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Sen. Bernie Sanders is on a tear.
The independent senator from Vermont burst out of the gates on Feb. 19, as he launched his second straight bid for the Democratic presidential nomination — and he hasn’t slowed down yet.
The self-proclaimed ‘democratic socialist’ is drawing huge crowds on the campaign trail and racking up big bucks. He hauled in $18.2 million in fundraising in the first 41 days of his campaign, becoming the overwhelming leader of the pack in the fundraising race among the large roster of White House hopefuls.
The senator consistently registers in second place — in double digits — in 2020 polling, trailing only former Vice President Joe Biden. But until Biden officially jumps in, as is widely expected, Sanders for now is the front-runner among declared candidates. This status marks an incredible ascension from the start of the last cycle.
“We have come a long way in the last four years,” Sanders said recently on the campaign trail.
He’s not kidding.
When the senator first launched his 2016 White House bid, he was considered a far-left fringe candidate who would be a longshot against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to capture the Democratic presidential nomination. He was barely taken seriously as he made multiple trips to the early voting states in 2014 and the first half of 2015.
But Sanders caught lightning in a bottle in the summer of 2015, after officially declaring his candidacy. Along with Republican Donald Trump, he tapped into the anger among the electorate with a system that many felt was failing them. And he launched his White House bid at a time when the Democratic Party was moving further to the left.
Whether Sanders sensed this and rode the wave, or whether he is largely responsible for the party’s shift since that time, remains to be seen. But the 77-year-old politician is seemingly in the right place at the right time — at last, after decades in the political wilderness. Today, policies he espouses are virtual litmus tests for the field. Even his presidential primary rivals scrambled to co-sponsor his latest “Medicare for All” bill last week.
Veteran political scientist Dante Scala says that since President George W. Bush’s administration, more and more Democrats “have been willing to identify themselves as liberal.”
“What we’ve seen over the past decade or so is this decline in moderate and conservative Democrats. A lot more Democrats are willing to say to survey researchers and pollsters that ‘I’m liberal and I’m proud.’ In some way, Sanders was able to capitalize on a trend that was occurring with the Democratic Party,” explained Scala, a political science professor at the University of New Hampshire.
“Sanders capitalized – in 2016 in particular – with a growing sense among both young voters, white working-class voters, that the system was broken and that radical change was necessary to fix it. And I think a lot of that comes out of the great recession,” Scala added. “They wanted a politician who would go big and Bernie was happy to oblige on that.”
Sanders’ crushing defeat of Clinton in 2016 in New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary launched a political juggernaut, sending him into a marathon battle with the eventual nominee that didn’t end until after the primary and caucus calendar.
As he runs a second time, the stridently liberal candidate doesn’t appear to have a problem standing out from the rest of the pack and resonating with younger voters – even with rivals that are four decades younger. And he’s changed the conversation, with many of his fellow White House hopefuls pushing the same proposals that Sanders highlighted on the presidential campaign trail four years earlier.
But Democrats not feeling the ‘Bern’ argue that Sanders was expected to start strong, thanks to his strong name recognition and the extensive nation-wide organization that he built in 2016 and maintained in the ensuing years.
“He starts with a leg up because of running previously but I don’t think it’s an insurmountable advantage by any means,” longtime Democratic strategist Judy Reardon said.
But Scala says Sanders will be successful again because he’s “kind of married liberalism and populism.”
“I think that’s what makes him such a danger to the other 2020 candidates in that he could be what Trump was in 2016. That is, it could be the case that a strong minority bloc of voters who are married to Bernie and they’re not interested in dating,” he said.
Source: Fox News Politics
A new poll released Monday has Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., leading the 2020 Democratic presidential field, ahead of former Vice President Joe Biden, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Sen. Kamala Harris of California and more than a dozen other potential White House challengers.
The poll, which was conducted by Emerson Polling, puts Sanders atop the already crowded Democratic field with 29 percent, followed by Biden – who has yet to declare his candidacy — with 24 percent and a surging South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg rounding off the top three with nine percent.
O’Rourke and Harris garnered eight percent, while Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., pulled in seven percent.
The polling indicates that Sanders, who will appear Monday evening at a Fox News Town Hall, has a broader appeal than just his Democratic Socialist base and that his message about trade, unions, working families and health care is resonating with Democratic voters. Last week, Sanders launched a revamped “Medicare for All” plan that would replace job-based and individual private health insurance with a government-run plan that guarantees coverage for all with no premiums, deductibles and only minimal copays for certain services. In this latest version, Sanders added coverage for long-term care.
Besides Sanders plucking the top spot in the poll, the other big news from the Emerson survey was the rise of Pete Buttigieg. Affectionately known to his fans as Mayor Pete, the poll is another piece of good news for the once thought-to-be longshot candidate who officially declared his White House intentions on Sunday.
Within hours of announcing his candidacy, Buttigieg’s campaign tweeted that it had received $1 million in grassroots donations.
In a speech announcing his run, Buttigieg highlighted both his progressive values and Midwestern upbringing.
“I ran for mayor in 2011 knowing that nothing like Studebaker would ever come back—but believing that we would, our city would, if we had the courage to reimagine our future,” Buttigieg said in a speech inside South Bend’s Studebaker auto plant. “And now, I can confidently say that South Bend is back.”
He added: “There’s a long way for us to go. Life here is far from perfect. But, we’ve changed our trajectory, and shown a path forward for communities like ours.”
The 37-year-old Afghanistan War veteran, who has been exploring a White House run since January, now joins the field of a dozen-plus rivals and one that is likely to reach 20 or more.
Source: Fox News Politics
President Donald Trump enjoys a humongous financial head start over his Democratic challengers as the 2020 election cycle heats up, after hauling in more than $30 million in fundraising in the first three months of this year.
Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont – one of the co-front runners in the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination polls – holds a large lead over his rivals when it comes to the cash his campaign has on hand. Presidential candidates must report to the Federal Election Commission by the end of Monday how much money they raised and spent in the first quarter of 2019.
Trump’s re-election campaign brought in $30.3 million in the January-March first quarter of fundraising, and reports having $40.8 million cash on hand. The Republican National Committee, which will be backing the president’s re-election, raised an additional $45.8 million in the first three months of the year, a record for the party in a non-election year. Combined, the party and Trump’s two re-election committees can boast having $82 million in the bank, a massive war chest so early in a presidential election cycle.
“The President is in a vastly stronger position at this point than any previous incumbent president running for re-election, and only continues to build momentum,” said Trump re-election campaign manager Brad Parscale.
Breaking with generations of precedent, the president filed his campaign paperwork to run for re-election on the day he took over in the White House, and has raised more than $127 million during his first two years in the Oval Office.
It’s a dramatic change from his 2016 campaign, a low budget affair compared to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Trump ended up self-financing much of his campaign, putting $66 million of his own money into his White House bid.
And Trump’s setting up his re-election bid immediately after assuming the presidency stands in stark contrast to his two immediate two-term successors.
President Barack Obama didn’t declare his candidacy for re-election until April of 2011, and had only $2 million cash on hand at that time. And President George W. Bush raised less than $270,000 during his first two years in office, ahead of his 2004 re-election.
The Trump campaign touted its small-dollar grassroots appeal, announcing that 98.79 percent of first-quarter contributions were $200 or less, and that the average donation to the campaign was $34.26.
Among the Democrats, Sanders is on top when it comes to the amount of cash raised and the amount of money in the bank. The Independent from Vermont, who’s making his second straight bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, reported raising $18.2 million, with $28 million cash on hand, having transferred money left over from his 2018 Senate re-election bid.
Sen. Kamala Harris of California reported raising $12 million. So did former Rep. John Delaney of Maryland, who’s considered a long-shot for the nomination. But $11.7 million of that haul was an infusion of cash from the candidate, who’s a self-made multi-millionaire.
Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas raised an eye-popping $9.4 million during the first 18 days of his campaign, with $6.1 million of the haul coming in the first 24 hours after declaring his candidacy.
When Pete Buttigieg announced earlier this month that he had brought in nearly $7.1 million during the first quarter, it was another sign that 37-year old South Bend, Indiana mayor had moved from a long-shot status to one of the leading contenders for the Democratic nomination. In Monday’s filing with the FEC, his campaign revealed that it had $6.4 million cash on-hand as of April 1, indicating he’s been frugal with his resources.
But his burn rate may increase going forward, as Buttigieg, over the past two weeks, has doubled his campaign staff from 20 to 40, moved into a larger headquarters, and now is in the process of staffing up in the early voting primary and caucus states.
Buttigieg’s campaign also touted that it raised $1 million in just a few hours on Sunday after the candidate formally declared he was running for president.
Among those celebrities who contributed to Buttigieg during the first quarter – actors Jayne Lynch, Mandy Moore, Ryan Reynolds and entertainer Chelsea Handler.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren raised $6 million in the first quarter. The Massachusetts Democrat, who’s stressing fighting corruption and big money in politics, announced in late February that she was forgoing “fancy receptions or big money fundraisers only with people who can write big checks,” as well as phone calls with wealthy donors. The senator had $11.2 million in the bank, thanks to a large transfer of funds from her 2018 re-election campaign.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota raised $5.2 million from her campaign launching during a snowstorm in February until the end of the first quarter. She had $7 million cash on hand as of April 1, thanks to a transfer of cash from her 2018 re-election campaign.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York only raised $3 million in the first quarter, but thanks to a transfer of funds from her 2018 re-election bid, she had $10.2 million in the bank for her presidential campaign. And Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey brought in $5 million in his first two months as a presidential candidate, and as of April 1 had $6.1 million cash on hand.
Fundraising is considered an important barometer of a candidate’s popularity and a campaign’s strength. The cash can be used by a candidate to build an organization and hire staff and consultants, increase voter outreach efforts, travel and fund ads.
Democratic strategist Jesse Ferguson, a presidential campaign veteran, highlighted that the numbers are an important “data point to show us how campaigns are doing.”
“The numbers will surely be over-interpreted, but they will tell us who is building the base of support needed in order to stay in for the long haul,” explained Ferguson, who served as a senior spokesman on the 2016 Clinton presidential campaign.
Source: Fox News Politics
Hard feelings linger in campaign politics.
“After every primary cycle, there’s always bad blood because people spill a lot of blood in the process,” said former Democratic National Committee chairwoman Donna Brazile, a Fox News contributor. “Unfortunately political wounds don’t heal as quickly as physical wounds.”
Need proof? Look no further than the 2020 Democratic presidential fight.
Three years after Democrats witnessed a vicious presidential primary battle between eventual nominee Hillary Clinton and one-time longshot Bernie Sanders, there are concerns that a revival of the war of words between their two camps could do damage to the party in 2020.
“I think there’s a small segment of people in both camps who harbor significant resentment,” a veteran Democratic campaign strategist told Fox News.
The strategist, who asked for anonymity to speak more freely, warned that there “are Bernie people who have constantly attacked Clinton and there are Clinton people who resent the primary of 2016. I think this is a lingering problem that’s going to find its way into the 2020 nomination process.”
Sanders and Clinton tried to bury the hatchet in the summer of 2016, in hopes of putting to rest a bitter and contentious primary fight for the Democratic presidential nomination that saw Sanders blast the party’s establishment favorite.
But the delicate peace between the independent senator from Vermont and the former U.S. secretary of state was tepid at best. And following Clinton’s shocking loss to GOP nominee Donald Trump in the 2016 general election, Clinton and many of her top staffers blamed Sanders and his legions for her defeat.
Fast forward to 2019 and the ill will lingers.
Some of Clinton’s top aides from her 2016 campaign took aim at Sanders earlier this year, as he came out of the gate on a roll following the February launch of his second straight presidential campaign.
Ex-Clinton staffers savaged Sanders over his use of private jets during the 2016 general election while he was stumping across the country for the Democratic nominee, as detailed in a Politico article.
Explanations from the Sanders camp that the senator needed to fly private jets in order to keep a non-stop itinerary of nearly 40 rallies in 13 states during the closing weeks of the 2016 campaign didn’t fly with some of those Clinton aides.
“Royal Majesty King Bernie Sanders would only deign to leave his plush D.C. office or his brand new second home on the lake if he was flown around on a cushy private jet like a billionaire master of the universe,” Zac Petkanas, the Clinton’s 2016 campaign’s director of rapid response, said.
The spokesman for the Sanders 2016 campaign fired back, claiming that members of Clinton’s team are some of the “biggest a–holes in American politics.”
“You can see why she’s (Clinton) one of the most disliked politicians in America,” Michael Briggs added, speaking to Politico.
Sanders did himself no favors in an appearance earlier this year on “The View.” Asked if he would be asking for advice from the 2016 nominee – as some rivals for the nomination have been doing – Sanders answered, “I suspect not….Hillary and I have fundamental differences.”
Longtime Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill took to Twitter to punch back.
“I don’t know who our nominee is going to be but I am damn sure that beating Trump & getting America back on the right footing is going to require a unified Democratic Party, so crap like this 613 days before Election Day is irresponsible, counter-productive, & sets us all back,” he tweeted.
The war of words is worrying some longtime Sanders supporters in New Hampshire, where the senator’s crushing victory over Clinton in the February 2016 primary rocketed him into the bloody battle with the eventual nominee.
“They need to learn the lessons of why they lost what should have been an easy victory and just live with it so we can win [in 2020],” urged former state Sen. Burt Cohen, a member of the Sanders steering committee in the Granite State.
“We have to keep our eyes on the prize, which is saving America from Trumpism,” he added. “Carrying forth 2016 bitterness does no good.”
The call for unity to oust the Republican president from the White House in the 2020 election was echoed by Kathy Sullivan, a former longtime New Hampshire Democratic Party chair who for the last decade served as a Democratic National Committee member.
“I think that everyone wants to beat Donald Trump and that’s the most important thing. I think most people would say ‘that’s over and done with and let’s focus on 2020.’ Let’s not hurt ourselves,” noted Sullivan, who backed Clinton in the 2016 primary.
Judy Reardon, a veteran Granite State-based Democratic strategist who also supported Clinton last time around, said she’ll back whomever wins the nomination.
“People like me who supported Hillary Clinton are very practical and will support the Democratic nominee for president. To the extent there are hard feelings, I don’t think they’ll impact how people vote.”
Source: Fox News Politics
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., argued Sunday that among the presidential candidates, he was the best Democrat to win back a string of Midwestern states from President Trump in 2020, claiming that the sitting president had told working-class families a “monstrous lie” by vowing to take on monied interests in Washington.
“Donald Trump has told literally thousands of lies since he began his campaign and since he has been in the White House,” Sanders told an estimated crowd of 4,500 at an outdoor rally in Pittsburgh. “But, the biggest lie that he told the people of Pennsylvania … was that he was going to stand up for working families and take on the establishment.”
Sunday’s rally wrapped up a weekend swing in which Sanders also held rallies in Wisconsin and Michigan. Voters in all three states backed Trump over Hillary Clinton in 2016, stunning Democrats who had seen them as part of a “blue wall” held together by urban African-American voters and traditionally liberal white working-class voters.
“We are going to win in Pennsylvania, we’re going to win in Michigan, we’re going to win in Wisconsin, we’re going to win in Indiana and Ohio,” Sanders promised his cheering supporters. “And, by the way, we’re going to win the election.”
The self-described democratic socialist said his political movement mirrored the labor movement, the civil rights movement, the women’s movement and the gay rights movement in showing that “real change never takes place from the top on down, always from the bottom up.” He recited a laundry list of policies — including raising the federal minimum wage, government-run health care and legalizing marijuana — that he claimed were described as “too radical” by members of the media and political establishment.
“Today, virtually all of those ideas are supported by a majority of the American people and they are ideas that Democratic candidates from school board to president of the United States now support,” Sanders said, noting that his insurgent campaign for the 2016 Democratic nomination had netted “more votes from young people than Trump and Clinton combined.”
Sanders also proudly noted that his supporters had campaigned successfully to change the party’s rules governing superdelegates at next year’s Democratic National Convention “and maybe ending a system in which one candidate had 500 superdelegates before the first vote was cast.” The Democratic National Committee voted last summer to prevent superdelegates from voting on the first presidential nomination ballot unless a candidate had enough votes from pledged delegates, who choose a candidate based on the results of the Democrats’ primaries and caucuses.
The Vermont senator also addressed his signature issue, vowing to health insurance companies that “whether you like it or not, the United States will join every other major country on earth and guarantee health care to all people as a right.”
“It is an international embarrassment that in America today we got 30 million people with no health insurance and even more who are underinsured with high deductibles and high co-payments and for all of that we end up spending twice as much per capita on healthcare as do the people of any other nation,” said Sanders, who warned his audience that “the insurance companies are getting nervous” about his message.
“They are prepared and will spend hundreds of millions of dollars to stop us,” he said, “but we are gonna win this struggle and we will pass a Medicare for All single-payer program.”
Fox News’ Jennifer Oliva in Pittsburgh and Adam Shaw contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News Politics
CONCORD, N.H. — Sen. Bernie Sanders didn’t win the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. But the self-proclaimed democratic socialist arguably accomplished a more lasting feat.
He changed the conversation – bringing one-time fringe positions like a “Medicare-for-all” single-payer health care system, a massive increase in the national minimum wage, and free tuition at community colleges and some public schools into the mainstream of the Democratic Party’s agenda.
Now, his own success in shaping that agenda has raised an obvious challenge: He’s no longer the only candidate in the field who stands for these issues. In fact, he’s one of many.
Crystallizing this conundrum, the senator this week re-introduced an updated version of his Medicare-for-all bill and was quickly joined by four of his rivals for the nomination — with Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kamala Harris of California, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts all co-sponsoring.
It was the latest example of how, as the independent senator from Vermont runs a second straight time for the Democratic presidential nomination, he’s both leading the charge on these policies but also fighting to stand out in a field of nearly 20 candidates, many like-minded.
For the time being, polling suggests primary voters are enthusiastic about the original purveyor of these proposals. He consistently rates at the top of the field alongside former Vice President Joe Biden, who has yet to jump in. Sanders himself is quick to remind voters he was the one promoting these ideas before they were so popular.
“I want to offer a very special thanks to the people of New Hampshire. In 2016, this is where the political revolution took off. Thank you, New Hampshire,” Sanders said in March as he returned to the first-in-the-nation primary state for the first time since declaring his 2020 candidacy.
Recalling his marathon primary battle against Hillary Clinton, he said, “the ideas that we were talking about then were considered by establishment politicians and mainstream media to be ‘radical’ and ‘extreme’ — ideas, they said, that nobody in America would support.”
He highlighted that thanks to the wave that nearly carried him to the nomination, “those ideas that we talked about four years ago that seemed so very radical at that time — well, today, virtually all of those ideas are supported by a majority of the American people and have overwhelming support from Democrats and independents. And they’re ideas that Democratic candidates all across the board are supporting.”
Medicare-for-all is a prime example. A January poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation – which focuses on health care polling – indicated that 81 percent of Democrats supported a single-payer insurance model. That support dropped to 53 percent for independents and 23 percent among Republicans questioned. On Capitol Hill, meanwhile, support remains limited, with Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer stopping short of endorsing it.
Sanders said his mission in the 2020 election is “to turn our vision and our progressive agenda into reality.”
But that mission is also the goal for many of his rivals for the Democratic nomination.
Sen. Warren, another politician popular on the left, is also pushing the same progressive proposals. And some of the other leading 2020 candidates – such as Sens. Booker of New Jersey and Harris of California, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas, and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, are promoting similar plans – from criminal justice and immigration reform to refusing contributions from super PACs, corporations and lobbyists to battling climate change.
And some of those rivals are years younger than the 77-year-old Sanders and don’t carry with them a ‘socialist’ target on their backs.
Former Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Donna Brazile says that while Sanders does face a lot of competition in the progressive lane for the nomination, “they don’t have the same name ID as Hillary Clinton and the same type of broad support that Clinton had” in 2016.
“I do believe this is Senator Sanders’ opportunity – his last opportunity on the national level – to score a major victory. This is about delegates, not popularity,” explained Brazile, a Fox News contributor.
It’s early in the 2020 cycle – we still have 10 months to go before the voting begins – but so far Sanders has kept other candidates from stealing his thunder.
He surged out of the gate following his Feb. 19 announcement, drawing large crowds and racking up big bucks. Sanders hauled in $18.2 million in fundraising in the first 41 days of his campaign.
The senator consistently registers in second place in double digits in 2020 polling, trailing Biden – an all-but-certain White House contender – but ahead of the rest of the field.
And even though they have plenty of candidates to choose from this time around, many of his supporters are sticking with Sanders.
New Hampshire Sanders supporter Lorna Wakefield, who came in person to see Sanders in March when he returned to the Granite State, said she’s sticking with the senator 100 percent.
“Bernie’s the one who started this all. We’re with Bernie,” she said.
And, Chris Liquori – a member of the Sanders steering committee in New Hampshire – argued, “Why settle for the imitation when you’ve got somebody who’s been doing this for 40 years, who brought the party to its knees and brought them where they are now? Why would you go with anyone else?”
Source: Fox News Politics
Sen. Bernie Sanders is back on the campaign trail.
The 77-year-old self-proclaimed Democratic socialist is once again making a bid for the White House, joining a growing number of lawmakers who plan to take on President Trump in the 2020 presidential election.
Sanders will join Fox News Channel for a town hall co-anchored by Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum on Monday, April 15, at 6:30 p.m. ET in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
As the seasoned Vermont senator starts stumping for 2020, here’s a look at where he stands on key issues such as gun control, healthcare and the economy.
Sanders’ name has arguably become synonymous with Medicare-for-All, a bill he introduced in 2017. The goal? To achieve universal healthcare.
In a nutshell, the single-payer health insurance plan would require all U.S. residents to be covered with no copays and deductibles for medical services. The insurance industry would be regulated to play a minor role in the system.
In other words: A government-run system would replace private health insurance offered through employers, which is the mainstay of coverage some 160 million people.
Sanders recently released an updated version of the legislation, adding coverage for long-term care. Several presidential hopefuls — namely Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. and Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J. — have already endorsed the new bill.
But the program, which would likely be financed through large tax increases, has been knocked by critics for its expected cost.
Though single-payer healthcare could reportedly save taxpayers roughly $500 billion a year, according to FeelTheBern.org, the plan’s cost could up federal spending by more than $2 trillion per year, according to The New York Times, while several independent studies on the program have estimated it could increase government spending on health care to $25 trillion to $35 trillion or more over a 10-year period.
Sanders is a huge proponent of tuition-free public colleges and universities.
Under the “College for All Act”, which Sanders first introduced in May 2015, per his website, the government would “provide $47 billion in federal funding to incentivize states to increase investments in their public higher education systems and eliminate tuition for undergraduate students.”
Total tuition costs at public colleges and universities totals to roughly $70 billion annually, according to Sanders’ campaign. Under the legislation, the federal government would cover $47 billion of that cost, or 67 percent, while states would shoulder $23 billion, or the remaining 33 percent.
“The legislation would eliminate tuition and fees at four-year public colleges and universities for families making up to $125,000 — about 80 percent of the population — and make community college tuition- and fee-free for all,” according to a 2017 statement on the legislation.
“College tuition is free in Germany, even for citizens of other countries. It’s also free in Denmark, Norway Sweden, Finland, Ireland, Iceland, and Mexico. If they can do it, why can’t we?” questioned Sanders in a 2015 editorial for the Huffington Post. “Why do we accept a situation where hundreds of thousands of qualified people are unable to go to college because their families don’t have enough money?”
Sanders supports immigration reform to address the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants living in the U.S., but the ways in which he thinks the government should go about such a reform largely differs from his Republican and conservative-minded colleagues.
“What I do not support is, under the guise of immigrant reform, a process pushed by large corporations which result in more unemployment and lower wages for American workers,” Sanders told The Washington Post in 2013.
Sanders in 2013 voted in favor of the Senate immigration bill which “proposed a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, doubling the number of border patrol officers, and providing an additional 350 miles of border fencing,” according to PBS, which noted the bill failed to become law.
The senator has also called for the restructuring of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
In July 2018, Sanders called for the abolishment of the “cruel, dysfunctional immigration system we have today and pass comprehensive immigration reform.”
“That will mean restructuring the agencies that enforce our immigration laws, including ICE. We must not be about tearing small children away from their families. We must not be about deporting DREAMers, young people who have lived in this country virtually their entire lives,” he tweeted, in part, though did not detail at the time how he would plan to abolish the program.
Sanders, too, supported the 2007 Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, which would grant legal status to a group of undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. He later co-sponsored the act in 2011 when it was reintroduced, according to FeelTheBern.org.
Sanders is a supporter of “middle-ground legislation” when it comes to gun control, according to FeelTheBern.org.
“As such, he understands that Americans in rural areas have a very different view towards guns as do those who live in densely populated urban environments. Bernie believes in a solution which promotes gun rights for those who wish to possess them while also ensuring their safe and secure use so that they cannot be used to harm fellow human beings,” reads the website, which noted the senator in the past has voted for a nationwide ban on assault weapons, expanded background checks and a ban on “high capacity magazine over ten rounds.”
In a 2016 speech, Sanders said most Americans who own and use guns are “law-abiding people” and pushed for a “common sense proposal on guns that will have the support, not of everybody, but a significant majority of American people.”
He went on to say those with criminal records or mental health issues should not own guns, echoing his comments from a 2015 NPR interview.
“We need strong sensible gun control, and I will support it,” Sanders told the news outlet at the time. “But some people think it’s going to solve all of our problems, and it’s not. You know what, we have a crisis in the capability of addressing mental health illness in this country. When people are hurting and are prepared to do something terrible, we need to do something immediately. We don’t have that and we should have that.”
Sanders has touted raising the so-called estate tax to “invest in the disappearing middle class” and close what he has said is a growing gap between the wealthy and the rest of the country.
Rather recently, in January, Sanders revealed a plan to expand the federal estate tax, which he said on Twitter would only apply to the “richest 0.2 [percent] of Americans,” or those who inherit $3.5 million or more.
That said, Sanders’ plan was largely different than a bill proposed by some a few of his Republican counterparts.
Days before, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, and Sen. John Thune, R-S.D. introduced a plan to scrap the estate tax altogether. Sanders in a tweet slammed the bill as “absurd.”
Sanders has also made pushes throughout the years to increase the minimum wage.
He recently reintroduced legislation to increase the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2024.
“While the official unemployment rate is relatively low, too many workers in America today are making wages that don’t pay enough to make ends meet. Workers and their families cannot make it on $9 an hour or $10 an hour – or even less,” Sanders said in a statement in November, claiming it would give 40 million workers a raise. “We have got to raise the minimum wage in this country to a living wage – at least $15 an hour.”
At least 20 states increased their minimum wages since the start of the New Year, according to Fox Business.
Fox News’ Jennifer Earl and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News Politics
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has become the latest Democrat to express skepticism over 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for all” plan – saying the Vermont senator’s idea is just one of several proposals the party is considering to strengthen health care in the United States.
Schumer’s comments come a day after Sanders, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, launched a revamped “Medicare for All” plan that would replace job-based and individual private health insurance with a government-run plan that guarantees coverage for all with no premiums, deductibles and only minimal copays for certain services. In this latest version, Sanders added coverage for long-term care.
The Vermont independent’s package is supported by many liberals and several other presidential contenders, but moderates fear it’s an easy target for Republicans to characterize as a socialist path to huge tax increases.
And health care seems likely to be a major issue in next year’s presidential and congressional elections.
Asked about Sanders’ plan, Schumer said Democrats are united in the desire to improve health care, lower costs and create universal coverage.
“Different Democrats have different ways to get there,” Schumer said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., also has sounded skeptical about Sanders’ plan.
Republicans call Medicare for all Exhibit A in their own 2020 narrative depicting a radicalized Democratic Party steering toward “socialism.”
Several independent studies of Medicare for all have estimated that it would dramatically increase government spending on health care, in the range of about $25 trillion to $35 trillion or more over a decade’s time (though a recent estimate from the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst suggests that the cost could be much lower).
Sanders and his supporters say it’s a matter of principle.
“Health care is a human right, not a privilege,” he declared as he unveiled his bill at a Capitol Hill event crowded with nurses and advocates for patients. Fellow Democratic presidential candidate and co-sponsor Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York also spoke, saying “this has to become the next social safety net.”
The Associated Press contributed reporting to this piece.
Source: Fox News Politics