Political positions of Bernie Sanders

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Political positions of Bernie Sanders
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{{Short description|Full coverage of the policies of a US politician}}File:Bernie Sanders rally in Portland, Oregon, March 25, 2016 (25436711563).jpg|thumb|400px|Bernie Sanders speaks at a rally in Portland, Oregon during the 2016 Presidential campaign.]]{{Bernie Sanders series}}The political positions of Bernie Sanders are reflected by his United States Senate voting record, public speeches, and interviews. A self-described democratic socialist, Bernie Sanders is an independent senator from Vermont who has served in government since 1981.In 2016, Sanders campaigned for the Presidency of the United States in the Democratic primaries. His proposed policies emphasize reversing economic inequality.WEB,weblink Bernie Sanders explains democratic socialism (socialism), Alex Seitz-Wald, November 19, 2015, MSNBC, WEB,weblink Bernie Sanders on the Issues, Since the election, Sanders has criticized the presidency of Donald Trump, and announced in February 2019 that he will again run in the Democratic Party primaries for the 2020 presidential election.NEWS,weblink Bernie Sanders Dings Trump With Tribute To George H.W. Bush, 2018-12-07, Huffington Post, en, 2018-12-08, Moran, Lee, WEB,weblink He's In For 2020: Bernie Sanders Is Running For President Again, News, Bob Kinzel, VPR,, en, 2019-02-21,

Political and economic philosophy

Sanders described himself as a "democratic socialist"NEWS, Dreier, Peter, Peter Dreier, May 5, 2015, Bernie Sanders' Socialism Is as American as Apple Pie, The Huffington Post, ... because the 73-year old U.S. senator from Vermont describes himself as a 'democratic socialist.',weblink May 5, 2015, and an admirer of aspects of social democracy as practiced in the Scandinavian countries. In an address on his political philosophy given at Georgetown University in November 2015, Sanders identified his conception of "democratic socialism" with Franklin D. Roosevelt's proposal for a Second Bill of Rights,NEWS,weblink A leading socialist explains what Bernie Sanders's socialism gets right — and wrong, Matthews, Dylan, November 20, 2015, Vox, 2018-07-19, Nicole Gaudiano, Sen. Bernie Sanders to explain his socialist views, USA Today (November 18, 2015) saying that democratic socialism means creating "an economy that works for all, not just the very wealthy," reforming the political system (which Sanders says is "grossly unfair" and "in many respects, corrupt"), recognizing health care and education as rights, protecting the environment, and creating a "vibrant democracy based on the principle of one person, one vote."Bernie Sanders's speech on democratic socialism in the United States (transcribed by Andrew Prokop of Vox), November 19, 2015. He explained that democratic socialism is not tied to Marxism or the abolition of capitalism but rather describes a program of extensive social benefits, funded by broad-based taxes.WEB,weblink Here's How Bernie Sanders Explained Democratic Socialism, Frizell, Sam, November 19, 2015, Time, en, 2018-07-18,

Commentary of others

Multiple commentators have examined Sanders' characterization of his political platform and ideology as "socialism" and generally found it to support tax-funded social benefits rather than social ownership of the means of production.


Samuel Goldman, assistant professor of political science at George Washington University, states that Sanders' platform is not socialist and is better described as "welfarism" reminiscent of the 1950s that aims to regulate rather than to replace capitalism. Goldman notes that Sanders does not advocate public ownership of the means of production nor does he seek to abolish the profit system, both of which Goldman considers to be defining characteristics of socialism.MAGAZINE,weblink Democrats Are Not Socialists, and Neither Is Bernie Sanders, Samuel Goldman, 15 August 2015, The American Conservative, 16 November 2015, Lane Kenworthy, professor of sociology at the University of California at San Diego, has stated that Sanders is a social democrat and not a democratic socialist, and that the two ideologies are fundamentally different from each other. Kenworthy points out that social democracy does not aim to abolish capitalism, and argues that Sanders' use of the term "socialism" when he actually advocates "social democracy" is causing more confusion than it is adding value, and might unnecessarily have a negative impact on his presidential campaign. Mike Konczal, an economic policy expert at the Roosevelt Institute, also characterizes Sanders' positions as "social democracy" rather than "socialist", noting that social democracy means support for a mixed economy combining private enterprise with government spending, social insurance programs, Keynesian macroeconomic policies, and democratic participation in government and the workplace—all of which are a part of Sanders' platform.NEWS,weblink Bernie Sanders, Democratic Socialist Capitalist, Josh Barro, 20 October 2015, The New York Times, 16 November 2015, Andrei Markovits, professor of political science at the University of Michigan, defines democratic socialism as "an attempt to create a property-free, socialist society" and something that does not exist in Denmark or anywhere else in the world, and argues that Sanders' explanation of the term is inaccurate.WEB,weblink Explaining "democratic socialism", Nancy Marshall-Genzer, 18 November 2015, Marketplace Elections, 19 November 2015,

Socialist organizations

American socialists and representatives belonging to the Democratic Socialists of America, Socialist Workers Party and Socialist Party USA have criticized Sanders, arguing that he is not a socialist because he aims to reform capitalism rather than to replace it with an entirely different socialist system.NEWS,weblink Real socialists think Bernie is a sellout, Patricia Murphy, 10 October 2015, The Daily Beast, 3 February 2016, Despite these criticisms, the Democratic Socialists of America "strongly support(ed)" his campaign for President.WEB,weblink #WeNeedBernie, Democratic Socialists of America,, 2016-07-27,weblink 2018-07-09, dead, Former Sanders colleague, Peter Diamondstone, claimed that Sanders was a socialist during his time in the Liberty Union Party but is no longer a true socialist.WEB,weblink A Former Ally Says Bernie Sanders Has Changed, Mark Davis, 19 July 2015, The Daily Beast, 3 February 2016, Bhaskar Sunkara, the founder, editor, and publisher of the socialist journal Jacobin, considered Sanders to be a social democrat and not a socialist.

Other commentators

In 2015, The New Republic distinguished between socialism and "democratic socialism", suggesting that Sanders himself was loose with the distinction in his terminology and that the United States already had such social democratic programs as Social Security and Medicare.NEWS,weblink Stop Calling Bernie Sanders a Socialist, Benson, Thor, April 30, 2015, The New Republic, 2018-07-18, en-US, Noam Chomsky, a social commentator and activist, called Sanders an "honest New Dealer" and not a true socialist.WEB,weblink Chomsky: Sanders Is the Best but Won't Win 'Bought Elections', Telesur, 11 February 2016, Telesur, 18 February 2016, In a 2016 editorial, The Economist suggested that, despite calling himself a "democratic socialist", Sanders actually fits the mold of a "social democrat" for his embrace of "private companies that thrive and grow in America" and belief that "the middle class and the working families who produce the wealth of America deserve a fair deal".NEWS,weblink How much of a socialist is Sanders?, M., S., February 1, 2016, The Economist, 2018-07-18, en, A Forbes commentator suggested that his "democratic socialism" is really social democracy, as found in much of Europe and especially in the Nordic countries.NEWS,weblink Bernie's Democratic Socialism Isn't Socialism, It's Social Democracy, Worstall, Tim, Forbes, 2018-07-18, en, In 2018, The Week suggested that there was a trend towards social democracy in the United States and highlighted elements of its implementation in the Nordic countries, suggesting that Sanders’ popularity was an element in favor of its possible growth in acceptance.NEWS,weblink Bernie Sanders and the rise of American social democracy, Cooper, Ryan, January 10, 2018, 2018-07-18,

Prior to elected office

In 1971 Sanders joined the Liberty Union Party, founded in 1970 in opposition to the Vietnam WarHerszenhorn, David M. "The Nation; To Vermont's Voters, What's Out Is In," New York Times, March 12, 1995—a "self-described 'radical political party'", according to CNN.WEB,weblink Bernie Sanders in the 1970s urged nationalization of most major industries, CNN, Andrew Kaczynski and Nathan McDermott, CNN, 2019-03-23, During his association with the party as a leading member, he advocated for nationalization of major industries, including those in the manufacturing, energy and banking sectors. In 1974, he advocated for a marginal tax rate of 100% on income over one million dollars, saying that "Nobody should earn more than a million dollars".While campaigning for the US Senate in 1971, he advocated for state control of Vermont public utilities in a manner that would direct surplus revenues towards social programs and the reduction of property taxes. In 1976, he called for the state seizure without compensation of Vermont's private electric companies in order to reduce the costs of their services to the consumer down to the level of governmentally run utilities. As chairman of the party in 1973, he wrote an editorial in opposition of Richard Nixon's energy policy and against oil industry profits at a time of price increases and shortages during the OPEC oil embargo. He called for nationalization of the entire energy sector. In 1976 Sanders advocated for public ownership of utilities, banks and major industries. He advocated for the conversion of manufacturing industries into worker-controlled enterprises and the placement of restrictions on the abilities of companies to abandon communities where they are established.At the time of his resignation from the party in October 1977, he was party chairman. Sanders quit due to the inactivity of the party between elections.NEWS,weblink Liberty Union Party Chief in Vermont Quits Position, October 12, 1977, Nashua Telegraph, March 1, 2016, AP, In 2019, a campaign spokesman cast this record as reflecting Sanders' history of fighting "on the side of working people" and against the "influence of both the powerful ultra-rich and giant corporations who seek only to further their own greed".


Income and wealth inequality

(File:Bernie Brief (1) - Income Inequality.webm|thumb|250px|Campaign video on income inequality)File:US Wealth Inequality - v2.png|thumb|250px|Wealth inequality in the United States increased from 1989 to 2013.NEWS, Trends in Family Wealth, 1989 to 2013,weblink August 18, 2016, Congressional Budget OfficeCongressional Budget OfficeA cornerstone of Sanders's 2016 presidential campaign was to fight the increasing wealth inequality in the United States. In April 2015, Sanders articulated his position in an interview with The Guardian:In July 2015, Sanders introduced legislation that would incrementally increase the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2020.Tim Devaney (July 20, 2015). Sanders to push $15 minimum wage bill. The Hill. Retrieved July 22, 2015.Samantha Lachman (July 22, 2015). Bernie Sanders Introduces $15 Minimum Wage Bill As Federal Contract Workers Strike. The Huffington Post. Retrieved July 23, 2015.


Sanders supports repeal of some of the tax deductions that benefit hedge funds and corporations, and would raise taxes on capital gains and the wealthiest one percent of Americans. He would use some of the added revenues to lower the taxes of the middle and lower classes.WEB, Desjardins, Lisa, April 30, 2015, What does Bernie Sanders believe? Where the candidate stands on 10 issues, PBS,weblink May 22, 2015, WEB, Benen, Steve, May 28, 2015, The tax rates that don't cause Bernie Sanders to 'flinch', MSNBC,weblink July 8, 2015, He has suggested that he would be open to a 90% top marginal tax rate (a rate that last existed during the years after World War II) for the wealthiest earners, as well as a 52% top income tax bracket.WEB, Covert, Brice, Bernie Sanders Would Tax The Income Of The Wealthiest Americans At 90 Percent,weblink Think Progress, Center For American Progress Action Fund, 12 August 2015, He has proposed a top marginal rate of 65% for the federal estate tax, up from the current 40% rate.WEB, Ebeling, Ashlea, Bernie Sanders Calls For 65% Top Estate Tax Rate,weblink Forbes, 12 August 2015, In 1974, while running for the Senate, Sanders said, "nobody should earn more than $1 million" (more than $5 million in 2018 dollars)NEWS,weblink Bernie Sanders Flirted With 100% Marginal Tax on the Rich, Maximum Wage, 2015-11-18,, 2018-02-10, en, WEB,weblink $1,000,000 in 1974 → 2019 {{!, Inflation Calculator||language=en|access-date=2019-03-09}}In February 2014, Sanders was one of fifteen senators to sign a letter to the Treasury Department and IRS urging the Obama administration to implement rules that would "only close a loophole that has until now allowed donors to evade campaign finance law disclosure requirements" and defending the proposed changes as not restricting "anyone’s right to speak, or to spend money to influence elections."NEWS,weblink Dem senators push IRS to cap political activity, Bernie, Becker, February 27, 2014, The Hill, In 2016, Sanders wrote an op-ed to Philadelphia magazine stating that while he supported city government initiatives to fund universal pre-kindergarten education, he opposed mayor Jim Kenney's soda tax on the grounds that it would disproportionately impact the poor.WEB, Sanders, Bernie,weblink Bernie Sanders Op-Ed: A Soda Tax Would Hurt Philly's Poor,, April 24, 2016, June 24, 2019, In March 2017, Sanders introduced legislation ending the ability of corporations to defer from paying taxes in the United States on their foreign earnings until the money was repatriated. The bill also had provisions that limited the tax benefits of corporate inversions and prohibiting American companies from asserting themselves as foreign companies in the event that their management and operations were based in the US. In a press conference, Sanders stated that the US had "a rigged tax code that has essentially legalized tax-dodging for large corporations."NEWS,weblink Sanders offers bill aimed at preventing corporate tax avoidance, March 9, 2017, The Hill, On October 1, 2017, during an interview, Sanders referred to President Trump's tax proposal as "just really bad policy" and furthered that he did not understand "why anybody would support a proposal which is massive amounts of tax breaks to the people who don't need it." Sanders advocated for people to instead focus on meeting the needs of the middle class and working families of this country, as opposed to "the top 1 percent."NEWS,weblink Sanders slams GOP tax plan as 'really bad policy', October 1, 2017, The Hill, Rebecca, Savransky, On January 31, 2019, after Republicans introduced a bill in the Senate to repeal the estate tax, Sanders introduced an expansion of the estate tax, lowering its exemption amount and forming a progressive rate structure. In a statement, Sanders said the bill "does what the American people want by substantially increasing the estate tax on the wealthiest families in this country and dramatically reducing wealth inequality" and that the US would "not thrive when so few have so much and so many have so little."NEWS,weblink Sanders offers estate tax bill topping out at 77 percent, Naomi, Jagoda, January 31, 2019, The Hill, On October 14, 2019, Sanders unveiled an economic plan that would increase the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 35 percent and mandate companies that either are publicly traded or have at least $100 million in either their annual revenue or balance sheet total grant workers 2 percent of the company's stock until employees own a minimum of 20 percent of the company. The Sanders campaign stated that the economic plan would "give workers an ownership stake in the companies they work for, break up corrupt corporate mergers and monopolies, and finally make corporations pay their fair share" and asserted that a Sanders presidency would end the corporate greed ruining the United States "once and for all".NEWS,weblink Sanders eyes sharp increase in corporate tax rate, eliminating breaks and loopholes, Rachel, Frazin, October 14, 2019, The Hill,

Wall Street reform

On May 6, 2015, Sanders introduced legislation designed to break up "too big to fail" financial institutions. With three of the four banks that were bailed out during the 2007–08 global financial crisis now larger than they were then, Sanders believes that "no single financial institution should have holdings so extensive that its failure would send the world economy into crisis. If an institution is too big to fail, it is too big to exist."NEWS, Sanders, Bernie, May 7, 2015, Break Up Big Banks, The Huffington Post,weblink May 19, 2015, NEWS, Resnikoff, Ned, May 6, 2015, Bernie Sanders proposes breaking up 'too big to fail' banks, Al Jazeera America,weblink May 21, 2015, As a representative from Vermont, Sanders opposed the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act, signed in 1999 by President Bill Clinton, which repealed the provision of the Glass–Steagall Act preventing any financial institution from acting as both a securities firm and a commercial bank. Sanders supports legislation sponsored by Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) to reinstate Glass–Steagall.WEB, Everett, Burgess, Bernie Sanders backs big bank breakups, in contrast with Hillary Clinton,weblink Politico, Politico, 11 August 2015,


In his "Plan to Rebuild America", the January 27, 2015 legislative proposal he co-sponsored with Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), the ranking member of the appropriations committee, and backed by the American Society of Civil Engineers, the AFL-CIO and other trade unions, Sanders insisted on the pivotal role played by infrastructure investments:"For too many years, we have dramatically underfunded the physical infrastructure that our economy depends on. That is why I have proposed the Rebuild America Act, to invest $1 trillion over five years to modernize our infrastructure ... Importantly, the Rebuild America Act will support more than thirteen million good-paying jobs – jobs that our economy desperately needs." JOURNAL,weblink 24 Mar 2016, Bernie Sanders, January 2015, Sanders Introduces Bill to Rebuild America's Crumbling Infrastructure, Support 13 Million Jobs, 1–2, US Senate, B. Sanders Press Release, N° 1272015, While clearly rooted in the Rooseveltian, progressivist tradition,JOURNAL,weblink 26 Jan 2013, Felicia Wong, January 2013, Fighting the 'Great Recession': Why America Needs Rooseveltian Resolve, 18–19, Revue Analyse Financière, RAF/WPC Special Report on US Economy, N° 46, this policy proposal also reflects, more generally, the pre-Reagan Era bipartisan American policy consensus, which was more favorable to the notion of infrastructure spendingNEWS, M. Nicolas Firzli & Vincent Bazi, Transportation Infrastructure and Country Attractiveness,weblink Revue Analyse Financière, volume 48, pp. 67-68, July 2013, 24 Mar 2016, and infrastructure-driven development.In June 2019, Sanders was one of eight senators to sponsor the Made in America Act, legislation that would designate federal programs which had funded infrastructure projects not currently subject to Buy America standards and mandate the materials used in these federal programs were domestically produced. Bill cosponsor Tammy Baldwin said the bill would strengthen Buy America requirements of the federal government and that she was hopeful both Democrats and Republicans would support "this effort to make sure our government is buying American products and supporting American workers."NEWS,weblink U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin and Representative John Garamendi Introduce Reform to Strengthen Buy America Requirements for Federal Government, June 25, 2019,,


In 1993 Sanders spoke out against NAFTA.NEWS, Sanders, Bernie, Why I Oppose NAFTA,weblink 18 June 2019, Seven Days, 28 October 1993, According to PolitiFact, Sanders has "consistently argued for protectionist trade policies as opposed to free trade."NEWS,weblink Comparing Trump, Sanders on trade policies, @politifact, 2018-03-02, en, Sanders opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, which he has called "a continuation of other disastrous trade agreements, like NAFTA, CAFTA, and permanent normal trade relations with China." He believes that free trade agreements have caused a loss of American jobs and have depressed American wages. Sanders has said that America needs to rebuild its own manufacturing base by using American factories and supporting well-paying jobs for American labor rather than outsourcing to China and other countries.WEB, May 18, 2015, Sen. Bernie Sanders on taxes, trade agreements and Islamic State, PBS,weblink May 20, 2015, (transcript of interview with Judy Woodruff)NEWS, Sanders, Bernie, May 21, 2015, The TPP Must Be Defeated, The Huffington Post,weblink May 22, 2015, Will Cabaniss for Punditfact. September 2, 2015 How Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton differ on the Trans-Pacific PartnershipAccording to Sanders, TPP undermines United States sovereignty: TPP grants multinational corporations power to sue a national government in UN and World Bank tribunals over lost profits (including those yet to be made) due to the regulations about labor, health and environment that the government imposed. The tribunals can require US's taxpayer to pay compensation.Senator Bernie Sanders: The Trans-Pacific Trade (TPP) Agreement must be defeated B. Sanders, SpeechThe Panama Free Trade Agreement, which, according to Sanders, allowed and made the abuses documented in the Panama Papers leaks worse, was opposed by Sanders.NEWS, Norton, Ben, Sanders ardently opposed the trade deal that led to Panama Papers abuses; Clinton supported it,weblink|ACLU|Civil and Political Rights|100%|2014|AFBF|Agriculture|83%|2014|AFL-CIO|Labor Unions|100%|2013|NAACP|Minorities and Affirmative Action|100%|2014|NARAL|Abortion, Pro-Choice|100%|2014|NumbersUSA|Immigration Reform, Conservative|44%
date=April 5, 2016, In May 2011, Sanders was one of seventeen senators to sign a letter to Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Gary Gensler requesting a regulatory crackdown on speculative Wall Street trading in oil contracts, asserting that they had entered "a time of economic emergency for many American families" while noting that the average retail price of regular grade gasoline was $3.95 nationwide. The senators requested that the CFTC adopt speculation limits in regard to markets where contracts for future delivery of oil are traded.NEWS,weblink Senators call for crackdown on oil speculators, Kevin G., Hall, May 11, 2011,, In September 2016, Sanders was one of twelve senators to sign a letter to President Obama asserting that the passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership "in its current form will perpetuate a trade policy that advantages corporations at the expense of American workers" and there would be an "erosion of U.S. manufacturing and middle class jobs, and accelerate the corporate race to the bottom" if provisions were not fixed.NEWS,weblink Anti-trade senators say chamber would be crazy to pass TPP, September 29, 2016, The Hill, On November 30, 2018, Sanders announced his opposition to the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement, saying "a re-negotiated NAFTA must stop the outsourcing of U.S. jobs, end the destructive race to the bottom, protect the environment, and lower the outrageously high price of prescription drugs" and that corporations would persist in shipping "U.S. jobs to Mexico where workers are paid as little as $2 an hour" until the agreement's text was revised to include "strong enforcement mechanisms".NEWS,weblink Sanders to 'strongly oppose' Trump trade deal, November 30, 2018, The Hill, In June 2019, Sanders said President Trump was conducting "trade policy based on tweets" through his threats to impose heavy-handed tariffs on countries as part of a negotiating strategy and that the world was "tired of and what I am tired of is a president who consistently goes to war, verbal war, with our allies, whether it is Mexico, whether it is Canada."NEWS,weblink Democratic presidential candidates hammer Trump over deal with Mexico, June 9, 2019, Joe, Perticone, Business Insider,


Sanders was committed to creating job growth through infrastructure development and manufacturing, saying, "America once led the world in building and maintaining a nationwide network of safe and reliable bridges and roads. Today, nearly a quarter of the nation's 600,000 bridges have been designated as structurally deficient or functionally obsolete ... Almost one-third of America's major roads are in poor or mediocre condition ..." Sanders has introduced amendments to Senate bills (S.Amendt.323) promoting the creation of millions of middle-class jobs by investing in infrastructure, paid for by closing loopholes in the corporate and international tax system.WEB, January 3, 2015, Sanders Proposes Roads and Jobs Bill,weblink June 20, 2015, WEB, Current Legislation,,weblink June 14, 2015, 2015-03-24, He also supports legislation that would make it easier for workers to join or form a labor union. Sanders' campaign website also has focused on the concerns of both the long-term unemployed and the underemployed, citing that "the real unemployment rate is much higher than the 'official' figure typically reported in the newspapers. When you include workers who have given up looking for jobs, or those who are working part-time when they want to work full-time, the real number is much higher than official figures would suggest."WEB,weblink Bernie 2016 – Issues – Creating Decent Paying Jobs,,, August 7, 2015, dead,weblink" title="">weblink November 18, 2015, Sanders has said that there is a very important role for free enterprise and economic growth, especially for small business and entrepreneurs, but that the competitive landscape in the US has become unfair, favoring large corporations. He has also said that economic growth needs to serve people and that growth for the sake of enriching the top 1% does not serve the country's interests. He has said that he would accept a reduction in economic growth in order to increase fairness and reduce economic inequality.John Harwood for CNBC. May 26, 2015 10 questions with Bernie SandersJim Tankersley for the Washington Post. July 13, 2015 The thing Bernie Sanders says about inequality that no other candidate will Bernie Sanders on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Page accessed Jan 15, 2016

Employee ownership

Sanders supports establishing worker-owned cooperatives and introduced legislation in June 2014 that would aid workers who wanted to "form their own businesses or to set up worker-owned cooperatives."Bernie Sanders (December 1, 2014). An Economic Agenda for America: 12 Steps Forward. The Huffington Post. Retrieved June 27, 2015.Sanders, Bernie (June 2, 2014). Worker-Owned Businesses, Bernie Retrieved May 22, 2015.Richard D. Wolff (June 27, 2015). Socialism Means Abolishing the Distinction Between Bosses and Employees. Truthout. Retrieved July 9, 2015. As early as 1976, Sanders proposed workplace democracy, saying, "I believe that, in the long run, major industries in this state and nation should be publicly owned and controlled by the workers themselves."Ben Schreckinger and Jonathan topaz (July 6, 2015). The socialist surge. Politico. Retrieved July 8, 2015.In 1987, Sanders defined democracy as public ownership and workers' self-management in the workplace, stating that "Democracy means public ownership of the major means of production, it means decentralization, it means involving people in their work. Rather than having bosses and workers it means having democratic control over the factories and shops to as great a degree as you can."Ben Schreckinger and Jonathan topaz (July 6, 2015). Sanders: "Democracy means public ownership of the major means of production". The Daily Kos. Retrieved February 17, 2016.

Offshore tax havens

Noting that American corporations are collectively holding more than $1 trillion in profits in offshore tax haven countries, Sanders has introduced legislation that would crack down on offshore tax havens by requiring companies to pay the top U.S. corporate tax rate on profits held abroad.NEWS,weblink Bernie Sanders attacks Business Roundtable, offshore tax havens, The Washington Times, 18 February 2015, 4 November 2015, Miller, S. A., On his website, Sanders offers examples of large American companies that paid no federal taxes and even received tax refunds, with many of them receiving large amounts in financial assistance during the recent financial crisis and continuing to receive billions in subsidies.WEB,weblink America's Top 10 Corporate Tax Avoiders, Bernie Sanders United States Senator for Vermont, 4 November 2015, Sanders feels that this is unfair and that it damages the nation's economy, believing the money used for refunds and subsidies should instead be invested in American small businesses and the working people.WEB,weblink Bernie Sanders on Corporate Regulation,, 4 November 2015,

Federal Reserve

Sanders is in favor of auditing the Federal Reserve, which would reduce the independence of the Federal Reserve in monetary policy deliberations; Federal Reserve officials say that 'Audit the Fed' legislation would expose the Federal Reserve to undue political pressure from lawmakers disliking its decisions.NEWS,weblink 'Audit the Fed' bill fails despite support from Paul, Sanders, Robb, Greg, MarketWatch, 2017-12-16, en-US, WEB,weblink democrats-kill-rand-pauls-audit-the-fed-bill-though-sanders-votes-yes,weblink" title="">weblink 2016-01-12, dead, NEWS,weblink Sanders to vote for Paul's 'Audit the Fed' bill, Schroeder, Peter, 2016-01-12, TheHill, 2017-12-16, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman said that "such a bill would essentially empower the cranks — the gold-standard-loving, hyperinflation-is-coming types who dominate the modern G.O.P., and have spent the past five or six years trying to bully monetary policy makers into ceasing and desisting from their efforts to prevent economic disaster."NEWS,weblink Opinion {{!, On Economic Stupidity|last=Krugman|first=Paul|date=2016-02-12|work=The New York Times|access-date=2017-12-16|language=en-US|issn=0362-4331}}In a December 2015 op-ed, Sanders called for creating board positions on the Federal Reserve for "representatives from all walks of life — including labor, consumers, homeowners, urban residents, farmers and small businesses."NEWS,weblink Bernie Sanders slams Federal Reserve in NYT op-ed, POLITICO, 2017-12-16, NEWS,weblink Opinion {{!, Bernie Sanders: To Rein In Wall Street, Fix the Fed|last=Sanders|first=Bernie|date=2015-12-23|work=The New York Times|access-date=2017-12-16|language=en-US|issn=0362-4331}}

Debt relief

In June 2016, after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced an agreement on a Puerto Rico debt relief bill, Sanders said the bill was a "terrible piece of legislation, setting horrific precedent and must not be passed" and stated his opposition to the US treating Puerto Rico "like a colony."NEWS,weblink Senate gets deal to speed up Puerto Rico bill, Jordain, Carney, The Hill,

Minimum wage

In May 2017, Sanders and thirty Democratic senators introduced a bill increasing the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 by 2024 while also tying future increases to national median wage growth and gradually reducing the current exception to the minimum wage in regard to tipped workers. Sanders stated, "Just a few short years ago, we were told that raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour was 'radical'. Our job in the wealthiest country in the history of the world is to make sure that every worker has at least a modest and decent standard of living."NEWS,weblink Sanders, Democrats introduce $15 minimum wage bill, May 25, 2017, The Hill, In January 2019, Sanders sponsored the Senate version of a bill to increase the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2024, saying, "We are living today in an American economy that is doing very well for the people on top. Not so well for working families."NEWS,weblink Dems offer measure to raise minimum wage to $15 per hour, January 16, 2019, The Hill,


In May 2018, Sanders was one of twelve senators to sign a letter to Chairman of the Federal Labor Relations Authority Colleen Kiko urging the FLRA to end efforts to close its Boston regional office until Congress debated the matter, furthering that the FLRA closing down its seven regional offices would cause staff to be placed farther away from the federal employees they protect the rights of.NEWS,weblink US senators oppose closing federal labor relations offices, May 1, 2018,, Sanders was a cosponsor of the Employee Free Choice Act.WEB, S.1041 - Employee Free Choice Act of 2007,weblink, 3 May 2019, 2007-06-19, In July 2019, Sanders signed a letter to United States Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta that advocated for the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration to initiate a full investigation into a complaint filed on May 20 by a group of Chicago-area employees of McDonald's, which detailed workplace violence incidents that included interactions with customers such as customers throwing hot coffee and threatening employees with firearms and more. The senators argued that McDonald's could and needed to "do more to protect its employees, but employers will not take seriously their obligations to provide a safe workplace if OSHA does not enforce workers rights to a hazard-free workplace."NEWS,weblink Democratic senators press McDonald’s on workplace violence, July 2, 2019, Business Insurance, Gloria, Gonzalez,

Antitrust, competition and corporate regulation

In July 2018, in response to Comcast’s $65 billion bid to buy much of 21st Century Fox, Sanders was one of four senators to sign a letter to head of the Justice Department’s antitrust division Makan Delrahim requesting a review on whether Comcast would be able to use Fox’s entertainment offerings to suppress its competitors, noting "that the merger would provide a majority stake in the streaming service Hulu" and citing the "need to protect consumers from the harmful effects of the proposed merger is evident in the numerous settlements with Comcast regarding past anticompetitive practices, such as the use of channel listings to prioritize its content over that of outside competitors and overbilling of customers."NEWS,weblink Senate Dems urge Justice Department to review Comcast bid for Fox, Harper, Neidig, July 11, 2018, The Hill, In February 2019, Sanders was one of eight senators to sign a letter to the Federal Communications Commission and Department of Justice advocating for regulators to renounce a proposed $26 billion merger between T-Mobile and Sprint, writing that American enforcers have understood for the last thirty years "that fostering robust competition in telecommunications markets is the best way to provide every American with access to high-quality, cutting-edge communications at a reasonable price" and the merger would result in a return for "Americans to the dark days of heavily consolidated markets and less competition, with all of the resulting harms."NEWS,weblink Dems urge regulators to reject T-Mobile, Sprint merger, February 12, 2019, Emily, Birnbaum, The Hill, In May 2019, Sanders and Representative Barbara Lee introduced the Inclusive Prosperity Act, imposing a "fraction of a percent" tax on stock, bond and derivatives trading estimated to generate 2.4 trillion from Wall Street investors over a 10 year period. Sanders stated the effects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 on Americans of varying classes and asserted that it was "long past time for Congress to rein in the recklessness of Wall Street billionaires and build an economy that works for all Americans."NEWS,weblink Lee, Sanders introduce bill to tax Wall Street transactions, May 22, 2019, The Hill, In June 2019, Sanders was one of twenty-one senators to sign a letter led by Bob Menendez and Sherrod Brown to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in response to a proposed update to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act that would authorize debt collectors to send unlimited texts and emails to consumers along with calling them up to seven times a day. The senators wrote that the proposed update "permits collectors to overwhelm consumers with intrusive communications" and that the CFPB was "placing the cost burden of these text messages on the consumer" due to not enforcing the debt collectors to use free-to-end-user text messaging.NEWS,weblink Senators say Fair Debt Collection Practices Act proposal puts industry ahead of consumers, June 6, 2019, USA Today, In June 2019, along with Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren, Sanders sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Department of Justice requesting an investigation into the acquisition of 21 regional sports networks by Sinclair Broadcast Group as the senators found Sinclair to have "an explicit interest in, and commitment to, relaying partisan political messages to its viewers — making its recent anti competitive expansion attempts into millions of additional households all the more concerning."NEWS,weblink Warren, Sanders, Booker urge review of Sinclair $10.6B acquisition of regional sports networks, June 25, 2019, The Hill,

Price controls

In April 2013, Sanders was one of nineteen senators to sign a brief led by Carl Levin requesting the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia overturn a 2012 federal district court ruling effectively invalidates proposed federal regulations setting speculation limits on 28 commodities, arguing rampant speculation on the aforementioned commodities had led to higher prices for both consumers and businesses.NEWS,weblink Senate Dems press court to reverse ruling on speculation caps, April 23, 2013, The Hill,


In April 2019, Sanders was one of forty-one senators to sign a bipartisan letter to the housing subcommittee praising the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development's Section 4 Capacity Building program as authorizing "HUD to partner with national nonprofit community development organizations to provide education, training, and financial support to local community development corporations (CDCs) across the country" and expressing disappointment that President Trump's budget "has slated this program for elimination after decades of successful economic and community development." The senators wrote of their hope that the subcommittee would support continued funding for Section 4 in Fiscal Year 2020.NEWS,weblink Wyden, Merkley urge more affordable housing funds, April 16, 2019,,

Government shutdown

In March 2019, Sanders and thirty-eight other senators signed a letter to the Appropriations Committee opining that contractor workers and by extension their families "should not be penalized for a government shutdown that they did nothing to cause" while noting that there were bills in both chambers of Congress that if enacted would provide back pay to compensate contractor employees for lost wages before urging the Appropriations Committee "to include back pay for contractor employees in a supplemental appropriations bill for FY2019 or as part of the regular appropriations process for FY2020."NEWS,weblink U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Urges Inclusion of Contractor Back Pay in Upcoming Disaster Package, March 11, 2019,,


Global warming

(File:Bernie Brief (3) - Climate Change.webm|thumb|250px|Campaign video on climate change)Sanders views global warming as a serious problem.NEWS, Totten, Shay, January 15, 2007, Sanders to push global warming legislation in Senate, Vermont Guardian, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT, said Monday he was making good on at least one of a handful of campaign promises â€” introducing a bill designed to cut U.S. contributions to global greenhouse gas emissions in the next decade. ... Sanders added that construction of new power plants is "extraordinarily expensive" and he would prefer to see federal funding support used to expand the development of sustainable energy, as well as biofuels.,weblink August 4, 2009, Along with Senator Barbara Boxer, Sanders introduced the Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act of 2007 on January 15, 2007.Climate Change Bills of the 110th Congress {{webarchive|url= |date=2008-02-12 }}, Environmental Defense, May 29, 2007. In a July 26, 2012 speech on the Senate floor, Sanders addressed claims made by Senator Jim Inhofe: "The bottom line is when Senator Inhofe says global warming is a hoax, he is just dead wrong, according to the vast majority of climate scientists."NEWS, Gerken, James, July 31, 2012, Senator Bernie Sanders: Climate Change Is Real, Senator Inhofe Is 'Dead Wrong', The Huffington Post,weblink August 1, 2012, He was Climate Hawks Vote's top-rated senator on climate leadership in the 113th Congress.NEWS, Sheppard, Kate, April 29, 2015, Prospective Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders Scores High In New 'Climate Hawk' Ranking, The Huffington Post, AOL, New York, New York,weblink April 30, 2015, Believing that "[we need to] transform our energy system away from fossil fuel," Sanders voted against the Keystone Pipeline bill, saying, "Unless we get our act together, the planet that we're going to be leaving to our kids and grandchildren will be significantly less habitable than the planet we have right now ... I think it's a good idea for the president, Congress, and the American people to listen to the overwhelming amount of scientists who tell us loudly and clearly that climate change is one of the great planetary crises that we face."NEWS, Ferguson, Amber, January 14, 2015, Bernie Sanders: Passing Keystone XL Means A 'Significantly Less Habitable' Planet, Huffington Post,weblink July 7, 2015, Sanders also stands with the Great Sioux Nation as opposed to constructing the Dakota Access Pipeline, stating:Like the Keystone XL pipeline, which I opposed since day one, the Dakota Access fracked oil pipeline, will transport some of the dirtiest fuel on the planet. Regardless of the court's decision, the Dakota Access pipeline must be stopped. As a nation, our job is to break our addiction to fossil fuels, not increase our dependence on oil. I join with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the many tribal nations fighting this dangerous pipeline.Bernie Sanders releases statement opposing Dakota Access Pipeline. KSFY, August 25, 2016.In April 2015, Sanders was one of five senators to sign a letter to American governors saying the climate change views of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell were not in line with that of Kentuckians and urging them to comply with the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan.NEWS,weblink Dems hit back at McConnell, ask states to follow climate rule, Devin, Henry, April 14, 2015, In April 2017, along with Stanford University professor Mark Z. Jacobson, Sanders wrote an op-ed for The Guardian on the need for the US to "aggressively transition our energy system away from fossil fuels and toward clean, renewable energy solutions", citing climate change as already having caused "severe weather events like prolonged droughts, record-high temperatures, and rising sea levels because of melting Arctic sea ice." Sanders and Jacobson also warned that "the people who had least to do with causing the problem will be impacted the most, including low income families and communities of color across America."NEWS,weblink Sanders calls for renewed focus on fighting climate change, Brooke, Seipel, April 29, 2017, The Hill, In February 2019, in response to reports of the EPA intending to decide against setting drinking water limits for Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) as part of an upcoming national strategy to manage the aforementioned class of chemicals, Sanders was one of twenty senators to sign a letter to Acting EPA Administrator Andrew R. Wheeler calling on the agency "to develop enforceable federal drinking water standards for PFOA and PFOS, as well as institute immediate actions to protect the public from contamination from additional per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)."NEWS,weblink Senators call on EPA to restrict key drinking water contaminants, February 1, 2019, The Hill, In June 2019, Sanders was one of forty-four senators to introduce the International Climate Accountability Act, legislation that would prevent President Trump from using funds in an attempt to withdraw from the Paris Agreement and directing the president's administration to instead develop a strategic plan for the United States that would allow it to meet its commitment under the Paris Agreement.NEWS,weblink Oregon senators call on Trump to honor climate agreement, June 10, 2019,, On August 22, 2019, Sanders unveiled a climate change plan that called for a transformation of the United States energy system that would allow for it to transition to relying entirely on renewable energy for both electricity and transportation by 2030 and complete decarbonization by 2050. The plan would also invest $40 billion in a Climate Justice Resiliency Fund intended to help "under-resourced groups, communities of color, Native Americans, people with disabilities, children and the elderly recover from and prepare for the impacts of climate change." Sanders committed to declaring climate change a national emergency and rejoining the Paris Agreement if elected president, citing the climate crisis as "not only the single greatest challenge facing our country; it is also our single greatest opportunity to build a more just and equitable future, but we must act immediately."NEWS,weblink Sanders puts out massive plan to fight climate change, Tal, Axelrod, August 22, 2019, The Hill, During a September 2019 CNN town hall on climate change in which Sanders participated, there was an exchange with an audience member who said "Human population growth has more than doubled in the past 50 years. The planet cannot sustain this growth. I realize this is a poisonous topic for politicians, but it's crucial to face. Empowering women and educating everyone on the need to curb population growth seems a reasonable campaign to enact. Would you be courageous enough to discuss this issue and make it a key feature of a plan to address climate catastrophe?" Sanders responded:The answer is yes. And the answer has everything to do with the fact that women in the United States of America, by the way, have a right to control their own bodies and make reproductive decisions. And the Mexico City agreement, which denies American aid to those organizations around the world that allow women to have abortions or even get involved in birth control to me is totally absurd. So I think especially in poor countries around the world where women do not necessarily want to have large numbers of babies and where they can have the opportunity through birth control to control the number of kids they have, is something I very, very strongly support.WEB,weblink Bernie Sanders: Abortion And Population Control Are Important Parts Of Addressing Climate Change, September 5, 2019, RealClearPolitics,

Nuclear energy

Following the 2011 Japanese nuclear accidents, Sanders called for a moratorium on licensing new nuclear plants and re-licensing of existing ones, in an effort to slow down what has been touted as a nuclear renaissance in the United States. Sanders wrote to President Obama, asking him to appoint a special commission to review the safety of U.S. nuclear plants. Sanders also wants to repeal the Price–Anderson Act, which leaves the taxpayers to pay most of the costs of a major nuclear accident. He says, "in a free-enterprise system, the nuclear industry should be required to insure itself against accidents."WEB, March 21, 2011, US Sen. Sanders: Slow down on nuclear relicensing, BusinessWeek,weblink July 19, 2015,weblink" title="">weblink July 15, 2015, dead, Sanders has gone on record against the government financial backing of the nuclear industry, which he calls "nuclear welfare".NEWS, Sanders, Bernie, Alexander, Ryan, 13 April 2012, Stop the nuclear industry welfare programme,,weblink Additionally, he expresses concern over the logistics and fiscal challenges of nuclear waste. He has spoken in favor of sustainable alternatives and cites Vermont as a state leading such endeavors, saying in regard to opposition of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's 2011 extension (just one week after the Japanese accidents) of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant's operating license, "In my state there is a strong feeling that we want to go forward with energy efficiency and sustainable energy. I believe that we have that right. I believe that every other state in the country has that right. If we want to move to sustainable energy and not maintain an aging, trouble-plagued nuclear power plant, I think we should be allowed to do that."PRESS RELEASE, March 15, 2012, Nuclear Power,,weblink In July 2019, Sanders was an original cosponsor of the Sensible, Timely Relief for America’s Nuclear Districts’ Economic Development (STRANDED) Act, a bipartisan bill introduced by Susan Collins and Tammy Duckworth that would give economic impact grants to local government entities for the purpose of offsetting economic impacts of stranded nuclear waste in addition to forming a task force that would identify funding which already exists that could be used to benefit its respective community and form a competitive innovative solutions prize competition to aid those communities in their search for alternatives to "nuclear facilities, generating sites, and waste sites."NEWS,weblink Senate bill to help communities like Wiscasset ‘STRANDED’ with nuclear waste, July 10, 2019,,


At a September 2016 rally near the White House, Sanders called on President Obama to ensure the Dakota Access Pipeline "gets a full environmental and cultural impact analysis" and stated his position that the pipeline would not continue in the event of such an analysis taking place, citing findings by Oil Change International that the Dakota Access Pipeline would have the same impact on the planet as adding 21 million more cars on the road along with constructing 30 more coal plants.NEWS,weblink Sanders joins protesters against ND pipeline project, September 13, 2016, The Hill, In October 2016, Sanders led four senators in a letter to President Obama requesting the administration halt work on the Dakota Access Pipeline until the permitting process of the Army Corps "be transparent and include public notice and participation, formal and meaningful tribal consultation, and adequate environmental review" and stating their support for the "tribes along the pipeline route in their fight against the Dakota Access pipeline project."NEWS,weblink Sanders, Dem senators press Obama to halt ND pipeline, Devin, Henry, October 13, 2016, The Hill, In December 2016, following the United States Army Corps of Engineers's block on the Dakota Access Pipeline, Sanders released a statement praising President Obama for listening to Native Americans as well as others opposed to the pipeline's construction and said the United States should neither "endanger the water supply of millions of people" nor "become more dependent on fossil fuel and accelerate the planetary crisis of climate change." He called for a transformation of the American energy system that would see a departure from the usage of fossil fuels.NEWS,weblink Sanders praises Dakota Access Pipeline ruling, December 4, 2016, Rebecca, Morin, Politico,

Transparency and corruption

Campaign finance

Sanders supports the DISCLOSE Act, which would make campaign finances more transparent and ban U.S. corporations controlled by foreign interests from making political expenditures.WEB, Legislation – Campaign Finance: Bernie Sanders – U.S. Senator for Vermont,,weblink February 17, 2013, He has been outspoken in calling for an overturn of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, in which the Supreme Court overturned McCain-Feingold restrictions on political spending by corporations and unions as a violation of the First Amendment.NEWS, Sanders, Bernie, March 22, 2015, If We Don't Overturn Citizens United, The Congress Will Become Paid Employees of the Billionaire Class, Huffington Post,weblink July 18, 2015, Saying that he believes that the Citizens United decision is "one of the Supreme Court's worst decisions ever" and that it has allowed big money to "deflect attention from the real issues" facing voters,NEWS, Collins, Eliza, May 10, 2015, Bernie Sanders takes dead aim on Citizens United ruling, Politico,weblink he has proposed a constitutional amendment to undo the ruling.NEWS, Easley, Jason, Bernie Sanders Files a New Constitutional Amendment to Overturn Citizens United, PoliticsUSA,weblink He warns: "We now have a political situation where billionaires are literally able to buy elections and candidates."NEWS, Zaru, Deena, May 6, 2015, Election 2016: Who are the richest candidates?, CNN,weblink In January 2016, Sanders was one of twenty-nine senators to sign a letter spearheaded by Ron Wyden and Sheldon Whitehouse to President Obama urging him to issue a final executive order that would require federal contractors to disclose political donations, arguing that form of disclosure was "a modest step that would expose an especially troubling type of secret money: campaign contributions that have the potential to influence government contracting practices."NEWS,weblink Dems push Obama to tighten campaign spending rules, January 7, 2016, The Hill, In October 2016, while stumping for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, Sanders advocated for Trump supporters to vote for Clinton due to her promise to propose a constitutional amendment in the first 100 days of her presidency to overturn Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission as well as her intent to nominate a Supreme Court justice to fill the vacancy by the late Antonin Scalia that would support overturning Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission: "This issue of Citizens United is a profound issue impacting the entire country. I say to Mr. Trump's supporters: most of you understand that system is rigged in favor of wealthy and power."NEWS,weblink Sanders makes pitch to Trump supporters over campaign finance reform, October 17, 2016, The Hill,

Instant runoff voting

In 2007, Sanders testified to the Vermont Senate Government Operations Committee that he "strongly supports instant-runoff voting" because it "allows people to vote for what they really want without worrying about the possibility of them getting what they really don't want."WEB,weblink Testimony to the Vermont Senate Government Operations Committee, Sanders, Bernie, March 15, 2007,, FairVote, July 22, 2015, The committee and legislature ultimately passed legislation that would have enacted instant runoff voting for U.S. Representatives and U.S. Senators, but the governor vetoed it.NEWS,weblink Douglas vetoes campaign finance, instant-runoff voting bills, Gram, Dave, April 7, 2008, Boston Globe, July 22, 2015,

Criticism of the media

In an early essay, Sanders claimed that the corporate owners of the television industry sought to benumb critical thinking among their viewers. Later he bemoaned the media's emphasis on reporting disasters, while ignoring the plight of the working class.NEWS,weblink I’ve reported on Bernie Sanders for years. A free press won’t give him what he wants., Heintz, Paul, February 26, 2019, The Washington Post, 2019-03-24, Consequently, he has been a leader in calling for media reform and opposes increased concentration of ownership of media outlets,NEWS, Nichols, John, McEhsney, Robert W., July 7, 2003, The Battle Over Media Ownership is Far From Over, Common Dreams NewsCenter, Members of Congress are finding they cannot avoid talking about media issues because people really are upset with what the FCC did and with the broader issue of who controls the media," says U.S. Rep. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, a leading critic of the FCC rule changes [removing limits on the ability of individual companies to dominate more than 35 percent of television communications and to prevent "cross-ownership" schemes that allow corporations to buy up primary newspapers, radio and television stations and cable and Internet services in a city.] and a champion of media reform in the public interest.,weblink August 4, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink June 28, 2012, as well as being a contributing author for OpEdNews.NEWS, Bernie Sanders author page at OpEdNews, OpEdNews,weblink May 19, 2014, He appeared in Orwell Rolls in His Grave and (Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism), two documentaries on the subject.NEWS, Associated Press, July 26, 2004, Vt. congressman interviewed for film, USA Today, Rep. Bernie Sanders has a burgeoning second job: movie star. Vermont's lone congressman is one of many legislators, journalists and media watchdogs interviewed for 'Orwell Rolls in His Grave,' by director Robert Pappas, and Robert Greenwald's latest film, 'Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism.',weblink August 4, 2009, During his some of his campaigns for office, Sanders felt ignored by the media, maintaining that if only the media covered what he had to say, the voters would embrace it. Critics have suggested that Sanders' solution to his concern would be complete, verbatim coverage of his pronouncements.

Internet privacy

In April 2017, after President Trump signed a law undoing a Federal Communications Commission rule requiring internet service providers to obtain permission from customers prior to selling their data to advertisers, Sanders was one of eleven senators to sponsor legislation undoing the repeal and reinstating the regulations.NEWS,weblink Senate Dems offer bill to restore internet privacy rules, April 6, 2017, The Hill,

Net neutrality

Sanders opposes the repeal of net neutrality in the United States, as voted by FCC commissioners in a 3-2 vote on December 14, 2017 — his statement on the issue from his U.S. Senate website on the same day as the vote, partly reads: "The FCC's vote to end net neutrality is an egregious attack on our democracy. With this decision the internet and its free exchange of information as we have come to know it will cease to exist ... At a time when our democratic institutions are already in peril, we must do everything we can to stop this decision from taking effect."WEB,weblink Bernie Sanders, U.S. Senator for Vermont – Sanders Statement on FCC Decision to Repeal Net Neutrality, December 14, 2017,, Office of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, December 16, 2017, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) issued the following statement Thursday after the Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal net neutrality protections: "Once again, the Trump administration has sided with big money and against the interests of the American people. The FCC's vote to end net neutrality is an egregious attack on our democracy. With this decision the internet and its free exchange of information as we have come to know it will cease to exist. The end of net neutrality protections means that the internet will be for sale to the highest bidder, instead of everyone having the same access regardless of whether they are rich or poor, a big corporation or small business, a multimedia conglomerate or a small online publication. At a time when our democratic institutions are already in peril, we must do everything we can to stop this decision from taking effect.", In May 2014, days before the FCC was scheduled to rewrite its net neutrality rules, Sanders was one of eleven senators to sign a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler charging Wheeler's proposal with destroying net neutrality instead of preserving it and urged the FCC to "consider reclassifying Internet providers to make them more like traditional phone companies, over which the agency has clear authority to regulate more broadly."NEWS,weblink Senate Dems protest FCC plan for Internet ‘fast lanes’, May 9, 2014, The Hill, In March 2018, Sanders was one of ten senators to sign a letter spearheaded by Jeff Merkley which lambasted a proposal from FCC Chairman Ajit Pai that would curb the scope of benefits from the Lifeline program, which provided access to high-speed internet to roughly 6.5 million people in poor communities, citing that it was Pai's "obligation to the American public, as the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, to improve the Lifeline program and ensure that more Americans can afford access, and have means of access, to broadband and phone service".NEWS,weblink Dems slam FCC head for proposed limits to low-income internet program, March 29, 2018, The Hill, In May 2018, Sanders voted for a bill that would reinstate net neutrality rules and thereby overturn the FCC's repeal via a law authorizing Congress to reverse regulatory actions by a simple majority vote.NEWS,weblink Senate approves bill in bid to retain U.S. net neutrality, May 16, 2018, David, Shepardson, Reuters,

Foreign policy

File:Bernie Sanders in Vallejo, California.jpg|thumb|300px|Bernie Sanders at a May 2016 rally in Vallejo, CaliforniaCalifornia


Sanders voted for the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force Against TerroristsWEB, Final Vote Results for Roll Call 342, Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives,weblink October 13, 2014, that has been cited as the legal justification for controversial military actions since the September 11 attacks.NEWS, Johnsen, Gregory D., January 16, 2014, 60 Words And A War Without End: The Untold Story Of The Most Dangerous Sentence In U.S. History, Buzzfeed,weblink October 13, 2014, In February 2011, Sanders traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan with fellow senators Bob Corker, Chris Coons, and Joe Manchin, opining afterward that Afghanistan was "one of the most backward countries in the entire world" given its massive poverty, lack of literacy, and corruption. He stated his belief that the US could afford to reduce its funding for the American and Afghanistan armed forces, Afghanistan police, and Afghanistan's economic development.NEWS,weblink Sen. Sanders: Afghanistan is a backward country, Josiah, Ryan, The Hill, In 2019, Sanders was one of eight lawmakers to sign a pledge by grass-roots organization Common Defense stating their intent "to fight to reclaim Congress’s constitutional authority to conduct oversight of U.S. foreign policy and independently debate whether to authorize each new use of military force" along with acting toward bringing "the Forever War to a responsible and expedient conclusion" after seventeen years of ongoing US military conflict.NEWS,weblink Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez back 'end the forever war' pledge, March 5, 2019, The Hill, In June 2019, he told the New York Times that "by the end of my first term, I think our troops would be home."NEWS,weblink 2020 Democrats on Troops in Afghanistan, 2019-06-19, The New York Times, 2019-09-16, en-US, 0362-4331, In September, a campaign spokesman indicated to the Washington Post that this did not rule out leaving residual forces.NEWS,weblink Where 2020 Democrats stand on Foreign policy: Would you set a hard date for withdrawal from Afghanistan of all U.S. military forces?, September 10, 2019, Washington Post, September 15, 2019,


Sanders supported the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, arguing that while aspects of the Clinton administration's military push to resolve ethnic tensions in Kosovo bordered on unconstitutional, he felt it was necessary to prevent genocide in the region.WEB, August 18, 2015, Bernie Sanders on Kosovo (4/28/1999),weblink YouTube, June 24, 2019, WEB, June 22, 2015, Bernie Sanders Town Hall on NATO's Air War on Serbia May 3, 1999,weblink YouTube, June 24, 2019, Regarding the level of influence Congress needed to have in the approval process, he preferred the administration's recommendation that the bombing not be subject to the War Powers Resolution of 1973,NEWS,weblink What Would Bernie Bomb?, Bill, Scher, June 23, 2019, Politico, June 24, 2019, and opposed a formal declaration of war by the United States proposed by then-Representative Tom Campbell.WEB,weblink Congressional Record, Declaring State of War Between United States and Government of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, House of Representatives debate,, 1999-04-28, 2019-06-24, Regarding the Greek government-debt crisis, Sanders opposed fiscal austerity measures, and called on the European Central Bank, European Commission, and International Monetary Fund to allow "pro-growth" economic stimulus policies.WEB,weblink The Week In Review: July 10, 2015, Bernie Sanders United States Senator for Vermont, July 10, 2015, June 24, 2019, WEB, February 9, 2015, Greek Democracy, YouTube,weblink June 24, 2019, In November 2018, Sanders and former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis reiterated their opposition to austerity before launching the pro-Keynesian Progressive International movement at an event in Rome.NEWS,weblink Bernie Sanders is Partnering With a Greek Progressive to Build a New Leftist Movement, J. Lester, Feder, October 26, 2018, BuzzFeed News, June 24, 2019,

Central America

In April 2019, Sanders was one of thirty-four senators to sign a letter to President Trump encouraging him "to listen to members of your own Administration and reverse a decision that will damage our national security and aggravate conditions inside Central America", asserting that Trump had "consistently expressed a flawed understanding of U.S. foreign assistance" since becoming president and that he was "personally undermining efforts to promote U.S. national security and economic prosperity" through preventing the use of Fiscal Year 2018 national security funding. The senators argued that foreign assistance to Central American countries created less migration to the U.S., citing the funding's helping to improve conditions in those countries.NEWS,weblink More than 30 Senate Dems ask Trump to reconsider Central American aid cuts, Rachel, Frazin, April 4, 2019, The Hill,


Early in his career, Sanders had praised the Cuban government for their reforms, including widespread education and health care in Cuba.WEB,weblink Bernie Sanders praised Fidel Castro in 1985 interview: 'He educated their kids, gave their kids health care, totally transformed society', J. Taylor Rushing, 20 October 2015, Daily Mail, On April 14, 2015, after the White House announced that President Obama had intended to remove Cuba from the United States' list of nations sponsoring terrorism, Sanders issued a statement saying, "While we have our strong differences with Cuba, it is not a terrorist state. I applaud President Obama for moving aggressively to develop normal diplomatic relations. Fifty years of Cold War is enough. It is time for Cuba and the United States to turn the page and normalize relations."WEB,weblink Sanders statement on Cuba, Bernie Sanders United States Senator for Vermont, 14 April 2015, 21 July 2015,


On May 1, 2019, Sanders tweeted: "Since the China trade deal I voted against, America has lost over 3 million manufacturing jobs. It’s wrong to pretend that China isn’t one of our major economic competitors."On August 27, 2019, Sanders told The Hill: "China is a country that is moving unfortunately in a more authoritarian way in a number of directions. What we have to say about China in fairness to China and its leadership is -- if I’m not mistaken -- they have made more progress in addressing extreme poverty than any country in the history of civilization. So they’ve done a lot of things for their people."NEWS, Sanders: China has done more to address extreme poverty 'than any country in the history of civilization',weblink The Hill, August 27, 2019,


Sanders supports the agreement with Iran reached by President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry. While calling it less than a perfect agreement, he believes that the US needs to negotiate with Iran rather than enter in another war in the Middle East.‘Bringing People Together,’ is Campaign’s Core, Sanders Tells Another Record Rally {{Webarchive|url= |date=2016-03-03 }}, August 9, 2015.During the January 17, 2016 Democratic debate in Charleston, South Carolina, Sanders criticized Iran by saying "their support for terrorism, the anti-American rhetoric that we’re hearing from of their leadership is something that is not acceptable" and espoused the view that the US should apply the same policy it did toward normalizing relations with Cuba to Iran through a "move in warm relations with a very powerful and important country in this world."NEWS,weblink DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE SANDERS CALLS FOR NORMALIZING US TIES WITH IRAN, January 18, 2016,, In 2017, Congress took up a bill designed to impose CAATSA sanctions on Russia, for its alleged interference in the 2016 election, and on Iran. Sanders announced that he supported the sanctions on Russia, but he voted against the bill because of the Iran provisions. He stated:I have voted for sanctions on Iran in the past, and I believe sanctions were an important tool for bringing Iran to the negotiating table. But I believe that these new sanctions could endanger the very important nuclear agreement that was signed between the United States, its partners and Iran in 2015. That is not a risk worth taking. ...PRESS RELEASE, Sanders, Bernie, June 15, 2017, Sanders Statement on Iran and Russia Sanctions,weblink Washington, D.C., United States Senate, 2017-07-19, In October 2017, Sanders said that "the worst possible thing" the United States could do was undermine the Iran nuclear deal if it was "genuinely concerned with Iran's behavior in the region" and that the president's comments against the deal had isolated the US from foreign allies that had retained their commitment to the agreement.NEWS,weblink Sanders rips Trump's 'bluster' on Iran, October 13, 2017, The Hill, In May 2018, Sanders was one of twelve senators to sign a letter to President Trump urging him to remain in the Iran nuclear deal on the grounds that "Iran could either remain in the agreement and seek to isolate the United States from our closest partners, or resume its nuclear activities" if the US pulled out and that both possibilities "would be detrimental to our national security interests."NEWS,weblink Senate Dems urge Trump to remain in Iran deal ahead of announcement, May 7, 2018, The Hill, Following Patrick M. Shanahan announcing 1,000 more US troops being deployed to the Middle East for defensive purposes in June 2019, Sanders was one of six senators to sign a letter spearheaded by Tim Kaine and Mike Lee expressing concern that "increasingly escalatory actions" by both the US and Iran would "lead to an unnecessary conflict." The senators noted that Congress had not authorized a war against Iran and requested "a joint Defense, State and Intelligence Community briefing by the end of June to address these policy and legal issues."NEWS,weblink Jordain, Carney, Senators demand Trump explain decision to deploy troops amid Iran tensions, June 18, 2019, The Hill, Sanders said during the Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News: "I will do everything I can to prevent a war with Iran, which would be far worse than [the] disastrous war with Iraq."


Sanders strongly opposed the 2003 invasion of Iraq and voted against the 2002 resolution authorizing the use of force against that country. In a 2002 speech, he said, "I am opposed to giving the President a blank check to launch a unilateral invasion and occupation of Iraq" and "I will vote against this resolution. One, I have not heard any estimates of how many young American men and women might die in such a war or how many tens of thousands of women and children in Iraq might also be killed. As a caring Nation, we should do everything we can to prevent the horrible suffering that a war will cause. War must be the last recourse in international relations, not the first. Second, I am deeply concerned about the precedent that a unilateral invasion of Iraq could establish in terms of international law and the role of the United Nations."WEB,weblink Bernie Sanders revisits his vote against the Iraq War, 2019-03-20, WEB, Rep. Bernard 'Bernie' Sanders Opposes the Iraq War,, Oct 9, 2002, //, Jun 25, 2019,

Islamic State of Iraq and Syria

Sanders has called the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) "a barbaric organization" and "a growing threat," but does not believe that the U.S. should lead the fight against it. Sanders believes that "the United States should be supportive, along with other countries, but we cannot and we should not be involved in perpetual warfare in the Middle East – the Muslim countries themselves have got to lead the effort."WEB, June 2, 2015, Bernie Sanders Speaks With Katie Couric – Full Interview, YouTube, 24:00,weblink July 12, 2015, On November 15, 2015, in response to ISIS' attacks in Paris, Sanders cautioned against "Islamophobia" saying, "During these difficult times as Americans, we will not succumb to racism. We will not allow ourselves to be divided and succumb to Islamophobia. And while hundreds of thousands have lost everything, have nothing left but the shirts on their backs, we will not turn our backs on the refugees!"NEWS,weblink Bernie Sanders on ISIS: U.S. needs to be "tough" not "stupid" –, Tom LoBianco, CNN, 17 November 2015, CNN, Sanders criticized Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, and UAE, saying that those "countries of enormous wealth and resources – have contributed far too little in the fight against ISIS". Sanders said Saudi Arabia, instead of fighting ISIS, has focused more on Houthi rebels in Yemen, and Kuwait has been a well-known source of financing for ISIS, and Qatar is spending $200 billion on the 2022 World Cup, yet very little to fight against ISIS. "Wealthy and powerful Muslim nations in the region can no longer sit on the sidelines and expect the United States to do their work for them."WEB,weblink Senator Bernie Sanders on Democratic Socialism in the United States, 19 November 2015,, 8 October 2016,weblink 20 July 2017, dead, In April 2018, in a statement, Sanders said President Trump had "no legal authority for broadening the war in Syria" and recommended Trump approach Congress if he believed "expanding the war in Syria will bring stability to the region and protect American interests".NEWS,weblink Bernie Sanders: Trump has no authority to broaden war in Syria, April 11, 2018, The Hill,

Syria and Assad

In September 2019, Sanders told the Washington Post, “The world and in particular the Syrian people would be far better off without Bashar al-Assad, who is responsible for the mass murder of hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women and children, the forced migration of millions and the collapse of the nation of Syria. It is not up to the United States to topple him, and diplomatic engagement does not imply approval of him or of his activities. If he remains in power, the United States needs to engage with his regime in some fashion.”NEWS,weblink Where 2020 Democrats stand on foreign policy: Would you reopen diplomatic relations with the Syrian government if Bashar al-Assad remains in power?, September 12, 2019, Washington Post, September 15, 2019,weblink September 12, 2019,

Israeli–Palestinian conflict

Sanders supports a two-state solution, saying that "the Palestinian people, in my view, deserve a state of their own, they deserve an economy of their own, they deserve economic support from the people of this country. And Israel needs to be able to live in security without terrorist attacks."War and Peace {{webarchive|url= |date=2015-09-06 }}, Bernie Sanders, Senate website Sanders has said Israel must have a right to live in peace and security.ENCYCLOPEDIA,weblink 2016 U.S. Elections: Bernie Sanders, Jewish Virtual Library, 2016-07-27, In 2008, Sanders was a co-sponsor of a Senate Resolution, "recognizing the 60th anniversary of the founding of the modern State of Israel and reaffirming the bonds of close friendship and cooperation between the United States and Israel." The resolution reaffirmed Israel's right to defend itself against terror. It also congratulated Israel on building a strong nation and wished for a successful Israeli future.WEB,weblink S.Res.522 - 110th Congress (2007-2008): A resolution recognizing the 60th anniversary of the founding of the modern State of Israel and reaffirming the bonds of close friendship and cooperation between the United States and Israel.,, 2008-04-22, 2016-07-27, According to Sanders' senate webpage, David Palumbo-Liu wrongly noted in Salon that Sen. Sanders "voted" for a resolution supporting Operation Protective Edge which had actually passed without a vote.WEB, News July 24,weblink Sen. Bernie Sanders, 2015-09-10, A statement published on his Senate website reads in part: "Sanders believes the Israeli attacks that killed hundreds of innocent people â€“ including many women and children â€“ in bombings of civilian neighborhoods and UN controlled schools, hospitals, and refugee camps were disproportionate, and the widespread killing of civilians is completely unacceptable. Israel's actions took an enormous human toll, and appeared to strengthen support for Hamas and may well be sowing the seeds for even more hatred, war and destruction in future years."The Intercept{{'}}s Zaid Jilani wrote that Sanders "stood out in contrast to the remarks from the other four major party candidates" in the 2016 presidential election, criticizing Israel's policy of settlement expansion after violent episodes and defended self-determination, civil rights, and economic well-being for Palestinians. After AIPAC's refusal to accept Sanders's telepresence at their 2016 debate, former U.S. ambassador Marc Ginsberg explained the event saying that Bernie Sanders "has never really extolled his Jewishness, much less any support for Israel".WEB,weblink Bernie Sanders Spoke Up for Suffering Palestinians, but Few in Broadcast Media Covered It, March 22, 2015, March 22, 2016, The Intercept, Zaid Jilani, Sanders was criticized for hiring IfNotNow founder Simone Zimmerman as his Jewish Outreach Coordinator, and she was fired from the campaign after critical social media posts about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the conflict surfaced.NEWS,weblink Meet the outspoken critic of Israel who is Bernie Sanders' new Jewish outreach director, The Jerusalem Post {{!,|access-date=2017-06-22}}NEWS,weblink Sanders Campaign Suspends Controversial Jewish Outreach Coordinator, The Forward, 2017-06-22, While being interviewed in April 2016 by the New York Daily News, Sanders said that Israel killed over 10,000 innocent civilians in Gaza,WEB,weblink TRANSCRIPT: Bernie Sanders meets with the Daily News Editorial Board, April 1, 2016, 6 April 2016, an unnecessarily high death toll.Bernie Sanders accuses Netanyahu of overreacting in Gaza war The Times of Israel, November 19, 2015 The Anti-Defamation League subsequently called on Sanders to withdraw remarks he made about the casualties, which the ADL said exaggerated the death toll of the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict, citing a number far in excess of Palestinian or Israel sources' estimates.US Jewish group slams Bernie Sanders for misstatements on 2014 Gaza war The Jerusalem Post, April 6, 2016 Sanders later clarified that he was quickly corrected in that the death toll was closer to 2,000 civilians.WEB,weblink Sanders must apologize for the lie that he spread about Israel,, 2016-03-06, 2016-07-27, In November 2017, Sanders was one of ten Democratic senators to sign a letter urging Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu to halt the planned demolitions of Palestinian villages Khan al-Ahmar and Susiya on the grounds that such action would further diminish efforts to seek a two-state solution and "endanger Israel's future as a Jewish democracy."NEWS,weblink Democratic senators urge Netanyahu not to raze Palestinian villages, November 30, 2017,, In December 2017, Sanders opposed President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.NEWS, Who’s Speaking Out Against Trump’s Jerusalem Move,weblink J Street, December 12, 2017, In April 2018, shortly after the commencing of the 2018 Gaza border protests, Sanders stated, "From what my understanding is, you have tens and tens of thousands of people who are engaged in a nonviolent protest. I believe now 15 or 20 people, Palestinians, have been killed and many, many others have been wounded. So I think it's a difficult situation, but my assessment is that Israel overreacted on that." He furthered that Gaza remained "a humanitarian disaster" and called on the United States to play "a more positive role in ending the Gaza blockade and helping Palestinians and Israelis build a future that works for all."NEWS,weblink Bernie Sanders: Israel 'overreacted' during Gaza protests, April 1, 2018, CNN, During an October 2018 speech, Sanders said it was "hard to imagine that Israel's Netanyahu government would have taken a number of steps— including passing the recent 'Nation State law,' which essentially codifies the second-class status of Israel's non-Jewish citizens, aggressively undermining the longstanding goal of a two-state solution, and ignoring the economic catastrophe in Gaza — if Netanyahu wasn't confident that Trump would support him."NEWS,weblink Bernie Sanders Cites Israel's Nation-state Law in Slamming Trump for Inspiring Authoritarianism, October 10, 2018,, In March 2019, after Representative Ilhan Omar received criticism from Democrats and Republicans over comments about Israel that were deemed as anti-Semitic, Sanders condemned antisemitism as "a hateful and dangerous ideology which must be vigorously opposed in the United States and around the world" while noting that they should not "equate anti-Semitism with legitimate criticism of the right-wing, Netanyahu government in Israel." Sanders called for the formation of "an even-handed Middle East policy which brings Israelis and Palestinians together for a lasting peace" and voiced his concern that Omar was being targeted "as a way of stifling that debate."NEWS,weblink Sanders defends Omar: Can't equate anti-Semitism with 'legitimate criticism' of Israel, Tal, Axelrod, The Hill, March 6, 2019, In a July 2019 interview, Sanders stated that he believed "that the people of Israel absolutely have the right to live in peace, independence and security" but that the Netanyahu government was extremely right-wing "with many racist tendencies" and that the role of the United States was "to try to finally bring peace to the Middle East and to treat the Palestinian people with the kind of respect and dignity they deserve." Sanders reflected on the trillions of dollars spent on the War on Terror and asserted that as U.S. President he would favor sitting down "in a room with the leadership of Saudi Arabia, with the leadership of Iran, with the leadership of the Palestinians, with the leadership of Israel, and hammer out some damn agreements, which will try to end the conflicts that exist there forever."NEWS,weblink BERNIE SANDERS WOULD USE FOREIGN AID AS LEVERAGE ON ISRAEL, July 28, 2019,,

BDS and defense of Israeli right to exist

Bernie Sanders supports a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, opposes attempts at a one-state solution, opposes the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel (BDS), and maintains that the United Nations has a bias against Israel.NEWS,weblink Bernie Sanders just defended Israel on Al Jazeera. Here's why that's a big deal., Ron Kampeas, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, NEWS,weblink Bernie Sanders Says BDS Won't Solve Mideast Impasse, Forward, Naomi Zeveloff, He has also maintained that antisemitism plays a role in the BDS movement.NEWS,weblink Bernie Sanders says anti-Semitism is a factor in BDS, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, 22 April 2016, Following Sanders' signing of a US congressional letter denouncing a bias at the UN against Israel and calling upon UN General Secretary Antonia Guterres, urging him to remedy the problem, he defended his signature on an interview hosted by the Qatari news agency Al Jazeera, saying:
there are many problems with Israel ... On the other hand, to see Israel attacked over and over again for human rights violations -- which may be true -- when you have countries like Saudi Arabia or Syria, Saudi Arabia – I'm not quite sure if a woman can even drive a car today. So I think the thrust of that letter is not to say that Israel does not have human rights issues — it does — but to say how come it's only Israel when you have other countries where women are treated as third-class citizens, where in Egypt, I don't know how many thousands of people now lingering in jail, so that's the point of that, not to defend Israel but to say why only Israel."
Asked if he "respected" BDS as a protest tactic, Sanders has said "No, I don't", adding that it was counterproductive if the goal is trying to bring about peace talks. In 2016, Sanders averred that there was "absolutely" antisemitism in the BDS movement, elaborating:Israel has done some very bad things, so has every other country on earth," Sanders said. "I think the people who want to attack Israel for their policies, I think that is fair game. But not to appreciate that there is some level of anti-Semitism around the world involved in that I think would be a mistake ... I spent many months on a kibbutz on Israel, so I know something about Israel. Israel has got to be defended, has a right to exist, but you cannot ignore the needs of the Palestinian people.Sanders supports a two-state solution, and regarding the possibility of a one-state solution, he has stated:I think if that happens, then that [a one-state solution] would be the end of the State of Israel and I support Israel's right to exist ... I think if there is the political will to make it [peace and a two-state solution] happen and if there is good faith on both sides I do think it's possible, and I think there has not been good faith, certainly on this Israeli government and I have my doubts about parts of the Palestinian leadership as well.In a December 2018 letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Sanders and Dianne Feinstein advocated against a provision of a spending package barring companies from endorsing anti-Israel boycotts promoted by governmental groups, writing that while they did not support "the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, we remain resolved to our constitutional oath to defend the right of every American to express their views peacefully without fear of or actual punishment by the government."NEWS,weblink Sens. Sanders and Feinstein oppose Israel anti-boycott provision, December 19, 2018, The Hill, In February 2019, Sanders voted against a controversial Anti-Boycott Act initiated by Republicans,NEWS, Why These Democratic Presidential Hopefuls Voted No on an anti-BDS Bill,weblink Haaretz, February 11, 2019, which would make it illegal for U.S. companies to engage in boycotts against Israel and Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.NEWS, Don’t Punish US Companies That Help End Abuses in the West Bank,weblink Human Rights Watch, December 18, 2018,

Henry Kissinger

During the February 11th democratic debate, Sanders took issue with Hillary Clinton's admiration of former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, noting that he was "one of the most destructive" in US modern history, stating:

Nicaraguan Revolution

During the Nicaraguan Revolution, Sanders opposed funding the Contra Rebels and praised the leadership and popularity of the Sandinista Party. Sanders stated that the support for the Sandinistas in their country was higher than the support of American voters for President Ronald Reagan and even those who did not vote for the Sandinstas did not want an invasion.WEB,weblink Bernie Sanders on Latin America, 2016,


Since the deterioration of Venezuelan living standards under the direction of the self-described socialist government in the country, concerns and comparisons to Venezuela were raised over Sanders' desires to implement socialist policies in the United States.NEWS, Vicens, AJ, Former President of Mexico Compares Bernie Sanders to Hugo Chávez,weblink 1 June 2016, Mother Jones (magazine), Mother Jones, 22 April 2016, NEWS, Cardenas, Jose, In Venezuela, Socialism Is Killing Venezuelans,weblink 1 June 2016, National Review, 18 May 2016, NEWS, Powell, Thomas, Testing easy assumptions against facts reveals uncomfortable truths., National Review, 31 May 2016, Sanders responded by attempting to distance himself from Venezuela's Bolivarian government, replying to such worries by stating, "When I talk about Democratic socialist, I'm not looking at Venezuela. I'm not looking at Cuba. I'm looking at countries like Denmark and Sweden".NEWS, Sakuma, Amanda, Cuban, Venezuelan immigrants wrestle with Bernie Sanders' brand of socialism,weblink 1 June 2016, MSNBC, 14 March 2016, Sanders also furthered himself from the Venezuelan government by calling the leader of Venezuela's Bolivarian Revolution, former President Hugo Chávez, a "dead communist dictator".NEWS, Gupta, Girish, Pons, Corina, Venezuela's Maduro rooting for 'revolutionary friend' Sanders in U.S. campaign,weblink 1 June 2016, Reuters, 1 June 2016, During the 2019 Venezuelan presidential crisis, Sanders cautioned about President Donald Trump’s decision to back a competing claim for the government in Venezuela, citing US support of coups in Chile, Guatemala, and Brazil. At the same time, he condemned the anti-democratic actions of the Nicolás Maduro government.WEB,weblink Bernie Sanders: 'We Must Learn The Lessons Of The Past And Not Be In The Business Of Regime Change', Mujezinovic, Damir, 2019-01-25, The Inquisitr, en-US, 2019-01-25, In a February 2019 CNN town hall, when asked by Wolf Blitzer why he would not describe Maduro as a "dictator", Sanders admitted that it was "fair to say" Venezuela's last presidential election "was undemocratic" while noting other "democratic operations taking place in that country" and stated his support for "internationally supervised free elections."NEWS,weblink Sanders warns against outside intervention in Venezuela, stops short of calling Maduro a 'dictator', February 25, 2019, CNN, In an April 2019 interview, Sanders stated that Maduro was heading a "failed regime" while also expressing his opposition to military intervention, furthering that the world community needed to "be mindful of the humanitarian suffering and the hunger that's going on in Venezuela right now" and that what one would want is "free and fair elections, and we want to do everything we can to establish democracy there." Sanders noted that all recent evidence had pointed to Maduro's reelection being under fraudulent circumstances and cited the need for establishing a democracy in Venezuela without "deciding that some politician is the new President, who never won any election."NEWS,weblink Bernie Sanders slams Nicolas Maduro as a failure, but won’t support a US military intervention in Venezuela, April 15, 2019, John, Haltiwanger, Business Insider,

Clinton Foundation

When asked by CNN's Jake Tapper in June 2016 if it was fair to criticize the American charity, the Clinton Foundation, for taking money from foreign governments which do not represent our values, Sanders responded, saying, "Yes it is. It is. If you ask me about the Clinton Foundation, do I have a problem when a sitting secretary of state and a foundation run by her husband collects many millions of dollars from foreign governments, governments which are dictatorships -- you don't have a lot of civil liberties or democratic rights in Saudi Arabia. You don't have a lot of respect there for opposition points of view for gay rights, for women's rights. Yes, do I have a problem with that? Yes, I do."Bernie Sanders Vows Fight to Convention as Hillary Clinton Wins a Primary; New York Times; Yamiche Alcindorjune; June 5, 2016State of the Union Transcript; CNN; June 5, 2016 In September 2016, Sanders told NBC's Chuck Todd that if Clinton becomes president of the United States, she should cease all contact with the Foundation, but stopped short of agreeing it should be closed, noting, "I don't know enough. They do a lot of good things with A.I.D.S. and so forth. I can't, you know, definitively answer that."Bernie Sanders Says Hillary Clinton Should Cut Ties With Clinton Foundation If Elected; Huffington Post; Igor Bobic; September 4, 2016Meet the Press - September 4; NBC; Chuck Todd; September 4, 2016

Insights regarding Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party

In August 2016, Sanders praised Jeremy Corbyn in his candidacy in the Labour Party leadership election. Corbyn said that he had received a message from Sanders saying that Sanders was dismissed as unelectable but that the real reason many dismissed him was that he was electable and a threat to the American political establishment.NEWS, Wilkinson, Michael,weblink Bernie Sanders 'backs Jeremy Corbyn' in Labour leadership race, The Daily Telegraph, 23 August 2016, 15 July 2017, In June 2017, he again saw parallels between his efforts and those of Corbyn in the 2017 UK general election. During a speech promoting his book at the Brighton Festival,NEWS, Roberts, Dan, Asthana, Anushka,weblink 'There's a real similarity': Corbyn gets rousing support from Bernie Sanders, The Guardian, 2 June 2017, 15 July 2017, Sanders said: "What Corbyn has tried to do with the Labour Party is not dissimilar to what some of us are trying to do with the Democratic Party, and that is to make it a party that is much more open and inviting for working people and young people and not have a liberal elite making the decisions from the top down. I think what Corbyn is doing is trying to revitalise democracy, bring a lot of new people into the political process and I think that's an excellent idea ..."NEWS, Kentish, Ben,weblink Bernie Sanders praises 'courageous' Jeremy Corbyn for 'revitalising democracy', The Independent, 2 June 2017, 15 July 2017, He added: "...he has taken on the establishment of the Labour Party, he has gone to the grassroots and he has tried to transform that party ..."After the 2017 general election, Sanders wrote in The New York Times that "the British elections should be a lesson for the Democratic Party" and urged the Democrats to stop holding on to an "overly cautious, centrist ideology", arguing that "momentum shifted to Labour after it released a very progressive manifesto that generated much enthusiasm among young people and workers".NEWS, Sanders, Bernie,weblink Bernie Sanders: How Democrats Can Stop Losing Elections, The New York Times, 13 June 2017, 1 August 2017, MAGAZINE, Hasan, Mehdhi,weblink Prime Minister Jeremy Corbyn sitting down with President Bernie Sanders no longer sounds so outlandish, New Statesman, 26 June 2017, 1 August 2017,


In December 2010, Sanders voted for the ratification of New START,WEB, Mark Memmott,weblink Senate Ratifies START,, 22 December 2010, 22 December 2010, a nuclear arms reduction treaty between the United States and Russian Federation obliging both countries to have no more than 1,550 strategic warheads as well as 700 launchers deployed during the next seven years along with providing a continuation of on-site inspections that halted when START I expired the previous year. It was the first arms treaty with Russia in eight years.NEWS,weblink Senate Passes Arms Control Treaty With Russia, 71-26, Peter, Baker, New York Times, December 22, 2010, In July 2017, Sanders voted against the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act that placed sanctions on Russia together with Iran and North Korea. 98 senators voted for the act, Rand Paul was the only other Senator to vote no.WEB,weblink Senate joins House in overwhelmingly passing new Russian sanctions, Sanders supported the sanctions on Russia, but he voted against the bill because of the Iran provisions.During December 2018, in response to President Trump's October announcement that he intended to withdraw the United States from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, Sanders was one of seven senators to cosponsor the Prevention of Arms Race Act of 2018, legislation prohibiting funding for a U.S. ground-launched or ballistic missile that had "a range of between 500 and 5,500 kilometers" until the administration provided a report meeting five specific conditions.NEWS,weblink US Senators introduce legislation to prevent nuclear arms race, December 3, 2018,, Sanders also cosponsored this legislation when it was reintroduced by Senator Jeff Merkley in the 116th United States Congress.NEWS,weblink Trump Just Scrapped a Nuclear Treaty That Kept Us Safe for Decades, February 1, 2019,, In December 2018, after United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the Trump administration was suspending its obligations in the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty in 60 days in the event that Russia continued to violate the treaty, Sanders was one of twenty-six senators to sign a letter expressing concern over the administration "now abandoning generations of bipartisan U.S. leadership around the paired goals of reducing the global role and number of nuclear weapons and ensuring strategic stability with America's nuclear-armed adversaries" and calling on President Trump to continue arms negotiations.NEWS,weblink Senate Dems urge Trump to continue nuclear arms control negotiations after treaty suspension, December 13, 2018, Ellen, Mitchell, The Hill,


Sanders condemned the genocide of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar and called for a stronger response to the crisis.NEWS, Sen. Todd Young urges action to end Muslim genocide in Myanmar,weblink IndyStar, October 22, 2017,

North Korea

In April 2017, after President Trump acknowledged the possibility of a "major, major conflict" between North Korea and the US, Sanders said such a conflict equated to a nuclear war and advocated for the US to lean on China, citing China's receiving of exports from North Korea and thereby being in "a position to tighten the screws on North Korea and tell them they cannot continue their missile program or their nuclear program."NEWS,weblink Sanders warns of possible nuclear war with North Korea, April 28, 2017, The Hill, In October 2017, Sanders and six Democrats were led by Chris Murphy in introducing legislation prohibiting "funds from being used for kinetic military operations without congressional approval unless the United States faces an imminent threat or such action is necessary to defend citizens or our allies" in light of rhetorical escalation between the US and North Korea as well as "contradictory behavior from Trump and officials in his administration".NEWS,weblink Dems intro bill to stop a Trump preemptive strike on N. Korea, October 31, 2017, Zachary, Cohen, CNN, In February 2018, Sanders was one of eighteen senators to sign a letter to President Trump arguing that striking North Korea with "a preventative or preemptive U.S. military strike would lack either a constitutional basis or legal authority" without congressional approval.NEWS,weblink Dem senators tell Trump he doesn't have 'legal authority' to launch preemptive strike on North Korea, February 5, 2018, The Hill, In April 2018, when asked by a reporter about the US pursuing diplomatic relations with North Korea, Sanders said, "I think the idea of sitting down and having direct negotiations with North Korea is a step forward, and I hope it works out well."NEWS,weblink WATCH: Sanders calls direct talks with North Korea ‘a step forward’, April 19, 2018, The Hill, After President Trump met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un during the 2018 North Korea-United States summit, Sanders called the summit "very light on substance" but also representing "a positive step in de-escalating tensions between our countries, addressing the threat of North Korea’s nuclear weapons, and moving toward a more peaceful future."NEWS,weblink Bernie Sanders: Trump-Kim summit a 'positive step', June 12, 2018, Brett, Samuels, The Hill, In February 2019, ahead of the North Korea–United States Hanoi Summit, Sanders said, "I think nuclear weapons in the hands of a brutal, irresponsible dictator is a bad idea. And if Trump can succeed ... through face-to-face meetings with Kim Jong Un and rid that country of nuclear weapons that is a very good thing."WEB,weblink Bernie Sanders slams Trump for sticking by Saudi Arabia, but applauds his dialogue with Kim Jong Un, John, Haltiwanger, February 25, 2019, Business Insider, In a May 2019 interview, Sanders stated that "the idea of sitting down with Kim Jong Un is the right thing to do", citing this as difficult but necessary due to North Korea being a threat to the planet, and that the United States had "to do everything we can to have China and the people in the Pacific Rim put as much pressure on North Korea and make it clear that they cannot continue to act this way."NEWS,weblink 2020 candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders says he doesn't 'fault Trump' on North Korea, May 4, 2019, Quinn, Scanlan, ABC News, In June 2019, following President Trump becoming the first sitting U.S. President to cross into North Korea and announcing that stalled talks between the US and North Korea on nuclear capabilities would resume, Sanders stated that he did not have a problem with President Trump "sitting down and negotiating with our adversaries," but that he opposed such meetings being reduced to "a photo opportunity." He called for the US to have "real diplomacy" and criticized President Trump for weakening the State Department, citing the agency's strength as essential to moving "forward diplomatically."NEWS,weblink Sanders hits Trump on North Korea visit: 'We need real diplomacy', Rebecca, Klar, June 30, 2019, The Hill,


In a January 2018 statement, Sanders said he was "not sure why President Trump wants to shut down the government over a multi-billion dollar wall that no one wants, is not needed and will not be paid for by Mexico" and that Americans instead overwhelmingly favored providing "legal protection to 800,000 Dreamers and a path toward citizenship for them."NEWS,weblink Sanders: 'I am not sure why' Trump is pushing for a wall Mexico won't pay for, Julia, Manchester, January 6, 2018, The Hill,

United Nations

In June 2018, following the United Nations releasing a report on poverty in the United States and condemning "President Trump's administration for pursuing high tax breaks for the rich and removing basic protections for the poor", Sanders was one of twenty lawmakers to sign a letter to United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley calling for the Trump administration to develop a plan to address poverty. Haley responded to Sanders in a letter, writing that it was "patently ridiculous for the United Nations to examine poverty in America" and charged the report with misstating "the progress the United States has made in addressing poverty and purposely used misleading facts and figures in its biased reporting." Sanders disputed Haley in a subsequent letter, defending the appropriateness of the U.N.'s report and noting that poverty was occurring "in the richest country in the history of the world and at a time when wealth and income inequality is worse than at any time since the 1920s."NEWS,weblink VT Insight: Bernie Sanders, Nikki Haley spar over poverty, June 22, 2018, Burlington Free Press,

Saudi Arabia

In June 2017, Sanders voted for a resolution by Rand Paul and Chris Murphy that would block President Trump's 510 million sale of precision-guided munitions to Saudi Arabia that made up a portion of the 110 billion arms sale Trump announced during his visit to Saudi Arabia the previous year.NEWS,weblink Senate narrowly votes to back Saudi arms sale, June 13, 2017, CNN, NEWS,weblink Senate backs weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, Elana, Schor, June 13, 2017, Politico, On October 9, 2018, Sanders said that Saudi Arabia "is a despotic dictatorship that does not tolerate dissent, that treats women as third-class citizens, and has spent the last several decades exporting a very extreme form of Islam around the world. Saudi Arabia is currently devastating the country of Yemen in a catastrophic war in alliance with the United States."NEWS, The Democratic candidates on foreign policy,weblink Foreign Policy, In October 2018, Sanders said that if Saudis murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the US should "not only stop military sales, not only put sanctions on Saudi Arabia, but most importantly, get out of this terrible, terrible war in Yemen led by the Saudis." He maintained that the US could not "have an ally who murders in cold blood, in their own consulate, a critic, a dissident".NEWS,weblink Sanders on Khashoggi response: US should 'get out' of Saudi-led war in Yemen, October 14, 2018, CNN, Later that month, Sanders was one of eight senators to sign a letter to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats requesting a classified briefing on what the American intelligence community knew about threats to Khashoggi so that the senators may fulfill their "oversight obligation" as members of Congress.NEWS,weblink Dem senators request classified briefing on Khashoggi, October 30, 2018, The Hill, In November 2018, Sanders confirmed his intent to force a vote on ending American support for the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen in an email to supporters, writing that despite President Trump's "venal support for the Saudi regime, I am confident that we now stand an excellent chance to win this vote which I plan on bringing back to the Senate floor this week."NEWS,weblink Sanders to force vote this week on US support for Saudi Arabia in Yemen, Jordain, Carney, November 26, 2018, The Hill, On November 28, as the Senate weighed the resolution to end American military support for the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen's civil war, Sanders said, "In my mind it is imperative today that the United States Senate tell Saudi Arabia and tell the world that we are not going to be continuing to be part of that humanitarian disaster. We have to make the decision as to what happens in the war in Yemen and our role in that, and that's what the vote today is about." The resolution passed in a vote of 63 to 37.NEWS,weblink Senate advances Yemen resolution in rebuke to Trump, November 28, 2018, The Hill, The Senate voted to pass Sanders's resolution again on March 13, 2019 in a vote of 54 to 46.NEWS,weblink Senate Votes Again to End Aid to Saudi War in Yemen, Defying Trump, Catie, Edmondson, March 13, 2019, The New York Times, Sanders stated that the resolution's passage would begin the process of reasserting Congress's "responsibility over war making" and that "Article 1 of the Constitution clearly states that it is Congress, not the president, that has the power to declare war."NEWS,weblink Senate breaks with Trump on Saudi-led war in Yemen, Jordain, Carney, March 13, 2019, The Hill, In April 2019, after the House passed the resolution withdrawing American support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, Sanders was one of nine lawmakers to sign a letter to President Trump requesting a meeting with him and urging him to sign "Senate Joint Resolution 7, which invokes the War Powers Act of 1973 to end unauthorized US military participation in the Saudi-led coalition's armed conflict against Yemen's Houthi forces, initiated in 2015 by the Obama administration." They asserted the "Saudi-led coalition's imposition of an air-land-and-sea blockade as part of its war against Yemen’s Houthis has continued to prevent the unimpeded distribution of these vital commodities, contributing to the suffering and death of vast numbers of civilians throughout the country" and that Trump's approval of the resolution through his signing would give a "powerful signal to the Saudi-led coalition to bring the four-year-old war to a close".NEWS,weblink Bernie Sanders, Rand Paul, Ro Khanna, and a bipartisan group of lawmakers sent a letter to Trump imploring him to end US support for Saudi Arabia in Yemen, John, Haitiwanger, April 5, 2019,,

National security


File:Bernie Sanders and Salman Rushdie.jpg|thumb|Sanders and Salman Rushdie in 2004 protesting section 215 of the USA Patriot ActUSA Patriot ActSanders has long been critical of U.S. government surveillance policies. He voted against the USA PATRIOT Act and all of its renewals and has characterized the National Security Agency as "out of control." He has frequently criticized warrantless wiretapping and the collection of the phone, email, library, and internet browsing records of American citizens without due process:Sanders Senate Speech on Surveillance.In June 2013, following reports that the National Security Agency (NSA) had used statutes under the Patriot Act to obtain the phone records and emails of United States denizens, Sanders was one of twenty-six senators to sign a letter espousing the view that the records could "reveal personal relationships, family medical issues, political and religious affiliations, and a variety of other private personal information" and other bulk information associated with the USA Patriot Act "could clearly have a significant impact on Americans’ privacy and liberties as well."NEWS,weblink Senators demand information on secret data collection program, Ramsey, Cox, June 28, 2013, The Hill, In October 2015, during the first Democratic presidential debate, the candidates were asked for their opinion of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. When asked the question "hero or traitor?" Sanders replied, "I think Snowden played a very important role in educating the American people to the degree in which our civil liberties and our constitutional rights are being undermined. He did—he did break the law, and I think there should be a penalty to that. But I think what he did in educating us should be taken into consideration." Journalist Norman Solomon praised Sanders's reply saying, "I think Bernie Sanders handled it the best in terms of scoping out and describing the terrain. And for the most part, I think Edward Snowden would probably agree with what he said."WEB,weblink Norman Solomon: Clinton's Debate Comments on Snowden "Give Hypocrisy a Bad Name", Democracy Now!, 15 October 2015, 15 October 2015,


File:Bernie Sanders at the 2016 Memorial Day Ceremony, Presidio of San Francisco.jpg|thumb|Sanders during the Memorial Day Ceremony 2016 in the Presidio of San FranciscoPresidio of San FranciscoSanders won the 2014 Col. Arthur T. Marix Congressional Leadership Award from the Military Officers Association of America for his leadership in support of veterans.WEB, Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) announces 2014 award recipients, Military Officers Association of America,weblink November 7, 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink November 7, 2014, Sanders introduced the Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2013 (S. 893; 113th Congress) into the Senate on May 8, 2013.WEB, S. 893 – Summary, United States Congress,weblink November 12, 2013, The bill would increase the disability compensation rate for American veterans and their families.NEWS, Kasperowicz, Pete, November 7, 2013, House to boost disability pay for veterans, The Hill (newspaper), The Hill,weblink November 12, 2013, Sanders co-wrote, with Senator John McCain, the Veterans' Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014, a bill intended to reform the United States Department of Veterans Affairs in response to the Veterans Health Administration scandal of 2014.NEWS, Matishak, Martin, Wong, Kristina, June 11, 2014, Overnight Defense: Senate passes bipartisan VA fix, The Hill,weblink June 13, 2014, In December 2018, Sanders was one of twenty-one senators to sign a letter to United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie calling it "appalling that the VA is not conducting oversight of its own outreach efforts" in spite of suicide prevention being the VA's highest clinical priority and requesting Wilkie "consult with experts with proven track records of successful public and mental health outreach campaigns with a particular emphasis on how those individuals measure success."NEWS,weblink U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Presses VA for Answers on Misuse Of Suicide Prevention Funds, January 4, 2019,,


Early childhood

Drawing figures from a recent report ranking the U.S. 33rd out of 36 nations in reading literacy, 27th in mathematical literacy, 22nd in science literacy, and 18th overall in secondary education, Sanders has said, "In a society with our resources, it is unconscionable to that we do not properly invest in our children from the very first stages of their lives". He has introduced legislation to provide child care and early education to all children six weeks old through kindergarten. Sanders believes that "the 'Foundations for Success Act' would provide preschool children with a full range of services, leading to success in school and critical support for hard-pressed families nationwide."WEB, Sanders, Bernie, Family Values Agenda, YouTube,weblink June 13, 2015, WEB, Sanders, Bernie, Release: Sanders Proposes Early Child Care Program,, Bernie Sanders Senate Office,weblink June 14, 2015, On Common Core State Standards, Sanders used to support it, but his current public position on Common Core at the time of the campaign was unknown. However, he had voted against an amendment that would have harmed Common Core. However, he had spoken on a program related to Common Core: Race to the Top.WEB,weblink Bernie Sanders – Candidates on Common Core,, August 25, 2015, July 27, 2016, WEB,weblink Bernie Sanders quotes about education - The Thomas B. Fordham Institute,,

School choice and K-12 education reform

The position of Sanders on school choice was unknown before 2019. In May 2019, on the 65th anniversary of the Supreme Court's ruling on Brown v. Board of Education, Sanders introduced a policy proposal that included a blanket ban on for-profit charter schools, an increase in regulatory oversight of existing charter schools, and a temporary moratorium on funding for new nonprofit charter schools, ending upon full review of their effectiveness.NEWS, Gibson, Ginger, May 17, 2019,weblink Bernie Sanders calls for end to for-profit U.S. charter schools, May 21, 2019, Reuters, The proposal also included tripling funding for Title I schools, improving funding for publicly-run magnet schools and free school-provided meal programs, "rethinking" the ways states and localities fund education in light of the property tax system favoring the wealthy, and raising the national minimum wage for teachers to $60,000 per year.WEB, Scott, Dylan, May 18, 2019,weblink Bernie Sanders is rolling out an education plan that cracks down on charter schools, Vox, May 21, 2019,

Student loans

{{See also|Student debt}}Sanders has long been an advocate of making college more affordable. He has spoken out against the high interest rates on federal student loans, noting that in the next ten years, the federal government will profit by as much as $127 billion from them. He has also criticized President Obama for signing legislation that temporarily froze student loan interest rates in exchange for allowing the rates to reach historic highs over the next two years. Sanders believes closing corporate tax loopholes is the solution, and has developed a plan bringing matching grants from the federal and state governments to cut tuition at public universities by more than half. He has criticized both Republicans and Democrats for failing to institute reforms that will stop predatory lending practices in the student loan market.WEB, Dash, Stephen, April 22, 2015, What Is Bernie Sanders' Endgame for College Affordability and Student Loans?, The Huffington Post,weblink July 18, 2015, In June 2019, Sanders announced a plan to forgive all outstanding student loan debt which would be paid for with a tax on Wall Street Speculation.WEB, Nobles, Ryan, Krieg, Gregory, June 23, 2019, Bernie Sanders to unveil plan to cancel all $1.6 trillion of student loan debt, CNN,weblink June 24, 2019,

Tuition-free public universities

Sanders favors public funding for college students. He believes "we live in a highly competitive global economy and, if our economy is to be strong, we need the best-educated workforce in the world." He further maintains that many other developed nations in Western Europe have long taken this approach to higher education. Sanders expects strong opposition from the Republican Party, but says it is ultimately "the American people" who will determine its failure or success.NEWS, Wysocki, Aaron, May 21, 2015, Bernie Sanders: Free College For All, The Young Turks,weblink May 21, 2015, {{citation|url= |accessdate=November 24, 2015 |title=It's Time to Make College Tuition Free and Debt Free}}{{Citation needed|reason=First ref doesn't support text, the second is dead, both are primary sources|date=February 2019}}On May 19, 2015, Sanders introduced the College for All Act (S.1373), which would use a Robin Hood tax of 50 cents on every "$100 of stock trades on stock sales" to fund tuition at four-year public colleges and universities for students who meet admission standards.{{citation|url= |title=Summary of Sen. Sanders' College for All Act |accessdate=November 24, 2015}}NEWS, Bixby, Scott, May 19, 2015, Bernie Sanders' Bold, New Plan May Have Just Locked Down the Millennial Vote, Mic (media company), Mic,weblink May 19, 2015, NEWS, Resnikoff, Ned, May 19, 2015, Bernie Sanders unveils plan for tuition-free public colleges, Al Jazeera America,weblink May 19, 2015, In addition, the Robin Hood tax would include a 0.5% speculation fee to be charged on investment houses, hedge funds, and other stock trades, while a 0.1% fee would be charged on bonds, and a 0.005% fee on derivatives.WEB, Schramm, Michael, Sioelzer, Ethan, Bernie Sanders issues a bill to make 4 year colleges tuition-free, USA Today / College,weblink June 14, 2015,

Health care

Sanders is a staunch supporter of a universal health care system, and he has said, "If you are serious about real healthcare reform, the only way to go is single-payer."NEWS, Jaffe, Sarah, July 14, 2009, Sanders Schools McCain on Public Healthcare, The Nation, Senator Bernie Sanders is one of the Senate's fiercest advocates for real healthcare reform that puts Americans, not private insurance companies, first. Recently, Sanders told The Nation's Katrina vanden Heuvel, '[I]f you are serious about real healthcare reform, the only way to go is single-payer.',weblink October 16, 2013, He advocates lowering the cost of drugs that are expensive because they remain under patent for years; some drugs costing thousands of dollars per year in the U.S. are available for hundreds, or less, in countries where they can be obtained as generics.NEWS, Carter, Zach, May 19, 2012, Bernie Sanders Offers Plan To Cut Prescription Drug Prices, The Huffington Post,weblink August 16, 2014, In May 2013, as chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging, Sanders introduced legislation intended to reauthorize and strengthen the Older Americans Act, which supports Meals on Wheels and other programs for seniors.WEB, May 23, 2015, Older Americans Act,weblink July 4, 2015, He believes that supporting seniors "is not only the right thing to do, it is the financially smart thing to do", because it decreases expensive hospitalizations and allows seniors to remain in their homes.{{citation needed|date=February 2019}}In June 2015, after the Supreme Court ruled to uphold the ACA’s subsidies, Sanders stated the ruling was not a surprise since no one "thought that we should look at the ... federal exchanges any differently than the state exchanges" and stressed that "today, despite the gains of the Affordable Care Act, which is certainly voted for, we still have 35 million Americans without any health insurance, and many more who are underinsured."NEWS,weblink Mark, Hensch, Sanders: ObamaCare ruling a 'no-brainer', June 28, 2015, The Hill, In December 2016, Sanders was one of five senators to vote against the Obama administration-supported 21st Century Cures Act, legislation increasing funding for disease research while addressing flaws in the American mental health systems and altering drugs and medical devices' regulatory system."NEWS,weblink Sweeping Health Measure, Backed by Obama, Passes Senate, December 7, 2016, New York Times, In July 2017, during a CNN appearance, Sanders stated that Republicans had upended the standard process for handling bills in the Senate, describing the current process applied toward the AHCA as one "in which the bills being brought forth are opposed by the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, the AARP — every major healthcare organization in America — and they're trying to push this thing through."NEWS,weblink Sanders: Senate healthcare fight 'totally bananas', Max, Greenwood, The Hill, July 27, 2017, In December 2018, Sanders was one of forty-two senators to sign a letter to Trump administration officials Alex Azar, Seema Verma, and Steve Mnuchin arguing that the administration was improperly using Section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act to authorize states to "increase health care costs for millions of consumers while weakening protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions." The senators requested the administration withdraw the policy and "re-engage with stakeholders, states, and Congress."NEWS,weblink U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Calls on Trump Administration to Stop Pushing Health Insurance Plans that Weaken Pre-Existing Condition Protections, December 20, 2018,, In January 2019, during the 2018–19 United States federal government shutdown, Sanders was one of thirty-four senators to sign a letter to Commissioner of Food and Drugs Scott Gottlieb recognizing the efforts of the FDA to address the effect of the government shutdown on the public health and employees while remaining alarmed "that the continued shutdown will result in increasingly harmful effects on the agency’s employees and the safety and security of the nation’s food and medical products."NEWS,weblink Democratic Senators "Alarmed" by Shutdown’s Potential Impact on Food Safety, January 15, 2019,, In a February 2019 letter to Catalyst Pharmaceuticals, Sanders criticized the company's decision to set the annual list price of Firdapse at $375,000, which was previously free, as "a blatant fleecing of American taxpayers" and "also an immoral exploitation of patients who need this medication". Sanders requested Catalyst provide financial and non-financial factors that led to the new price along with questioning how many patients would suffer or die as a result of the price increase.NEWS,weblink Sanders asks why once-free drug now costs $375,000 a year, Owen, Daughterty, The Hill, In June 2019, Sanders was one of eight senators to cosponsor the Territories Health Equity Act of 2019, legislation that would remove the cap on annual federal Medicaid funding and increase federal matching rate for Medicaid expenditures of territories along with more funds being provided for prescription drug coverage to low-income seniors in an attempt to equalize funding for American territories Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands with that of U.S. states. Sanders stated the need "to ensure a strong health care system in all the territories and address inequities in federal law that have allowed the territories to fall behind in almost every measurable social and economic criteria."NEWS,weblink Tal, Axelrod, Democratic White House hopefuls push to expand health care in US territories, June 11, 2019, The Hill, On July 29, 2019, following Senator Kamala Harris releasing her own Medicare for All plan that would put the US on the path toward a government-backed health insurance system over the course of 10 years without entirely abolishing private insurance, Sanders stated that the plan was not Medicare for All which he defined as understanding "that health care is a human right and the function of a sane health care system is not to make sure that insurance companies and drug companies make tens of billions of dollars in profit." He noted one of his disagreements with the Harris plan was the goal of a 10 year period of transitioning to Medicare for All, citing his belief that four years was enough.NEWS,weblink Sanders says Kamala Harris' health care plan is 'not Medicare for All', July 29, 2019, CNN, In August 2019, Sanders and four Senate Democrats signed a letter to Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Ned Sharpless in response to Novartis falsifying data as part of an attempt to gain the FDA's approval for its new gene therapy Zolgensma, writing that it was "unconscionable that a drug company would provide manipulated data to federal regulators in order to rush its product to market, reap federal perks, and charge the highest amount in American history for its medication."NEWS,weblink U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin to FDA: Hold AveXis Accountable for Falsifying Data, Tammy, Baldwin, August 9, 2019, Urban Milwaukee,

Social issues

File:Bernie Sanders (25673336410).jpg|thumb|300px|Bernie Sanders at a March 2016 rally in Phoenix, ArizonaArizona


In June 2003, Sanders voted against the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act.WEB, Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act,weblink 22 May 2019, In February 2019, Sanders and 43 other Democrats voted against the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which would have required health care practitioners present at the time of a failed abortion to "exercise the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child as a reasonably diligent and conscientious health care practitioner would render to any other child born alive at the same gestational age."NEWS,weblink Dems block 'born alive' bill to provide medical care to infants who survive failed abortions, Fox News, February 25, 2019, In June 2019, amid Democratic presidential candidates announcing their support for repealing the Hyde Amendment, Sanders stated that he only voted for the amendment when it was part of larger spending bills and that he believed his record of "being literally 100 percent pro-choice is absolutely correct." Sanders pledged that he would never "nominate someone to the Supreme Court that is not 100 percent defending Roe V. Wade" and that supporting the latter Supreme Court decision was his only litmus test for Supreme Court nominees.NEWS,weblink Sanders defends support for spending legislation that included Hyde Amendment, June 9, 2019, The Hill, NARAL Pro-Choice America has given Sanders a 100% rating on his abortion rights voting record.WEB, December 29, 2014, Bernie Sanders on Abortion, On the Issues,weblink May 31, 2015,


In March 2019, Sanders was one of thirty-eight senators to sign a letter to United States Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue warning that dairy farmers "have continued to face market instability and are struggling to survive the fourth year of sustained low prices" and urging his department to "strongly encourage these farmers to consider the Dairy Margin Coverage program."NEWS,weblink U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Calls on Trump Administration to Implement Farm Bill Dairy Improvements for Wisconsin Dairy Farmers, April 1, 2019,, In a March 2019 op-ed, Sanders wrote that "the crisis in America’s small towns and rural communities is the result of deliberate policy choices by a political class that neglects rural America" and that the large transfer of wealth from rural working people to corporate CEOs had taken a financial toll on rural America as well as caused "personal pain as entire rural communities are devastated by opioid addiction" and spikes in farmer suicides. Sanders furthered that his presidency would work to "strengthen antitrust laws that defend farmers from the corporate middlemen that stand between the food grower and the consumer" and called for the abolition of "the absurd situation where the top four packing companies now control more than 80 percent of the beef market, 63 percent of the pork market, and 53 percent of the chicken market." Sanders also pledged to reverse the Trump administration's elimination of an Obama-era rule allowing small farmers to pursue legal action when abused by large corporation middlemen and restore an agency inside the United States Department of Agriculture tasked with enforcing antitrust laws within the meatpacking industry.NEWS,weblink Bernie Sanders: I'll fight for farmers against powerful agribusiness, March 28, 2019, Bernie, Sanders, Des Moines Register,

D.C. statehood

Sanders has stated that he believes it is "morally wrong" for Washington, D.C. residents to be denied federal representation.NEWS, Devaney, Tim, June 25, 2015, Bernie Sanders joins push for DC statehood, The Hill,weblink July 6, 2015, In 2015, he joined 17 other senators in co-sponsoring legislation in support of D.C. statehood under the name "New Columbia".WEB, June 26, 2015, 51st State: Bernie Sanders supports bill for DC statehood, RT,weblink July 6, 2015,

Paid leave

Sanders has been a prominent supporter of laws requiring companies to provide their workers parental leave, sick leave, and vacation time, arguing that such laws have been adopted by almost every developed country, and that there are significant disparities among workers having access to paid sick and paid vacation time.WEB, FAMILY VALUES AGENDA: PAID FAMILY LEAVE, PAID SICK LEAVE, PAID VACATION,weblink PDF, June 13, 2015, Sanders's Guaranteed Paid Vacation Act (S.1564) would mandate companies to provide 10 days of paid vacation for employees who have worked for them for at least one year. He is cosponsoring a Senate bill that would give mothers and fathers 12 weeks of paid family leave to care for a baby. It would also allow workers to take the same amount of paid time off if they are diagnosed with cancer or have other serious medical conditions or to take care of family members who are seriously ill. Sanders has also cosponsored a bill that would guarantee workers at least seven paid sick days per year for short-term illness, routine medical care, or to care for a sick family member.

Gun laws

Sanders supports banning assault weapons,NEWS, Bradner, Eric, July 5, 2015, Bernie Sanders wants to 'bring us to the middle' on guns, CNN,weblink July 6, 2015, universal federal background checks,WEB, %s,weblink Congressional Bills and Votes,, 2016-07-27,weblink" title="">weblink 2016-04-10, dead, and closing the gun show loophole.WEB,weblink Bernie Sanders on Gun Control,, 2016-07-27, While in the House of Representatives representing a "state with virtually no gun laws", Sanders voted against the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act that required federal background checks on firearm purchasers in the US; he later voted for the post-Newtown Manchin-Toomey universal federal background check bill as a US Senator in 2013. In the Senate, he voted for the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.WEB, S.397 (109th): Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act,weblink GovTrack, 22 July 2015, When asked, Sanders stated his view that mandatory waiting periods were best left to states.NEWS, Doanvo, Anhvinh, Bernie Sanders' Gun Control Affair: It's Complicated,weblink 8 October 2015, Huffington Post, August 24, 2015, With regard to proposed legislation enabling gun violence victims to sue gun manufacturers, Sanders said, "If somebody has a gun and it falls into the hands of a murderer and the murderer kills somebody with a gun, do you hold the gun manufacturer responsible? Not any more than you would hold a hammer company responsible if somebody beats somebody over the head with a hammer." Sanders has said, "we have millions of people who are gun owners in this country -- 99.9% of those people obey the law. I want to see real, serious debate and action on guns, but it is not going to take place if we simply have extreme positions on both sides. I think I can bring us to the middle."Following the Las Vegas shooting in October 2017, Sanders was one of twenty-four senators to sign a letter to National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins espousing the view that it was critical the NIH "dedicate a portion of its resources to the public health consequences of gun violence" at a time when 93 Americans die per day from gun-related fatalities and noted that the Dickey Amendment did not prohibit objective, scientific inquiries into shooting death prevention.NEWS,weblink Senate Dems urge NIH to renew gun research grants, Nathaniel, Weizel, October 11, 2017, The Hill, In November 2017, Sanders was a cosponsor of the Military Domestic Violence Reporting Enhancement Act, a bill that would form a charge of Domestic Violence under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and stipulate that convictions would have to be reported to federal databases with the authority to keep abusers from purchasing firearms within three days in an attempt to close a loophole in the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) through which convicted abusers retained the ability to purchase firearms.NEWS,weblink Sen. Hirono Introduces Military Domestic Violence Reporting Enhancement Act, November 15, 2017,, In March 2018, Sanders was one of ten senators to sign a letter to Chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Lamar Alexander and ranking Democrat Patty Murray requesting they schedule a hearing on the causes and remedies of mass shootings in the wake of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.NEWS,weblink Senate Dems request health panel hearing on school shootings, March 26, 2018, The Hill, In a May 2018 interview, Sanders said President Trump and Republicans "don't have the guts to stand up to" the NRA and that the Senate had not done enough toward gun control legislation. He added that "common sense" gun control was supported by Americans overwhelmingly.NEWS,weblink Bernie Sanders: NRA to blame for lack of action on gun control, May 20, 2018, The Hill, In January 2019, Sanders joined 39 Democrats in introducing the Background Check Expansion Act, a bill that would require background checks for either the sale or transfer of all firearms including all unlicensed sellers. Exceptions to the bill's background check requirement included transfers between members of law enforcement, loaning firearms for either hunting or sporting events on a temporary basis, providing firearms as gifts to members of one's immediate family, firearms being transferred as part of an inheritance, or giving a firearm to another person temporarily for immediate self-defense.NEWS,weblink U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Helps Introduce Background Check Expansion Act To Reduce Gun Violence, January 9, 2019,, Sanders was delivering remarks at an August 3, 2019 presidential forum in Las Vegas as news broke of the 2019 El Paso shooting. He stated that Americans overwhelmingly supported gun control reform and referred to the 2017 Las Vegas shooting "where some lunatic killed fifty-some-odd people and wounded hundreds of people."NEWS,weblink In Las Vegas forum, 2020 candidates say country ‘under attack’ after Texas mass shooting, John, Sadler, August 3, 2019, Las Vegas Sun, In response to the El Paso and Dayton shootings over the weekend, Sanders cosponsored the Extreme Risk Protection Order Act, a bill authorizing states to use grants to develop red flag laws which would grant family members the ability to petition courts for an order that would temporarily prevent someone from purchasing a gun and the state laws would also allow family members to petition an order for law enforcement to take a firearm away.NEWS,weblink Senators ask for committee vote on 'red flag' bills after shootings, August 5, 2019, The Hill,

Child care

In 2019, Sanders and 34 Democrats introduced the Child Care for Working Families Act, a bill that created 770,000 new child care jobs and that ensured families under 75 percent of the state median income did not pay for child care with higher earning families having to pay "their fair share for care on a sliding scale, regardless of the number of children they have." The legislation also supported universal access to high-quality preschool programs for all 3 and 4-year-olds and gave the child care workforce a changed compensation and training to aid both teachers and caregivers.NEWS,weblink U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Helps Introduce Legislation to Ensure Child Care for All, March 1, 2019,,

Criminal justice reform

Sanders has called for reforms to sentencing guidelines, drug policy, and the use of force policies within police departments. Noting that there are more people incarcerated in the U.S. than any country in the world at an annual cost to taxpayers of $70 billion, Sanders argues that the money would be better spent on education and jobs. He has spoken out against police brutality and the uneven rates of arresting African Americans and other minorities, saying, "From Ferguson[,] [Missouri] to Baltimore[,] [Maryland] and across this nation, too many African Americans and other minorities find themselves subjected to a system that treats citizens who have not committed crimes as if they were criminals and that is unacceptable."WEB, james321, Bernie Sanders speaks out forcefully against mass incarceration and abusive policing in America, Daily Kos,weblink July 19, 2015, Following the release of footage depicting the arrest of African American Sandra Bland for a minor traffic violation, Sanders strongly condemned the "totally outrageous police behavior" shown in the video, stating that "This video highlights once again why we need real police reform. People should not die for a minor traffic infraction. This type of police abuse has become an all-too-common occurrence for people of color and it must stop."WEB,weblink The Week in Review, Bernie Sanders United States Senator for Vermont, 24 July 2015, 26 July 2015, Sanders has also spoken out against the privatization of prisons throughout the US, stating:On September 17, 2015, Sanders introduced the "Justice Is Not for Sale" Act,Justice Is Not For Sale Act. which prohibits the US government at federal, state and local levels from contracting with private firms to provide and/or operate detention facilities within two years. He noted that "We cannot fix our criminal justice system if corporations are allowed to profit from mass incarceration."Bernie Sanders declares war on the prison-industrial complex with major new bill. Salon. September 17, 2015.Bernie Sanders (September 22, 2015). We Must End For-Profit Prisons. The Huffington Post. Retrieved September 23, 2015.Sanders voted in favor of the 1994 Crime Bill, which played a role in increasing the American prison population and causing racial disparities in the criminal justice system. Sanders said, at the time, he was voting for the crime bill because it included the Violence Against Women Act. He has indicated he has a problem with what is referred to as "Mass Incarceration".WEB,weblink Bernie Sanders voted for the 1994 tough-on-crime law. But it's complicated., German, Lopez, 26 February 2016, Vox, NEWS,weblink Bernie Sanders, Chuck Todd debate crime bill vote, assault weapons ban, @politifact, 2018-02-10, en, NEWS,weblink 1994 crime bill haunts Clinton and Sanders as criminal justice reform rises to top in Democratic contest, Williams, Vanessa, 2016-02-12, Washington Post, 2018-02-10, en-US, 0190-8286, In December 2018, Sanders voted for the First Step Act, legislation aimed at reducing recidivism rates among federal prisoners through expanding job training and other programs in addition to forming an expansion of early-release programs and modifications on sentencing laws such as mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenders, "to more equitably punish drug offenders."NEWS,weblink Senate Passes Bipartisan Criminal Justice Bill, Nicholas, Fandos, December 18, 2018, New York Times, In July 2019, when asked by Jake Tapper if he was satisfied with his vote for the 1994 Crime Bill, Sanders replied that he was not happy that he had "voted for a terrible bill" but was glad that he was honest with Vermonters and furthered that since then he had been doing his best "to lead the effort for real criminal justice reform, so that we end the disgrace of having more people in jail than any other country."NEWS,weblink Bernie Sanders: 'Not happy' I voted for 'terrible' 1994 crime bill, Kate, Sullivan, July 28, 2019, CNN,

Death penalty

Sanders has strongly opposed the death penalty throughout his political career.Zaid Jilani (July 20, 2015). 20 Examples of Bernie Sanders' Powerful Record on Civil and Human Rights Since the 1950s. Alternet. Retrieved July 21, 2015. In 1996 Sanders voted against the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act.WEB, Anti-Terrorism Act,weblink 23 May 2019, In October 2015, he said, "I would rather have our country stand side-by-side with European democracies rather than with countries like China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and others who maintain the death penalty."NEWS, The New York Times, On Senate Floor, Bernie Sanders Calls for Ending the Death Penalty,weblink October 29, 2015, January 16, 2016, Kaplan, Thomas, After the Washington Supreme Court found the death penalty unconstitutional, Sanders praised the decision and stated: "We can't properly reform our broken criminal justice system without ending the death penalty."Sanders on Twitter On July 31, 2019, following Attorney General William Barr announcing that the United States federal government would resume the use of the death penalty for the first time in over twenty years, Sanders was a cosponsor of a bill banning the death penalty.NEWS,weblink Booker, Durbin and Leahy introduce bill to ban death penalty, Tal, Axelrod, July 31, 2019, The Hill,

LGBT rights

In a letter that he published in the early 1970s when he was running for Governor of Vermont, Sanders called for abolishing all laws against homosexuality.WEB, Bernie Sanders Was for Full Gay Equality 40 Years Ago,weblink Alternet, In the 1980s, Sanders supported the designation of the Burlington "Lesbian and Gay Pride Day" as the mayor of the city and signed a resolution recommending all government levels to support gay rights.WEB, 32 Years Before Marriage Equality, Bernie Sanders Fought For Gay Rights,weblink Queerty, In the House, Sanders voted against the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, which was signed by President Bill Clinton that same year.WEB,weblink How Bernie Sanders Evolved on Gay Marriage, Time, en, 2018-03-02, Sanders opposed "Don't ask, don't tell", the US policy on LGBT service members in the military, which was implemented in 1994 and ended in 2011.Sanders first spoke out in favor of same-sex marriage in 2009. Vermont was the first state to legalize same-sex unions in 2000. In a 2006 interview, Sanders noted that Vermont had "led the way" in creating the civil unions law, but said it was "a very divisive debate". Asked whether Vermont should legalize full marriage rights for same-sex couples, he said: "Not right now, not after what we went through."WEB, June 7, 2006, Sanders defends against 'partisan hatred' charge,weblink At the same time, Sanders expressed opposition to the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment, which would have prohibited same-sex marriage in the US. Sanders voted against the amendment later that year.WEB, Final Vote Result for Roll Call 378, Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives,weblink In 2009, Vermont also was the first state to legalize same-sex marriage by statute.When the Supreme Court took up the issue in 2015, Sanders issued a statement reaffirming his support, saying gay Americans in every state should be allowed to marry: "Of course all citizens deserve equal rights. It's time for the Supreme Court to catch up to the American people and legalize gay marriage."WEB, Lyons, Kim, April 2015, Bernie Sanders' Views on Gay Marriage Show He's Been a Supporter for a Long Time,weblink In May 2017, Sanders was one of forty-six senators to introduce the Equality Act of 2017, described by Representative David Cicilline as ensuring "that every LGBT person can live their lives free from the fear of discrimination. Above all, it’s about honoring the values that have guided our nation since its founding. It’s critical that Congress pass the Equality Act into law."NEWS,weblink Historic, Comprehensive LGBT Non-Discrimination Legislation Re-Introduced in Congress, May 2, 2017,, In October 2018, Sanders was one of twenty senators to sign a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urging Pompeo to reverse the rolling back of a policy that granted visas to same-sex partners of LGBTQ diplomats who had unions which were not recognized by their home countries, writing that too many places around the world have seen LGBTQ individuals "subjected to discrimination and unspeakable violence, and receive little or no protection from the law or local authorities" and that the US refusing to let LGBTQ diplomats bring their partners to the US would be equivalent of America upholding "the discriminatory policies of many countries around the world."NEWS,weblink Democratic senators demand Pompeo reverse visa denials for LGBTQ diplomats' partners, Jesus, Rodriguez, October 11, 2018, Politico, In June 2019, Sanders was one of eighteen senators to sign a letter to United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo requesting an explanation of a decision by the State Department to not issue an official statement that year commemorating Pride Month nor issue the annual cable outlining activities for embassies commemorating Pride Month. They also questioned why the LGBTI special envoy position had remained vacant and asserted that "preventing the official flying of rainbow flags and limiting public messages celebrating Pride Month signals to the international community that the United States is abandoning the advancement of LGBTI rights as a foreign policy priority."NEWS,weblink US. Sens. Markey, Warren question State Department refusal to fly rainbow flags at embassies during Pride month, June 14, 2019, Ray, Kelly,,


Sanders believes a path to citizenship should be created for new immigrants.David Weigel (July 30, 2015). Bernie Sanders criticizes ‘open borders’ at Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The Washington Post. Retrieved August 1, 2015. He voted for the comprehensive immigration reform bill in 2013,WEB, Aronsen, Gavin, June 27, 2013, Here Are the 14 Republicans Who Voted for Immigration Reform, Mother Jones,weblink June 15, 2015, saying, "It does not make a lot of sense to me to bring hundreds of thousands of [foreign] workers into this country to work for minimum wage and compete with American kids." Sanders opposes guest worker programsWEB, Jamieson, Dave, June 19, 2013, Senator Sounds Alarm On Teen Unemployment, The Huffington Post,weblink June 15, 2015, and is also skeptical about skilled immigrant (H-1B) visas, saying, "Last year, the top 10 employers of H-1B guest workers were all offshore outsourcing companies. These firms are responsible for shipping large numbers of American information technology jobs to India and other countries."WEB, Thibodeau, Patrick, May 1, 2015, Meet Bernie Sanders, H-1B skeptic, Computerworld,weblink June 15, 2015, In an interview with Vox, he stated his opposition to an open borders immigration policy, describing it as:
... a right-wing proposal, which says essentially there is no United States ... you're doing away with the concept of a nation-state. What right-wing people in this country would love is an open-border policy. Bring in all kinds of people, work for $2 or $3 an hour, that would be great for them. I don't believe in that. I think we have to raise wages in this country, I think we have to do everything we can to create millions of jobs.WEB, Bier, Daniel,weblink Bernie Sanders on Immigrants: Silly, Tribal and Economically Illiterate,, 2016-07-27, WEB,weblink Bernie Sanders is wrong on open borders; they'd help boost the economy, Cory Massimino, the Guardian,
In 2006, Sanders voted for the Community Protection Act, which would have permitted "indefinite detention of specified dangerous aliens under orders of removal who cannot be removed, subject to review every six months." The bill was not passed in the Senate.NEWS,weblink Hillary Clinton says Bernie Sanders supported Minutemen, indefinite detention for the undocumented, @politifact, 2018-02-28, en, NEWS,weblink Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders Draw Distinctions on Immigration Policy, Preston, Julia, 2016-03-10, The New York Times, 2018-03-04, en-US, 0362-4331, NEWS,weblink What We Learned (And Didn't Learn) From the Miami Democratic Debate on Immigration, CityLab, 2018-03-04, en-US, That same year, he voted for an amendment to a Homeland Security appropriations bill prohibiting the federal government from contacting the Mexican government about American civilian groups, such as the Minutemen, that patrolled the US-Mexico border to stop undocumented immigrants from crossing,NEWS,weblink In 2006, Bernie Sanders Voted In Support Of An Immigration Conspiracy Theory, BuzzFeed, 2018-02-28, en, which a campaign representative described as one of many "nuisance amendments" and "a meaningless thing" in the view of the Customs and Border Patrol.Regarding immigration detention, a joint letter dated June 2015 by 33 senators (including Gillibrand, Warren, and Booker) criticized that as "unacceptable and goes against our most fundamental values".WEB, Crookston, Paul, Booker: 'I Had a Lot of Problems With Obama Policies on Immigration and Family Detention',weblink Free Beacon, 8 March 2019, WEB, Sherman, Amy, Trump campaign manager's tweet omits that children detained under Obama were unaccompanied minors,weblink Politifact, 8 March 2019, In March 2016, Sanders traveled to the US-Mexico border with Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada and Representative Raul Grijalva and pledged to expand both Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, the latter of which was then being argued in court.NEWS,weblink Bernie Sanders visits U.S.-Mexico border, talks immigration reform, Astrid, Galvan, March 20, 2016, Military Times, In February 2018, Sanders voted for bipartisan immigration legislation, admitting that it was "not the bill I would have written." He furthered, "What we should be doing is passing a clean DREAM Act with a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers and their parents. We also need to move forward and pass comprehensive immigration reform that will allow people to come out of the shadows and will unite families – not divide them."NEWS,weblink Senate rejects centrist immigration bill after Trump veto threat, Jordain, Carney, February 15, 2018, The Hill, In a May 2018 interview, Sanders said the Trump administration's immigration policy was "heartless" and that while Americans believed the US "should move forward to comprehensive immigration reform", President Trump was "moving in exactly the wrong direction and we see the cruelty of his immigration policies when you talk about the United States government separating children from their parents."NEWS,weblink Bernie Sanders: Trump administration 'heartless' toward immigrants, Rebecca, Morin, Politico, May 13, 2018, In August 2018, Sanders was one of seventeen senators to sign a letter spearheaded by Kamala Harris to United States Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen demanding that the Trump administration take immediate action in attempting to reunite 539 migrant children with their families, citing each passing day of inaction as intensifying "trauma that this administration has needlessly caused for children and their families seeking humanitarian protection."NEWS,weblink Senate Dems demand immediate reunification of remaining separated children, Nathaniel, Weixel, August 15, 2018, The Hill, In July 2018, Sanders was one of eleven senators to sign a letter to the agencies responsible for reuniting families requesting them to provide weekly updates until every separated child was returned to their parents. The updates would be in the form of a list of separated children, a list of their parents, and a list connecting the two, as well as a briefing for lawmakers on the strategies used to reunite families.NEWS,weblink 11 senators demand an update on separated kids, July 2, 2018, Stephanie, Murray, Politico, Later that month, Sanders was one of twenty two senators to sponsor the Stop Shackling and Detaining Pregnant Women Act, which if enacted would prohibit immigration officers from detaining pregnant women in a majority of circumstances and improve conditions of care for individuals in custody.NEWS,weblink Dems to propose legislation to prevent ICE from shackling pregnant women, Emily, Birnbaum, July 17, 2018, The Hill, In November 2018, Sanders was one of eleven senators to sign a letter to United States Secretary of Defense James Mattis concerning "the overt politicization of the military" with the Trump administration's deployment of 5,800 troops to the U.S.-Mexico border and requesting a briefing and written justification from the U.S. Northern Command for troop deployment while urging Mattis to "curb the unprecedented escalation of DOD involvement in immigration enforcement."NEWS,weblink 2020 Democrats challenge Trump's use of troops at Mexico border, November 20, 2018, The Hill, In January 2019, Sanders was one of twenty senators to sponsor the Dreamer Confidentiality Act, a bill imposing a ban on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from passing information collected on DACA recipients to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Department of Justice, or any other law enforcement agency with exceptions in the case of fraudulent claims, national security issues, or non-immigration related felonies being investigated.NEWS,weblink Senate Dems introduces bill to keep DACA info private, January 22, 2019, Rafael, Bernal, The Hill, In March 2019, Sanders voted to block President Trump's national emergency declaration that would have granted him access to $3.6 billion in military construction funding to build border barriers.NEWS,weblink 12 Republican senators defy Trump on emergency declaration, Alexander, Bolton, March 14, 2019, The Hill, In April 2019, Sanders signed a letter led by Catherine Cortez Masto to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Enforcement asserting that "the civil detention of an expectant mother for potential immigration offenses is never justified" due to the "absence of compelling evidence that the detention of a pregnant woman is necessary because she is a threat to herself or others, or is a threat to public safety or national security". The senators requested the CBP enact measures that would ensure "timely and appropriate treatment" for pregnant women in custody along with both agencies providing information on how available facilities and doctors are for pregnant immigrants and complete data on the number of those currently in custody.NEWS,weblink Dem senators call for Trump to restore release for pregnant migrants, Chris Mills, Rodrigo, April 8, 2019, The Hill, In April 2019, Sanders was one of nineteen senators to sign a letter to top members on the Appropriations Committee Richard Shelby and Patrick Leahy and top members of its Homeland Security subcommittee Shelley Moore Capito and Jon Tester indicating that they could not "support the appropriation of funds that would expand this administration’s unnecessarily cruel immigration enforcement policies, its inhumane immigrant detention systems, or its efforts to build the president’s vanity projects" and urging Congress to "resist efforts to raid critical and effective public safety programs in order to pay for political theatrics" as President Trump's "manufactured emergency" was not justification for "spending taxpayer dollars on an ineffective wall."NEWS,weblink 20 Dems demand no more money for ICE agents, Trump wall, Jordain, Carney, April 17, 2019, The Hill, In June 2019, following the Housing and Urban Development Department's confirmation that DACA recipients did not meet eligibility for federal backed loans, Sanders and eleven Democrats introduced The Home Ownership Dreamers Act, legislation that mandated that the federal government was not authorized to deny mortgage loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, or the Agriculture Department solely due to the immigration status of an applicant.NEWS,weblink Bob Menendez, Cory Booker and others introduce bill to protect home loans for DACA holders, June 21, 2019,, In his remarks at a July 2019 forum hosted by the League of United Latin American Citizens, Sanders stated his administration would "provide immediate legal status to the 1.8 million young people eligible for the DACA program" and reform the immigration system of the US, which included offering a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented citizens in America.NEWS,weblink 2020 Democrats paint contrast with Trump on immigration, July 11, 2019, The Associated Press,

Racial justice

Sanders was a civil rights organizer at the University of Chicago in the 1960s, and he has been given a 100% rating by the NAACP for his civil rights voting record. In 1988, Sanders worked for Jesse Jackson's presidential campaign saying, "Jesse Jackson uniquely and alone has shown the courage to tackle the most important and basic issues facing working class Americans, poor people, elderly people, environmentalists, peace activists, women, and America's minorities."Bernie Sanders (1988) 1988 Bernie Sanders Speech on Race Progress and the Democratic Party. YouTube Retrieved August 11, 2015.As part of his 2016 presidential platform, Sanders calls for an end to "the four central types of violence waged against black and brown Americans: physical, political, legal and economic."WEB,weblink Racial Justice, Bernie 2016, 17 August 2015, Bernie 2016, Marina Fang (August 9, 2015). Bernie Sanders Unveils Sweeping Policy Platform To Combat Racial Inequality. The Huffington Post Retrieved August 11, 2015. Speaking on these issues, Sanders says:During a Democratic debate, Sanders was asked "do black lives matter or do all lives matter" to which he responded "Black lives matter" and went on to condemn racist policing and incarceration.WEB,weblink Asked whether Black Lives Matter or All Lives Matter, Bernie Sanders nailed the answer, DAILY KOS, October 14, 2015, In his appearance at the She the People forum in Houston, Texas on April 24, 2019, Sanders was asked by founder and president of New American Leaders Sayu Bhojwani in what way he believed the federal government should be involved in fighting "against the rise of white nationalism and white terrorist acts" and how Sanders would lead that effort if elected president. Sanders responded by criticizing President Trump's demagoguery and said that he would do everything he could to help lead the United States "in a direction that ends all forms of discrimination -- racial discrimination, gender discrimination and discrimination based on people's sexual orientation." Sanders later furthered that his administration would have the top of its agenda "the understanding that discrimination of all forms has got to end -- period" and concluded, "If somebody wants to go around perpetrating hate crimes, that person will pay a very, very heavy price, indeed."NEWS,weblink Bernie Sanders' appeal to women of color falls flat with She the People questioner, April 25, 2019, Gregory, Krieg, CNN,


In April 2019, Sanders was asked if he would support legislation by Representative Sheila Jackson Lee forming a commission to study the issue of reparations for African-Americans and confirmed he would sign it if elected president and in the event it passed in both chambers of Congress and stated his belief that there should be a study into the subject. Sanders called for "real attention to the most distressed communities in America" and the use of "10 percent of all federal funds to make sure that kids who need it get the education, get the jobs, get the environmental protection that they need".NEWS,weblink Sanders backs bill creating reparations study commission, Jordain, Carney, April 5, 2019, The Hill, On July 24, 2019, when asked if he supported reparations for slavery at the annual NAACP convention in Detroit, Michigan, Sanders said that he backed a plan put forth by South Carolina Representative Jim Clyburn to put significant investments in impoverished communities, citing his fear that Congress would give "the African American community a $20,000 check and then says that takes care of slavery and we don't have to worry about it anymore."NEWS,weblink Presidential candidates send strong message to black voters at NAACP convention, Kathleen, Gray, July 24, 2019, Detroit Free Press,

Church and state

Sanders is rated by Americans United for Separation of Church and State as strongly in favor of the separation of church and state.WEB, Bernie Sanders on Principles & Values,,weblink June 4, 2015,

Genetically-engineered food

In 2012, along with Senator Barbara Boxer, Sanders introduced an amendment which would have given states the right to require labels on food products which are genetically engineered. The bill has been passed by the House Agriculture Committee by a vote of 9-1, but not the full House.WEB,weblink Label Genetically Engineered Food, Huff Post, 19 June 2012, 13 August 2015, Sanders, Bernie,

Cannabis legalization

On October 28, 2015, Sanders expressed his support for the decriminalization and eventual legalization of cannabis by way of its removal as a Schedule I drug at the federal level, completely removing it from the list of dangerous substances outlawed by the federal government clearing the way for it to be fully legalized at the state level unimpeded by the federal government. Sanders is also in favor of the sale and tax of marijuana at the state level in a similar manner to alcohol and tobacco.WEB,weblink Bernie Sanders Backs Decriminalizing Marijuana on Federal Level, ABC News, ABC News, WEB,weblink What Sanders wants to do about pot, Reuters,

Disaster relief

In October 2017, following Hurricane Maria and Hurricane Irma, Sanders signed a letter to Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke urging her "to provide all necessary resources to confirm that storm-related deaths are being counted correctly" given that President Trump seemed "to be using the number of fatalities to determine the quality of the disaster response".NEWS,weblink Dem senators write DHS calling for accurate hurricane death counts, Olivia, Beavers, The Hill, In August 2018, Sanders was one of eight senators to sign a letter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency charging the agency with not assisting displaced homeowners in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria under the Individuals and Households (IHP) program by "alarming rates."NEWS,weblink Dems push FEMA on housing help for displaced Puerto Ricans, Maya, Lora, August 2, 2018, The Hill, In March 2019, Sanders was one of eleven senators to sign a letter to congressional leaders urging them to "bring legislation providing disaster supplemental appropriations to your respective floors for consideration immediately" after noting that the previous year had seen 124 federal disaster declarations approved for states, territories, and tribal nations across the US.NEWS,weblink Hirono, Schatz sign letter asking Senate and House to pass disaster supplemental legislation, March 4, 2019,,


File:US timeline. Number of overdose deaths from all drugs.jpg|thumb|250px|U.S. yearly overdose deaths from all drugs.Overdose Death Rates. By National Institute on Drug AbuseNational Institute on Drug AbuseIn July 2015, Sanders and Representative Elijah Cummings wrote a letter to the National Governors Association and National Association of Attorneys General asserting that the "opioid abuse epidemic is a public health emergency that must be addressed, and no company should jeopardize the progress many states have made in tackling this emergency by overcharging for a critically important drug like naloxone."NEWS,weblink Sanders pushes for lower price for heroin overdose drug, July 13, 2015, The Hill, In 2016, Sanders supported Proposition 61, dubbed the California Drug Price Relief Act, a measure preventing state agencies from purchasing prescription drugs for higher prices than the Department of Veterans Affairs pays, arguing that it would "be great for the taxpayers of California and it will be a real blow against this greedy industry that will reverberate all over America."NEWS,weblink Sanders backs California prescription drug measure, Reid, Wilson, October 3, 2016, The Hill, On November 20, 2018, Sanders and Representative Ro Khanna unveiled a bill intended to abolish the monopoly from a company, regardless of any patents, and authorize other companies to compose cheaper generic versions of a drug in the event of the price for that drug being higher than the median price in Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Japan. Sanders said in a statement that the United States was the only country in the world that allowed "pharmaceutical companies to charge any price they want for any reason they want" and that the "greed of the prescription drug industry is literally killing Americans".NEWS,weblink Sanders unveils aggressive new bill targeting drug prices, November 20, 2018, The Hill, In February 2019, Sanders was one of eleven senators to sign a letter to insulin manufactures Eli Lilly and Company, Novo Nordisk, and Sanofi over increased insulin prices and charging the price increases with having caused patients to lack "access to the life-saving medications they need."NEWS,weblink Sen. Kaine calls on pharmaceutical companies to explain skyrocketing insulin prices, February 5, 2019,, In June 2019, Sanders was one of fifteen senators to introduce the Affordable Medications Act, legislation intended to promote transparency through mandating pharmaceutical companies disclose the amount of money going toward research and development in addition to both marketing and executives' salaries. The bill also abolished the restriction that stopped the federal Medicare program from using its buying power to negotiate lower drug prices for beneficiaries and hinder drug company monopoly practices used to keep prices high and disable less expensive generics entering the market.NEWS,weblink U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Helps Introduce Comprehensive Reform to Address Skyrocketing Prescription Drug Prices, June 12, 2019,, On August 1, 2019, following the Trump administration announcing a plan that would allow the importation of cheaper prescription drugs from other countries, Sanders released a statement in which he opined that there was "no rational reason why insulin and other life-saving medications should cost ten times more in the United States than Canada" and pledged that on the first day of his presidency he would "direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services and FDA Commissioner to allow pharmacists, wholesalers and patients to purchase FDA approved prescription drugs from Canada."NEWS,weblink Sanders pledges to allow prescription drug imports on first day in office, July 31, 2019, The Hill,

Workplace harassment

In April 2019, Sanders signed onto the Be HEARD Act, legislation intended to abolish the tipped minimum wage along with ending mandatory arbitration and pre-employment nondisclosure agreements. The bill also gave workers additional time to report harassment and was said by co-sponsor Patty Murray to come at a time when too many workers are "still silenced by mandatory disclosure agreements that prevent them from discussing sexual harassment and longstanding practices like the tipped wages that keep workers in certain industries especially vulnerable."NEWS,weblink Dems unveil anti-workplace harassment bill, April 9, 2019, Rachel, Frazin, The Hill,

Election security

In May 2019, Sanders was one of twelve senators to cosponsor the Protecting American Votes and Elections (PAVE) Act, legislation granting the United States Department of Homeland Security the authority "to set minimum cybersecurity standards for U.S. voting machines, authorize a one-time $500 million grant program for states to buy ballot-scanning machines to count paper ballots and require states to conduct risk-limiting audits of all federal elections in order to detect any cyber hacks."NEWS,weblink Senate Dems introduce election security bill requiring paper ballots, Maggie, Miller, May 15, 2019, The Hill,


In February 2017, Sanders and thirty other senators signed a letter to Kaléo Pharmaceuticals in response to the opioid-overdose-reversing device Evzio rising in price from $690 in 2014 to $4,500 and requested the company answer what the detailed price structure for Evzio was, the number of devices Kaléo Pharmaceuticals set aside for donation, and the totality of federal reimbursements Evzio received in the previous year.NEWS,weblink Kaléo’s opioid overdose drug went from $690 to $4,500—and senators want answers, February 9, 2017,, In March 2017, Sanders was one of twenty-one senators to sign a letter led by Ed Markey to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell which noted that 12 percent of adult Medicaid beneficiaries had some form or a substance abuse disorder in addition to one third of treatment administered for opioid and other substance use disorders in the United States being financed through Medicaid and opined that the American Health Care Act could "very literally translate into a death spiral for those with opioid use disorders" due to the insurance coverage lacking and not having the adequate funds to afford care oftentimes resulting in individuals abandoning substance use disorder treatment.NEWS,weblink Baldwin, Democratic Senators Call TrumpCare Disastrous for Battle Against Opioid Crisis, March 21, 2017,, In September 2018, Sanders voted for a package of 70 Senate bills that cost $8.4 billion and altered programs across multiple agencies as part of an bipartisan effort to prevent opioids from being shipped through the U.S. Postal Service and grant doctors the ability to prescribe medications designed to wean opioid addictions.NEWS,weblink Senate passes sweeping opioids package, September 17, 2018, Colby, Itkowitz, Washington Post,

United States Postal Service

In March 2019, Sanders was a cosponsor of a bipartisan resolution led by Gary Peters and Jerry Moran that opposed privatization of the United States Postal Service (USPS), citing the USPS as an establishment that was self-sustained and noting concerns that a potential privatization could cause higher prices and reduced services for customers of USPS with a particular occurrence in rural communities.NEWS,weblink Peters, Moran reintroduce bipartisan resolution opposing privatization of USPS, March 7, 2019,,

Criticism of the Trump administration


On February 5, 2017, Sanders said Trump was a "fraud" for appointing multiple billionaires to his cabinet after committing during his campaign to tackle Wall Street, and predicted Trump would "sell out" the middle and working class.*NEWS,weblink Sanders on Trump: 'This guy is a fraud', February 6, 2017, CNN, Eric, Bradner, NEWS,weblink Sanders: Trump is a 'fraud', Mallory, Shelbourne, February 5, 2017, The Hill, In Los Angeles on February 19, Sanders called Trump "a pathological liar" and promised to defeat "Trump and Trumpism and the Republican right-wing ideology."NEWS,weblink Bernie Sanders in Los Angeles: 'The truth is that Trump is a pathological liar', February 21, 2017, Los Angeles Times, Javier, Panzer, In February 2018, two days after Rob Porter stepped down as White House Staff Secretary, Sanders was one of twelve senators to sign a letter requesting the White House provide details on the allegations of domestic abuse against Porter.NEWS,weblink Dems send letter probing Kelly, McGahn over Porter allegations, February 9, 2018, The Hill, In June 2018, during an appearance on CNN, Sanders stated that President Trump was going to war against the working class through his "budget, trillion-dollar cut in Medicaid proposal, $500 billion in Medicare, massive cuts in education, nutrition programs" and that he was not addressing the issues of "low wages, people can't afford health care, can't afford prescription drugs, can't afford to send their kids to college."NEWS,weblink Sen. Sanders: Trump is 'going to war' against working people, June 8, 2018, The Hill, In July 2018, Sanders was one of four senators to sign a letter to the head of the antitrust division of the Justice Department Makan Delrahim requesting a review of whether Comcast would be able to use 21st Century Fox's entertainment offerings to suppress competitors amid Comcast's bid to buy parts of 21st Century Fox, citing the need "to protect consumers from the harmful effects of the proposed merger".NEWS,weblink Senate Dems urge Justice Department to review Comcast bid for Fox, July 11, 2018, The Hill, In July 2018, Sanders was one of nine senators to vote against the nomination of Robert Wilkie as United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs in the first non-unanimous vote in the office's history as a cabinet position.NEWS,weblink Senate confirms Trump's VA pick despite opposition from some Dems, July 23, 2018, The Hill,

Energy and climate

On March 30, 2017, two days after Trump signed an "Energy Independence" executive order, Sanders called Trump's choice to prioritize job creation over climate change "nonsensical, and stupid, and dangerous", and noted that scientists report that human activity is causing "devastating problems" while Trump and his allies believe climate change is a "hoax".NEWS,weblink Sanders: Prioritizing jobs over climate change is 'stupid and dangerous', March 30, 2017, Washington Times, Douglas, Ernst, In May 2018, Sanders and Elizabeth Warren wrote a letter to President Trump calling on the president to select an individual who takes climate change seriously as his next Homeland Security adviser, warning that without "a dedicated federal effort to reduce the quantity of greenhouse gasses that human activity releases into the atmosphere, climate change will continue to worsen and cause increasingly severe weather events, including hurricanes" and that climate change had previously and would continue to "have a tangible and harmful impact on our national security and disaster readiness."NEWS,weblink Warren, Sanders want climate change considered in selection of homeland security adviser, May 1, 2018, The Hill, In October 2018, after Director of the National Economic Council Larry Kudlow disputed a report by the United Nations warning the world to slash emissions by 45 percent before 2030 in order to avert the atmosphere possibly warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, Sanders stated that they had "12 years to substantially cut the amount of carbon in our atmosphere, or this planet, our country, the rest of the world, is going to suffer irreversible damage." Sanders added that the Trump administration "virtually does not even recognize the reality of climate change" and was "making a bad situation worse" by working with the Fossil Fuel industry.NEWS,weblink Megan, Keller, Bernie Sanders: Kudlow's comments on UN climate change report 'so irresponsible', October 14, 2018, The Hill, In November 2018, after the federal government released a report that found climate change had led to temperature increases and sea levels rising and warned that the effects of climate change would "lead to more intense wildfires, floods and other disasters if left unchecked", Sanders called for Congress to "take Trump on, take the fossil fuel industry on and transform our system to sustainable energy" which he asserted would result in the US leading the world in saving the planet and producing "millions of decent paying jobs." Sanders added that he was amazed the US had "an administration right now that still considers climate change to be a hoax" and that the issue was not up for debate given climate change's verification by the science community.NEWS,weblink Sanders on 'alarming' climate change report: 'We've got to wake up and address these issues', Brett, Samuels, November 25, 2018, The Hill, In May 2019, Sanders said that his most profound difference with President Trump on climate change policy was Trump "maintaining the myth that climate change is a hoax" and maintained that Trump was working to ensure the US had more carbon emissions. Sanders mocked Trump as "a profound scientist, someone who’s researched the issue for years and uniquely came up with that conclusion" and alluded to Trump's comments the previous month in which the latter stated that the noise wind turbines emit cause cancer.NEWS,weblink Sanders rips 'profound scientist' Trump for claiming wind turbine 'noise causes cancer', May 5, 2019, The Hill,

War and peace

In an April 7, 2017 statement, Sanders expressed disapproval of Trump's ordered airstrike on Syria from the previous day: "If there's anything we should've learned from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, in which the lives of thousands of brave American men and women and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi and Afghan civilians have been lost and trillions of dollars spent, it's that it's easier to get into a war than out of one."NEWS,weblink Bernie Sanders Slams Trump's Airstrike On Syria, Juliana Rose, Pignataro, April 7, 2017, International Business Times,

Special Counsel investigation

In February 2017, Sanders was one of twenty-six senators to sign a letter to the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) requesting the commission detail cybersecurity challenges to state and local officials amid their attempts to safeguard future elections and also secure the 2016 election from Russian hackers.NEWS,weblink Senators ask feds for 'full account' of work to secure election from cyber threats, February 24, 2017, The Hill, In July 2018, following Special Counsel Robert Mueller's indictment of twelve Russian intelligence officers in the 2016 hacking of the DNC, Sanders said the indictments "strongly suggests that the interference was directed from the highest levels of the Russian government." Sanders advocated for Mueller to be allowed "to continue his investigation free of pressure" and called for President Trump to relay to Russian President Vladimir Putin that the United States would not tolerate Russian interference in either American elections or those of the country's allies.NEWS,weblink Sanders: Trump should confront Putin over Mueller probe indictments, July 13, 2018, The Hill, In April 2019, after the Justice Department released a redacted version of the Mueller Report, Sanders released a statement saying in part, "It is clear that Donald Trump wanted nothing more than to shut down the Mueller investigation. While we have more detail from today's report than before, Congress must continue its investigation into Trump's conduct and any foreign attempts to influence our election." Sanders also called for work to be done that would ensure the protection of "our future elections from the significant threat of foreign interference" and requested President Trump and Republican leadership cease their obstruction of "the necessary work to protect our democracy."NEWS,weblink Bernie Sanders calls on Congress to investigate after Mueller report release
first=Maxnewspaper=The Hill,

Interest group ratings{| class"wikitable sortable"

weblink Project Vote Smart, 2015-08-11, !Group!Advocacy issue(s)!Rating!Year
American Federation of Teachers>AFT|Education|86%|2012
Alliance for Retired Americans>ARA|Senior Citizens|100%|2014
Drug Policy Alliance>DPA|Drug Policy|83%|2006
Human Rights Campaign>HRC|LGBTQ Rights|100%|2014
League of Conservation Voters>LCV|Environment|100%PUBLISHER=SCORECARD.LCV.ORG ACCESSDATE=2016-07-27,
League of United Latin American Citizens>LULAC|Immigration Reform, Liberal|100%|2013–1weblink
League of Women Voters>LWV|Civic Engagement |89%|2007
Marijuana Policy Project>MPP|Marijuana Legalization|66%|2016
National Farmers Union (United States)>NFU|Farmer's Union|90%|2012
National Rifle Association>NRA|Gun Ownership, Conservative|14%|2012
National Right to Life Committee>NRLC|Abortion, Pro-Life|0%PUBLISHER=CAPWIZ.COM ACCESSDATE=2016-07-27,
National Taxpayers Union>NTU|Tax Policy, Conservative|5%url= Taxpayers Union|accessdate=September 7, 2015}}
Peace Action>PA West|Foreign Affairs|75%|2014
Planned Parenthood>PPFA|Reproductive Health|100%|2014
Service Employees International Union>SEIU|Service Union|100%|2012



External links

{{2016 United States presidential election}}{{2020 United States presidential election}}{{Bernie Sanders}}

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