Sunday, April 10, 2016

Bernie's Accomplishments


~Votes against a measure providing President George H. W. Bush with authorization to use military force in the Gulf War. "I have a real fear that the region is not going to be more peaceful or more stable after the war," he says at the time.

~Co-founded the Congressional Progressive Caucus and chaired the group for its first 8 years.

~In 1992, Congress passes Sanders' first signed piece of legislation to create the National Program of Cancer Registries. All 50 states now run registries to help cancer researchers gain important insights.

~Voted against the Clinton-era North American Free Trade Agreement, which we now know sent millions of American jobs overseas.

~Sanders is one of only 67 votes against the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, which denied federal benefits to same-sex couples legally married. It took 17 years to overturn this Act.

~Standing up against the major pharmaceutical companies, Sanders becomes the first member of Congress to take seniors across the border to Canada to buy lower-cost prescription drugs. The congressman continues his bus trips to Canada with a group of breast cancer patients the following April. These women are able to purchase their medications in Canada for almost one-tenth the price charged in the States.

~Thanks to Sanders' efforts, IBM agreed to a $320 million legal settlement with some 130,000 IBM workers and retirees.

~About 10 years before the 2008 Wall Street crash spins the world economy into a massive recession, Sanders votes "no" on a bill to undo decades of financial regulations enacted after the Great Depression. The House passed the bill 362-57 over Sanders' objection.

~Sanders votes against the USA Patriot Act. "All of us want to protect the American people from terrorist attacks, but in a way that does not undermine basic freedoms," Sanders says at the time.

~Sanders votes against the Bush-Cheney war in Iraq. He warns at the time that an invasion could "result in anti-Americanism, instability and more terrorism." We now know that that war was one of the worst foreign policy decisions in our history.

~Sanders passes an amendment in the House to stop the government from obtaining library and book-buying records on Americans.

~Sanders defeats Vermont's richest man, Rich Tarrant, to be elected to the U.S. Senate. Sanders, running as an Independent, is endorsed by the Vermont Democratic Party and supported by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

~Sanders' authored energy efficiency and conservation grant program passes into law. He later secures $3.2 billion in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 for the grant program.

~Thanks to Sanders' efforts, funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program funding doubles, helping millions of low-income Americans heat their homes in winter.

~Sanders works with Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley to pass an amendment to an economic recovery bill preventing Wall Street banks that take taxpayer bailouts from replacing laid-off U.S. workers with exploited and poorly-paid foreign workers.

~Sanders passes language in the Affordable Care Act to allow states to apply for waivers to implement pilot health care systems by 2017. The legislation allows states to adopt more comprehensive systems to cover more people at lower costs.

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