Bernie Sanders

Senator from Vermont
Jump to  stances on the issues
Bernie Sanders dropped out of the presidential race on April 8, 2020. This page is no longer being updated.
Sanders, an independent, is back after waging an unsuccessful challenge to Hillary Clinton in 2016 with a democratic socialist platform that included free college tuition. His positions on those issues have driven the policy debate within the Democratic Party ever since. He was elected to the Senate in 2006 and was previously in the House for 16 years.
University of Chicago, B.A. (1964)
September 8, 1941
Jane Sanders; divorced from Deborah Shiling
Jewish
Levi (son with Susan Mott)
Heather, Carina and David
Congressman from Vermont, 1991-2007;
Mayor of Burlington, 1981-1989
SANDERS IN THE NEWS
2020 Presidential Debates Fast Facts
Updated 11:09 AM ET, Wed Jun 24, 2020
Here's a look at the 2020 presidential debates. June 26, 2019 Event Type: Democratic Debate Location: Miami, Florida Hosts: NBC News, MSNBC and Telemundo Moderators: José Diaz-Balart, Savannah Guthrie, Lester Holt, Rachel Maddow and Chuck Todd Participants: Cory Booker, Julián Castro, Bill de Blasio, John Delaney, Tulsi Gabbard, Jay Inslee, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O'Rourke, Tim Ryan, Elizabeth Warren Transcript June 27, 2019 Event Type: Democratic Debate Location: Miami, Florida Hosts: NBC News, MSNBC and Telemundo Moderators: José Diaz-Balart, Savannah Guthrie, Lester Holt, Rachel Maddow and Chuck Todd Participants: Michael Bennet, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, John Hickenlooper, Bernie Sanders, Eric Swalwell, Marianne Williamson, Andrew Yang Transcript July 30, 2019 Event Type: Democratic Debate Location: Detroit, Michigan Hosts: CNN, CNN International and CNN en Español Moderators: Dana Bash, Don Lemon and Jake Tapper Participants: Steve Bullock, Pete Buttigieg, John Delaney, John Hickenlooper, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O'Rourke, Tim Ryan, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Marianne Williamson Transcript July 31, 2019 Event Type: Democratic Debate Location: Detroit, Michigan Hosts: CNN, CNN International and CNN en Español Moderators: Dana Bash, Don Lemon and Jake Tapper Participants: Michael Bennet, Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Julián Castro, Bill de Blasio, Tulsi Gabbard, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Jay Inslee, Andrew Yang Transcript September 12, 2019 Event Type: Democratic Debate Location: Houston, Texas Hosts: ABC News and Univision Moderators: Linsey Davis, David Muir, Jorge Ramos and George Stephanopoulos Participants: Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Julián Castro, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O'Rourke, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Andrew Yang Transcript October 15, 2019 Event Type: Democratic Debate Location: Westerville, Ohio Hosts: CNN and The New York Times Moderators: Erin Burnett, Anderson Cooper and Marc Lacey Participants: Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Julián Castro, Tulsi Gabbard, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O'Rourke, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren and Andrew Yang Transcripts: 8pm ET, 9pm ET, 10pm ET November 20, 2019 Event Type: Democratic Debate Location: Atlanta Hosts: MSNBC and The Washington Post Moderators: Rachel Maddow, Andrea Mitchell, Ashley Parker and Kristen Welker Participants: Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Tulsi Gabbard, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren and Andrew Yang Transcript December 19, 2019 Event Type: Democratic Debate Location: Los Angeles Hosts: PBS NewsHour and Politico Moderators: Tim Alberta, Yamiche Alcindor, Amna Nawaz and Judy Woodruff Participants: Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren and Andrew Yang Transcript January 14, 2020 Event Type: Democratic Debate Location: Des Moines Hosts: CNN and Des Moines Register Moderators: Wolf Blitzer, Brianne Pfannenstiel and Abby Phillip Participants: Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer and Elizabeth Warren Transcripts: 9pm ET, 10pm ET February 7, 2020 Event Type: Democratic Debate Location: Manchester, New Hampshire Hosts: ABC, Apple News and WMUR-TV Moderators: Linsey Davis, Monica Hernandez, David Muir, Adam Sexton and George Stephanopoulos Participants: Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren and Andrew Yang February 19, 2020 Event Type: Democratic Debate Location: Las Vegas Hosts: MSNBC, NBC News, The Nevada Independent and Telemundo Moderators: Vanessa Hauc, Lester Holt, Hallie Jackson, Jon Ralston and Chuck Todd Participants: Joe Biden, Michael Bloomberg, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren Transcript February 25, 2020 Event Type: Democratic Debate Location: Charleston, South Carolina Hosts: CBS News, the Congressional Black Caucus Institute and Twitter Moderators: Margaret Brennan, Major Garrett, Gayle King, Norah O'Donnell and Bill Whitaker Participants: Joe Biden, Michael Bloomberg, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer and Elizabeth Warren Transcript March 15, 2020 Event Type: Democratic Debate Location: Washington, DC Hosts: CNN and Univision Moderators: Dana Bash, Jorge Ramos and Jake Tapper Participants: Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders Transcript September 29, 2020 Event Type: First Presidential Debate Location: Notre Dame, Indiana Hosts: Moderators: Participants: October 7, 2020 Event Type: Vice Presidential Debate Location: Salt Lake City, Utah Hosts: Moderators: Participants: October 15, 2020 Event Type: Second Presidential Debate Location: Miami, Florida Hosts: Moderators: Participants: October 22, 2020 Event Type: Third Presidential Debate Location: Nashville, Tennessee Hosts: Moderators: Participants:
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STANCES ON THE ISSUES
climate crisis
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Sanders has described climate change – now as well as during his 2016 run for president – as a global security threat. He is a leading proponent of the Green New Deal, the broad plan to address renewable-energy infrastructure and climate change proposed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York. In August 2019, Sanders released a $16.3 trillion climate change program. His targets include meeting the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s goal of 100% renewable energy for electricity and transportation by 2030; cutting domestic emissions by 71% over that period; creating a $526 billion electric "smart grid”; investing $200 billion in the Green Climate Fund; and prioritizing what activists call a “just transition” for fossil fuel workers who would be dislocated during the transition. The Vermont independent would also cut off billions in subsidies to fossil fuel companies and impose bans on extractive practices, including fracking and mountaintop coal mining, while halting the import and export of coal, oil and natural gas. Sanders vows to recommit the US to the Paris climate accord, a landmark 2015 deal on global warming targets that Trump has pledged to abandon. More on Sanders’ climate crisis policy
economy
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Sanders introduced his 21st-century Economic Bill of Rights in June 2019, in which he pledged “once and for all that every American, regardless of his or her income, is entitled to the right to a decent job that pays a living wage; the right to quality health care; the right to a complete education; the right to affordable housing; the right to a clean environment; and the right to a secure retirement.” In October 2019, he introduced a plan that would guarantee workers eventually take control of 20% stakes in the country’s largest companies through the issuance of new stock and would mandate that employees elect 45% of corporate boards of directors. The Sanders plan would also impose strict new guidelines on mega-mergers, while asking a revamped Federal Trade Commission to review deals pushed through during the Trump administration. Throughout his career, Sanders has been pro-union, saying in January, “If we are serious about reducing income and wealth inequality and creating good-paying jobs, we have to substantially increase the number of union jobs in this country.” In 2017, he supported a 10-year infrastructure plan costing $1 trillion. At the time, proponents estimated the plan would create 15 million jobs. He had put forth a similar proposal during his first presidential campaign. More on Sanders’ economic policy
education
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Sanders would eliminate tuition and fees at, as his campaign says, “four-year public colleges and universities, tribal colleges, community colleges, trade schools, and apprenticeship programs.” He unveiled legislation in June 2019 that would wipe out $1.6 trillion in undergraduate and graduate student loan debt for about 45 million people. The plan has no eligibility limitations and would be paid for with a new tax on Wall Street speculation. Sanders frequently describes education as a “human right.” That means “making public colleges, universities and historically black colleges and universities tuition-free and debt-free by tripling the work study program, expanding Pell grants and other financial incentives," he said. His “Thurgood Marshall Plan for Public Education” would seek to improve the K-12 system by taking aim at de facto segregation and public-school funding disparities while banning for-profit charter schools. More on Sanders’ education policy
gun violence
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Sanders describes “an epidemic of gun violence” in the US and has pushed for expanded background checks and the closing of assorted loopholes in firearm purchases. Sanders has consistently voted for legislation that would ban so-called assault weapons and said he would seek to do the same for high-capacity magazines. He said he would push for harsher punishments for “straw” purchases, when someone purchases a gun for someone who cannot legally possess a firearm. More on Sanders’ gun violence policy
healthcare
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Sanders introduced “Medicare for All” legislation in 2017, which would have created a national government-run program providing comprehensive coverage with no premiums, deductibles or copays. He has taken this version of the plan one step further since its initial rollout to include long-term care at home and in the community for senior citizens and people with disabilities. Unlike some of his presidential opponents, Sanders says there should be no private insurance option except for items not covered by his Medicare for All act, such as elective procedures. Sanders argues that the increase in taxes would be more than offset by eliminating the premiums, deductibles and copayments associated with private health insurance. When asked during the first Democratic presidential debate about whether taxes would go up as a result of his health care plan, Sanders said: “Yes, they will pay more in taxes, but less in health care for what they get.” Sanders also supports importing drugs, allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices and pegging the price of medicine in the US to the median price in five other developed nations. More on Sanders’ health care policy
immigration
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Sanders has called for comprehensive immigration legislation, which includes providing a path toward citizenship for undocumented immigrants. He has proposed providing legal status for those covered by the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which shields from deportation some undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as children. Sanders has also called for restructuring Immigration and Customs Enforcement. More on Sanders’ immigration policy
LATEST POLITICAL NEWS
Trump to hold campaign rally in New Hampshire on Saturday
Updated 9:52 PM ET, Sun Jul 5, 2020
President Donald Trump plans to hold a campaign rally in New Hampshire on Saturday as he continues his push for in-person events amid the coronavirus pandemic. The rally is scheduled to take place at the Portsmouth International Airport at 8 p.m. ET, and "there will be ample access to hand sanitizer and all attendees will be provided a face mask that they are strongly encouraged to wear," the campaign said in a news release. The event will be held at an airplane hangar at the Portsmouth International Airport, a campaign source tells CNN. Some of the crowd will be inside the hangar and, depending on the size of the crowd, it will overflow onto the tarmac outdoors, the source said. New Hampshire is one of the few states reporting a decline in coronavirus cases. Coronavirus cases are on the rise in 34 states over the past week, with 12 recording an increase of more than 50%, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. "We look forward to so many freedom-loving patriots coming to the rally and celebrating America, the greatest country in the history of the world," Trump 2020 national press secretary Hogan Gidley said in a statement. Retired Brig. Gen. Don Bolduc, a Republican running for US Senate in the state, told CNN Sunday evening he plans to attend Trump's event while social distancing and "taking the proper safety precautions with everybody else there." "We still have to get our economy moving forward and leaders get out and assume risk, and if you're going to be a leader you have to assume risk," he said of the President. "And you have to get your message out there, and you have to rally the country and move forward." New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley, however, said in a statement Sunday, "Trump is flying in for a political rally that will only further highlight the chaos he has caused." "Trump's response to the COVID-19 crisis has been chaotic and woefully inadequate, resulting in thousands of Granite Staters contracting the virus and hundreds of lives lost, while causing significant damage to our state's economy," Buckley said. News of the rally comes as the President continues to navigate fallout from his in-person rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, last month, where multiple campaign staffers and Secret Service agents tested positive for the virus. In the end, fewer than 6,200 people attended the rally that was meant to signal Trump's return to the campaign trail. The low attendance was blamed on the intense backlash from the media and "radical protestors" about convening such a large crowd during the pandemic. Trump has long viewed rallies as an outlet where he can connect with his supporters in a way that he can't when he's in Washington, DC, and has blamed bad poll numbers on his absence from the campaign trail. Still, Dr. Jonathan Reiner, who was an adviser to the White House medical team under President George W. Bush, said Thursday evening that Trump is "clearly flirting with disaster" by holding rallies and attending events without wearing a mask. "Just because he's tested frequently -- (it) isn't a Superman cape. He can get the virus," Reiner told CNN's Kate Bolduan on "OutFront." "The more he flirts with this, the higher the likelihood that he'll get it." Reiner said that due to the President's age and weight, "he probably has close to a 20% chance of dying if he contracts the virus." CLARIFICATION: The headline and story have been updated to reflect the rally will be held in an airplane hangar with an overflow crowd outside.
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