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Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke with KTLA’s John Fenoglio on Friday, June 1, when the Vermont senator was in town for multiple events in Southern California. This is an extended version of the interview that appeared on the KTLA 5 News at 10 on June 1, 2018:
Tuesday, April 26 U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders received the Public Citizen’s Golden Boot Award in recognition of his career long commitment to fighting corporate power and holding government accountable.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) introduced two amendments to the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018 under consideration Tuesday in the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. The first amendment put forward by Sanders would impose retroactive civil fines on companies and executives that illegally marketed and/or distributed an opioid product and would punish future illegal activity with jail time for executives. The amendment is similar to legislation Sanders recently introduced to hold opioid makers accountable for their role in the epidemic. “We have not yet held accountable the drug manufacturers for the product that they have created and sold, when … Continue reading →
Following in the footsteps of US Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore), today Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) signed on as a co-sponsor of the Marijuana Justice Act. That measure, originally introduced last year by New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, incentivize states to mitigate existing and ongoing racial disparities in state-level cannabis arrests, and expunge federal convictions specific to cannabis possession.
“Prohibition didn’t work in the 1920s. It’s not going to work now,” said Sanders, announcing his co-sponsorship in a Facebook Live chat with Cory Booker. “The bottom line is we need to rethink fundamentally our attitude toward marijuana.”
Sanders’ support of the legislation drew praise from cannabis activists. “Leaders in the Democratic Party are increasingly recognizing that leading the charge on legalization is not only good policy, but good politics,” said NORML’s Justin Strekal in a statement. “The constituencies which the party claims to stand for are the ones who have most felt the weight and lifelong consequences of marijuana criminalization.”
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Thomas Edsall from the NYT writes that exit polls on general election day aren’t quite studied enough by social scientists: “We are all circling around the absolute truth, but we are all using methodologies that have their problems,” he said. Asked if he thought Pew raised legitimate questions about the exit polling, especially on the shares of college and noncollege voters, Lenski said that all surveys “have their errors,” adding that there “are sampling errors, nonresponse errors.” Brian Schaffner, a political scientist at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, specializes in political polling. The major problem with exit polls, he wrote … Continue reading →
It’s on Republicans to stop a shutdown by Bernie Sanders
I do not know why President Trump and the Republican Party — which controls the White House, the Senate and the House — are so willing to shut down the government. Maybe they think it will be good for them politically. Maybe they believe the chaos created by a government shutdown would be a welcome distraction from the ongoing Russia investigation being conducted by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. Whatever the motives of the Republican leadership, one thing is clear: A government shutdown would be disastrous for the American people.
A shutdown would harm tens of millions of working-class families who would be unable to access vital services. It would disrupt the lives of hundreds of thousands of federal employees who would not receive the paychecks they expected. It would endanger members of the U.S. military who are putting their lives on the line defending our nation.
As the middle class continues to shrink, cuts to non-defense spending would cause even worse economic pain to working families, the elderly, children, the sick and the most vulnerable. Meanwhile, as Trump and the Republicans demand an unbelievable $100 billion increase in military spending over the next two years, the Defense Department has been inoculated from budget cuts over the past several years because of the Overseas Contingency Operations loophole — a special account not subject to spending caps established by Congress in 2011.
Providing parity in these budget negotiations means, among other things, fully funding — without offsets — the Children’s Health Insurance Program for 9 million kids and community health centers for 27 million Americans. It means increased funding for the Social Security Administration and the Veterans Administration so they can provide guaranteed benefits to seniors and veterans who have earned them. It means keeping our obligations to more than 1.5 million workers and retirees who are about to lose a large part of the pensions they were promised. It means addressing the crisis of student debt, expanding child care, improving our crumbling infrastructure in rural America and protecting our national parks. It means providing help in the national struggle against opioid and heroin addiction.
The American people are increasingly disgusted with a government that protects the interests of the wealthy and the powerful, while ignoring the needs of the vulnerable. The U.S. government must do more than provide huge tax breaks to billionaires, callously deport young people, greatly expand military spending, end net neutrality, deny the reality of climate change and threaten to cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, education and nutrition programs. We must pass a budget agreement that addresses the needs of Americans and not just billionaire campaign contributors.
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The process to pass landmark tax reform legislation “has been just a disaster,” as the American public does not understand what all it involves, Sen. Bernie Sanders complained Thursday.
“Are you suggesting that a bill that impacts the entire economy, virtually every American, should be read before people vote upon it?” the Vermont independent and former presidential candidate told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell.
The bill was discussed and determined “around back doors,” Sanders continued. “Some 5,000 lobbyists have participated in it, but the American public does not know what’s in it. Bottom line, and I think some of the Republicans have been honest enough about acknowledging this, this is a gift for Republican wealthy campaign contributors.”
“At the end of 10 years, 83 million middle class families will be paying more in taxes,” said Sanders. “This means 32 million people will lose their health insurance. Premiums will go up by 10 percent with people in the individual market. This is going to exacerbate incoming wealth at a time when we have to protect the middle class and working families.”
Sanders also sounded off against the FCC’s vote to end net neutrality provisions, saying it’s “almost unspeakable” to speak about what a disaster the ruling will create.
“The internet has been a real effort to enhance democracy and level the playing field in this country,” he said. “It means that if you are a small business person right now, you were a start-up company, you can use the internet to get the word out about why people should come to your business. You can have the same opportunities on the internet as Walmart does, or as a large corporation … they’re going to do away with that and it’s going to be much more expensive for the little guy to play and compete against the big corporations.”
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