WASHINGTON, Nov. 19 – The Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs today advanced legislation to expand access to health care and dental care at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The panel also approved a package of other bills, including measures to help veterans find jobs and shield veterans from benefit disruptions in the event of another government shutdown.
“I am proud that we are making good progress in improving and expanding health care and other benefits for the men and women who put their lives on the line to protect our country,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the committee chairman.
WASHINGTON, Nov. 15 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today welcomed news that the U.S. Postal Service reported an operating profit of $600 million for the 2013 fiscal year.
“During the last 12 months, the Postal Service made a profit of $600 million picking up and delivering mail and packages to every household and business in America. The amazing thing is that they did this without receiving one dime from the taxpayers of this country. This is great news for the American people and I commend the workers at the Postal Service for making this happen,” Sanders said.
Washington, D.C. (November 14th, 2013)— At a Congressional oversight hearing today, Rep. Peter Welch questioned agency officials in charge of border crossings about the NEXUS program that allows for expedited processing for Vermonters and Canadian visitors. Vermonters have contacted Rep. Welch to tell him that it can still take up to 30-45 minutes to get across the border even after they have paid out-of-pocket and gone through the trouble to get a NEXUS card. Rep. Welch emphasized that long wait times at the Canadian border do real economic harm to our state’s economy. Watch here:
BURLINGTON, Vt., – Sen. Bernie Sanders, chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, issued the following statement in advance of Monday’s observance of Veterans Day:
“As we honor our nation’s veterans, we must realize the important debt we owe them, a debt we can never truly repay. We must not forget that the true cost of war goes far beyond dollars and cents. Since World War II, more than 500,000 Americans have lost their lives in war. Millions more have received disability ratings by the VA. As a nation, we have a moral obligation to provide for the wounded and ensure that all veterans receive every benefit they have earned and deserve.
WASHINGTON, Nov. 4 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) welcomed today’s 64-32 Senate vote in favor of a bill to prohibit workplace discrimination against gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.
“I am very pleased that the Senate has taken this important step toward making America the democratic and inclusive society it should be,” Sanders said. “Today’s vote was a long-overdue victory in the struggle to end workplace discrimination against gay and transgender Americans.”
WASHINGTON, Nov. 7 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today announced that the federal government designated three new community health centers in Vermont to increase from eight to 11 the number of health centers that will provide primary care for some 163,000 patients throughout the state.
“This is a huge step forward for health care in Vermont in providing high-quality, affordable primary care, dental care, low-cost prescription drugs and mental health counseling to people throughout Vermont,” said Sanders, chairman of a Senate subcommittee that oversees primary health care.
WASHINGTON, Nov. 4 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) issued the following statement tonight after the Senate voted 61-30 to advance a bill that would prohibit workplace discrimination against gay, bisexual and transgender Americans:
“I am very pleased that the Senate took a step closer to protecting gays from workplace discrimination. Vermont has prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation since 1992. It’s been illegal to discriminate against transgender Vermonters since 2007.
WASHINGTON, Oct. 30 – A Senate committee today advanced legislation by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to reauthorize the Older Americans Act, which supports Meals on Wheels and other services for the country’s rapidly-growing population of seniors.
The 5-year reauthorization sent to the Senate floor by the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee was cosponsored by Sens. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), the chairman, and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the ranking member. Sanders chairs the Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging.
First passed by Congress in 1965, the Older Americans Act provides essential services for seniors like nutrition programs, job training, caregiver support, transportation, preventive health services and protection from abuse and financial exploitation.
WASHINGTON, Oct. 29 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said today that a special congressional committee meeting for the first time on Wednesday should do what Americans clearly want and come up with a budget to promote jobs and the economy without cutting Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other benefits for working families.
“At a time when less than 10 percent of the American people approve of the job that Congress is doing, I believe it’s time that we started to listen to what the American people want us to do,” Sanders said.
A member of the Senate Budget Committee, Sanders was appointed to the joint Senate and House conference committee that is assigned to come up with a long-term budget plan by Dec. 13 in order to avert another government shutdown.
Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, On Introduction of the USA FREEDOM Act of 2013
October 29, 2013
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, was enacted 35 years ago to limit the government’s ability to engage in domestic surveillance operations. In the years since September 11, 2001, Congress has repeatedly expanded the scope of this law to provide the government with broad new powers to gather information about law-abiding Americans. No one underestimates the threat this country continues to face, and we can all agree that the intelligence community should be given necessary and appropriate tools to help keep us safe. But we should also agree that there must be reasonable limits on the surveillance powers we give to the government. That is why I have consistently fought to curtail the sweeping powers contained in the USA PATRIOT Act and FISA Amendments Act, while also bolstering privacy protections and strengthening oversight. And that is why I continue my efforts today by joining with Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, as well as members of Congress from both political parties, to introduce the bipartisan USA FREEDOM Act of 2013.
BURLINGTON, Vt., Oct. 18 – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today decried “outrageous” eavesdropping by the National Security Agency on some of the United States’ closest allies.
Sanders is cosponsoring legislation that would significantly rein in the sweeping surveillance activities of the NSA and other intelligence agencies.
In a letter to President Barack Obama, the senator also voiced concern that the U.S. actions could undermine cooperation in the fight against terrorism.
WASHINGTON, Oct. 12 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) issued the following statement today after Senate Republicans on a party-line vote blocked consideration of a measure to raise the federal debt ceiling:
“I find it incredible that every Republican voted against a motion to even let the Senate consider legislation to pay our bills and prevent a default. We are entering very dangerous territory.
This is a listing of agency-by-agency contingency plans. This outlines exactly what each agency is allowed to do, and all the things which... during the shutdown... they are NOT allowed to do.
Agency Contingency Plans http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/contingency-plans
“Below are the links to contingency plans for agencies across the Federal Government. The page will be updated as more plans are posted.”
WASHINGTON, Oct. 8 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today attended oral arguments before the Supreme Court in a case that justices could use to throw out some legal limits on contributions by individual donors to political campaigns.
“Freedom of speech, in my view, does not mean the freedom to buy the United States government,” Sanders told a rally outside the Supreme Court after the one-hour oral argument.
The court’s ruling later this term in McCutcheon vs. FEC could further erode campaign finance laws and extend the controversial 2010 Citizens United ruling which opened the floodgates on campaign spending by corporations and wealthy individuals.
A reader made this comment at the end of a news story about the government shutdown:
Republicans – Can I burn down your house?
Democrats – No
Republicans – Just the 2nd floor?
Democrats – No
Republicans – Garage?
Democrats – No
Republicans – Let's talk about what I can burn down.
Democrats – No
Republicans – YOU AREN'T COMPROMISING!