For the next three days, some of the best-known supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders’s 2016 presidential bid will come together in his city for the Sanders Institute Gathering. Academics, activists, and candidates for lower office will debate their agenda, discussing everything from housing policy to the fate of Puerto Rico. Sanders himself will gave a keynote speech.
And before you ask: No, this is not about whether the independent senator from Vermont will run for president.
Yet the campaign is coming, with a crowded and unsettled Democratic field that looks nothing like the one Sanders competed in two years ago. No coronation is expected for Sanders — not that he wants one.
Sanders, who released a memoir this week of his “two years in the resistance,” has given every impression that he will run for president again. But after galvanizing voters by running against the party’s “establishment,” and given the peeption that Democrats teed up a nomination for Hillary Clinton, he has not locked up early endorsements or blocked the path for another candidate.
“It’s going to be wide open, with multiple lanes,” said James Zogby, a DNC member and Sanders ally who helped win changes to the party’s primary process. “There’s going to be billionaire lane, a moderate-centrist lane, an establishment lane, and then I think Bernie keeps one lane to himself. He has capacity to mobilize progressives as no one else does, and he’s a proven fundraiser.”
Bernie prefaced his remarks that the main purpose of the conference was to breakthrough the silos in the progressive movement. It’s to make connections, figure out strategies, and mobilize.
The left politics stars are coming out for the three-day Sanders Institute conference in Burlington. @AbdulElSayed and @IronStache hold court at the entrance; inside are Susan Sarandon, Danny Glover, Bill McKibben, Cornel West, et al pic.twitter.com/OlxBe3RhIN
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said Monday that he will oppose Mike Pompeo to lead the State Department days before his nomination hearing.
“Mike Pompeo is absolutely the wrong choice to serve as the United States’ top diplomat, and I will vote against him,” Sanders said in a statement.
Pompeo, who is currently CIA director, is slated to testify before the Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday.
Sanders isn’t a member of the panel and previously opposed Pompeo’s nomination to lead the CIA.
He added on Monday that “we need a secretary of State who will represent the best principles of the United States to the rest of the world.”
Sanders pointed to Pompeo’s position on climate change, “longstanding relationship with anti-Muslim extremists” and “hawkish” foreign policy views.
Mike Pompeo is absolutely the wrong choice for secretary of state. He is a supporter of the Global Gag Rule. He opposes LGBTQ rights. And as the top recipient of money from the Koch brothers, he's stymied action on one of our most serious security threats: global climate change.
Those wondering how President Donald Trump plans to pay for the $1.5 trillion in tax cuts for the rich he signed into law last year got their answer on Monday, when the White House unveiled its 2019 budget (pdf) blueprint that calls for $1.7 trillion in cuts to crucial safety net programs over the next decade—including $237 billion in cuts to Medicare alone.
While imposing “severe austerity” on domestic programs that primarily benefit poor and middle class Americans, Trump’s proposal also aims to hike the Pentagon’s budget to $716 billion—a seven percent increase from his 2018 request—and provide $18 billion for “the wall.”
“The Trump budget is morally bankrupt and bad economic policy,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) wrote on Twitter Monday shortly after the White House proposal was made public.
Critics were quick to note that such severe cuts to healthcare programs that serve the elderly, the disabled, and the poor will likely come “with a body count.”
In addition to calling for potentially devastating cuts to healthcare, food stamps, and other components of America’s already-withering safety net, Trump’s budget also calls for large cuts to environmental programs—including $598.5 million from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
“President Trump’s budget is nothing short of devastating for all Americans who value clean air, safe drinking water, and protected public lands,” Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in a statement on Monday.
Though presidential budget requests are non-binding, they are a strong indicator of the White House’s goals and values, as Indivisible’s senior policy manager Chad Bolt observed while analyzing the newly released document.
The Trump budget is morally bankrupt and bad economic policy. It pays for his tax breaks for the rich and large corporations by slashing Medicaid by $1.3 trillion, cutting Medicare by $554 billion and slicing $10 billion from the Social Security Disability Insurance Program.