went to the same schools, then they should receive education of a similar quality (or at least a lot closer than before).
Because cities across the nation were (and remain) extremely segregated, and whites violently resisted any attempt to integrate actual neighborhoods, the only realistic option was using transportation to achieve a decent demographic mix. But this led to an enormous white backlash across the country.
So what would Sanders do? He would end the prohibition on funding desegregation transport (a relic from that 1970’s backlash), provide several pots of money to encourage schools to desegregate, triple funding support for the poorest schools, expand funding for minority teacher education, ramp up desegregation orders, and provide more money for school construction and maintenance, (as well as several other policies not directly related to desegregation). It’s an excellent start, to say the least.
School integration has been outside the main political discussion for a long time, and it’s long since time we started talking about it again.
Bernie Sanders deserves enormous credit for bringing it back on the national radar and offering a meaningful plan to address it.
In a major education policy speech set to be delivered Saturday, Sen. Bernie Sanders will call for a ban on all for-profit charter schools, a position that puts him directly at odds with the Trump administration and becoming the first of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates to insist on such a move.
The Vermont independent also will call for a moratorium on the funding of all public charter school expansion until a national audit on the schools has been completed. Additionally, Sanders will promise to halt the use of public funds to underwrite all new charter schools if he is elected president.
A senior Sanders campaign official shared the details of policy proposal with CNN ahead of the Sanders speech in South Carolina — the crucial early primary state where the African-American vote is a key voting base. The moratorium on the funding of public charter schools was initially called for by the NAACP; Sanders will say in his speech that he supports the group’s efforts.
Sanders will also make the case that the growth of charter schools has done disproportionate harm to the black community because it has pulled public dollars away from community public schools.
He will give his speech in Orangeburg on the anniversary weekend of the historic Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision that ruled that segregation in public schools was unconstitutional.
According to the campaign, Sanders will outline a series of reforms he deems necessary to charter school policy. Among them:
*Mandating that charter schools comply with the same oversight requirements as public schools
*Mandating that at least half of all charter school boards are teachers and parents
*Disclosing student attrition rates, non-public funding sources, financial interests and other relevant data
*Matching employment practices at charters with neighboring district schools, including standards set by collective bargaining agreements and restrictions on exorbitant CEO pay
*Supporting the efforts of charter school teachers to unionize and bringing charter schools to the negotiating table
Sanders will concede that the initial goal of charter schools — to help kids with unique learning needs — was admirable. But he will argue the system has been corrupted by wealthy activists who spent millions to privatize these schools, leaving them unaccountable and draining funds from the public school system.
Monday, Senator Bernie Sanders is going to be joining the final stop on the Road to a Green New Deal Tour.
We’ve got an amazing lineup of speakers and I’m positively thrilled to be joining them to launch the next phase of our campaign: putting together an unprecedented youth intervention to make sure the Green New Deal is at the center of the debate as the Presidential primary heats up.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Sen. Bernie Sanders
Sen. Ed Markey
Judith Howell, SEIU 32BJ
Payton Wilkins, Historically Black College and Universities Climate Consortium
Naomi Klein, author and activist
Alexandra Rojas, Executive Director of Justice Democrats
Rhiana Gunn-Wright, policy lead for the GND, New Consensus
Jeremiah Lowery, DC environmental justice organizer and former city council candidate