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Sen. Bernie Sanders
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Bernie Sanders was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006 after serving 16 years in the House of Representatives. He is the longest serving independent member of Congress in American history. Born in Brooklyn, Bernie was the younger of two sons in a modest-income family. After graduation from the University of Chicago in 1964, he moved to the Green Mountain State. Early in his career, Sanders was director of the American People’s Historical Society. Elected Mayor of Burlington by 12 votes in 1981, he served four terms. Before his 1990 election as Vermont’s at-large member in Congress, Sanders lectured at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and at Hamilton College in upstate New York.

The Almanac of American Politics has called Sanders a “practical’ and “successful legislator.” He has focused on the shrinking middle class and widening income gap in America that is greater than at any time since the Great Depression. Other priorities include reversing global warming, universal health care, fair trade policies, supporting veterans and preserving family farms. He serves on five Senate committees: Budget; Veterans; Energy; Environment; and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. Born: Sept. 8, 1941, New York, N.Y.

Entries by Sen. Bernie Sanders

An Economic Agenda for America: 12 Steps Forward

(121) Comments | Posted December 1, 2014 | 12:30 PM

The American people must make a fundamental decision. Do we continue the 40-year decline of our middle class and the growing gap between the very rich and everyone else, or do we fight for a progressive economic agenda that creates jobs, raises wages, protects the environment and provides health care...

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Democracy Day

(17) Comments | Posted November 12, 2014 | 5:46 PM

This week I introduced legislation to make Election Day a national holiday -- Democracy Day.

I am doing this because, as a nation, we should be embarrassed by the abysmally low voter turnout that we experienced in last week's midterm elections.

In 1863 at...

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A Progressive Estate Tax

(68) Comments | Posted September 8, 2014 | 1:11 PM

The founders of our country declared their independence from what they viewed as a tyrannical aristocracy in England. More than two centuries later, today's tyrannical aristocracy is no longer a foreign power. It's an American billionaire class which has unprecedented economic and political influence over all of our lives.

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Why We Need a Carbon Tax

(193) Comments | Posted July 9, 2014 | 3:07 PM

The scientific community is clear: Global warming is real and it is caused by human activity. In terms of droughts, heat waves, floods, forest fires, disease, rising sea levels and extreme weather disturbances, global warming is already causing devastating problems. The simple truth is that if we do not act...

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The Declaration of Independence: A Revolutionary Document

(5) Comments | Posted July 6, 2014 | 4:03 PM

As we celebrate this July 4th weekend, it's important that we not forget the profound vision embodied in the Declaration of Independence.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are...

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Who Are the Koch Brothers and What Do They Want?

(664) Comments | Posted April 17, 2014 | 9:40 AM

As a result of the disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision, billionaires and large corporations can now spend an unlimited amount of money to influence the political process. The results of that decision are clear. In the coming months and years the Koch brothers and other extraordinarily wealthy families will...

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Democracy vs. Oligarchy

(83) Comments | Posted March 31, 2014 | 7:01 PM

2014-03-31-freedomofspeech.jpgIn his 1943 painting "Freedom of Speech," Norman Rockwell illustrated American democracy in action by depicting a man speaking up at a town meeting. A framed poster of Rockwell's painting hangs proudly on a wall in my Senate office in Burlington, Vt.

Since 1990,...

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Save the Postal Service

(199) Comments | Posted March 6, 2014 | 9:55 AM

The U.S. Postal Service is one of our most popular and important government agencies. It provides universal service six days a week to every corner of America, no matter how small or remote. It supports millions of jobs in virtually every other sector of our economy. It provides decent-paying union...

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2014: Seize the Moment

(142) Comments | Posted December 30, 2013 | 7:32 AM

The Congress has just ended one of the worst and least productive sessions in the history of our country. At a time when the problems facing us are monumental, Congress is dysfunctional and more and more people (especially the young) are, understandably, giving up on the political process. The people...

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For a Budget That Is Both Morally and Economically Sound

(407) Comments | Posted October 28, 2013 | 12:24 PM

As a member of the U.S. Senate Budget Committee, I am more than aware that a $17 trillion dollar national debt and a $700 billion deficit are serious problems that must be addressed.

But I am also aware that real unemployment is close to 14 percent, that tens of millions...

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Health Care for All

(1426) Comments | Posted October 1, 2013 | 7:15 AM

I start my approach to health care from two very basic premises. First, health care must be recognized as a right, not a privilege. Every man, woman and child in our country should be able to access the health care they need regardless of their income. Second, we must create...

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The American People Have Spoken: No More War Abroad, More Jobs at Home

(585) Comments | Posted September 12, 2013 | 6:56 PM

At a time of great political division in our country President Obama has found a remarkable way to unite Americans of all political persuasions -- conservatives, progressives and moderates. With a loud and clear voice, the overwhelming majority of the American people, across the political spectrum, are saying NO to...

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Four Questions for Fed Chair Candidates

(1026) Comments | Posted August 11, 2013 | 3:35 PM

The decisions made by the next chair of the Federal Reserve will have a powerful impact on the economic well-being of every person in America.

While the largest financial institutions and corporations in this country have been bailed out and are now back to making enormous profits and rewarding...

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What Can We Learn From Denmark?

(2256) Comments | Posted May 26, 2013 | 1:47 PM

Danish Ambassador Peter Taksoe-Jensen spent a weekend in Vermont this month traveling with me to town meetings in Burlington, Brattleboro and Montpelier. Large crowds came out to learn about a social system very different from our own which provides extraordinary security and opportunity for the people of Denmark.

Today in...

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The 'Hoax'

(1479) Comments | Posted April 12, 2013 | 6:54 PM

I support Gina McCarthy to be the next Environmental Protection Agency administrator. When her Senate confirmation hearing was held on Thursday, the debate among senators on the Environment and Public Works Committee wasn't really about her qualifications. It was about global warming. It was about whether or not we are...

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Too Big to Jail?

(66) Comments | Posted March 28, 2013 | 4:17 PM

We are supposed to be a country of laws. The laws should apply to Wall Street as well as everybody else. So I was stunned when our country's top law enforcement official recently suggested it might be difficult to prosecute financial institutions that commit crimes because it may destabilize the...

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A Choice for Corporate America: Are You With America or the Cayman Islands?

(1147) Comments | Posted February 9, 2013 | 10:22 AM

When the greed, recklessness, and illegal behavior on Wall Street drove this country into the deepest recession since the 1930s, the largest financial institutions in the United States took every advantage of being American. They just loved their country -- and the willingness of the American people to provide them...

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The Soul of America

(1330) Comments | Posted January 9, 2013 | 10:04 AM

Despite such terminology as "fiscal cliff" and "debt ceiling," the great debate taking place in Washington now has relatively little to do with financial issues. It is all about ideology. It is all about economic winners and losers in American society. It is all about the power of Big Money....

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Transforming Our Energy System: Making Progress, Much More Needs to Be Done

(217) Comments | Posted October 25, 2012 | 12:25 PM

At the second presidential debate, Mitt Romney talked about how a president should be "Mr. Oil, or Mr. Gas, or Mr. Coal." Romney supports continuing the massive $113 billion in federal subsidies for oil, gas and coal over the next 10 years. He has previously referred to sustainable energy as...

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Let's Fight for a Progressive Agenda

(828) Comments | Posted September 29, 2012 | 11:04 AM

There are two major economic and budgetary issues which Congress must address in the lame-duck session or soon afterward. First, how do we reverse the decline of the middle class and create the jobs that unemployed and underemployed workers desperately need? Second, how do we address the $1 trillion deficit...

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