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 This page is no longer being updated.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
Levi (son with Susan Mott)
Heather, Carina and David
Congressman from Vermont, 1991-2007; Mayor of Burlington, 1981-1989
SANDERS IN THE NEWS
'I keep forgetting you're still alive:' Elon Musk trolls Bernie Sanders on Twitter
Updated 11:09 AM ET, Mon Nov 15, 2021
Elon Musk is trolling again on Twitter, and this time his target is Sen. Bernie Sanders. "I keep forgetting you're still alive," Musk tweeted Sunday morning, in response to Sanders tweeting that the extremely wealthy should pay their fair share of taxes. CNN Business has reached out to Sanders for comment. "Want me to sell more stock, Bernie? Just say the words..." Musk tweeted an hour later. Musk ended the week selling a grand total of $6.9 billion worth of Tesla shares. That only amounted to less than 4% of the shares he holds directly, and less than 3% including all the options he owns to buy additional shares. Musk certainly qualifies under Sander's description of "the extremely wealthy" --- he's the world's richest person, having a net worth of $285 billion, according to Bloomberg's Billionaires Index. Musk asked the Twitterverse last week if he should sell 10% of his Tesla holdings to pay taxes — 58% of voters in his poll responded yes. However, it's doubtful that the results of the Twitter poll were the main motivation for last week's stock sale. Musk faces a looming tax bill that will be triggered by his need to exercise 22.9 million options to purchase shares before next August. That bill would be nearly $10 billion at current market prices. He could also owe state income tax to California, which has a top tax rate of 13.3%. Even though he has moved to Texas, which has no state income tax, he conceded in a recent tweet that he'll still owe California state income taxes because he still spends a lot of time working in the state. Taxing extreme wealth is a big part of Sander's platform. As the chair of the Senate's budget committee, Sanders has proposed an annual tax on the top 0.1 percent of US households, which he claims will raise about $4.35 trillion over the next decade and cut the wealth of billionaires in half over 15 years. He also wants to implement key enforcement policies on the proposed wealth taxes. Democrats had tried to impose a billionaires tax to fund President Joe Biden's sweeping social safety net plan. "Whether or not the world's wealthiest man pays any taxes at all shouldn't depend on the results of a Twitter poll," Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon tweeted in response to Musk's Twitter poll. "It's time for the Billionaires Income Tax." CNN's Chris Isidore contributed to this report.
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
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
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
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
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
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
CNN suspends Chris Cuomo indefinitely
Updated 7:36 PM ET, Tue Nov 30, 2021
CNN is suspending prime time anchor Chris Cuomo "indefinitely, pending further evaluation," after new documents revealed the cozy and improper nature of his relationship with aides to his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The benched anchorman is declining to comment. A second hour of "Anderson Cooper 360" will air in Cuomo's place on Tuesday night. Tuesday's announcement about the suspension was the equivalent of a cable news shockwave. Cuomo's 9 p.m. program is frequently CNN's most-watched hour of the day. He is a larger-than-life presence at the network. And he was determined to stay on TV this year despite a flurry of sexual misconduct allegations against his brother, which culminated in the governor's resignation three months ago. But new documents released on Monday showed that the veteran journalist was more intimately involved than previously known in shaping his brother's defense. "The New York Attorney General's office released transcripts and exhibits Monday that shed new light on Chris Cuomo's involvement in his brother's defense," a CNN spokesperson said Tuesday evening. "The documents, which we were not privy to before their public release, raise serious questions." "When Chris admitted to us that he had offered advice to his brother's staff, he broke our rules and we acknowledged that publicly," the spokesperson continued. "But we also appreciated the unique position he was in and understood his need to put family first and job second." "However, these documents point to a greater level of involvement in his brother's efforts than we previously knew," the spokesperson added. "As a result, we have suspended Chris indefinitely, pending further evaluation." The suspension came after significant criticism from people who noted that Chris Cuomo had violated widely accepted journalistic norms. Inside CNN, staffers expressed dismay at the anchor's conduct. The documents released by New York Attorney General Letitia James included text messages and transcripts of interviews with investigators who led the probe into allegations against the governor. The cache of documents included text messages between Chris Cuomo and Melissa DeRosa, a then-top aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, that suggested he was instrumental in working to craft a defense against a flood of sexual misconduct allegations. The text messages also revealed that Chris Cuomo sought to use his connections in the press to help prepare the then-governor's team as accusers started to make their stories public. Chris Cuomo also acknowledged to investigators that he did attempt to learn more about a story by journalist Ronan Farrow. The anchor defended the practice as conventional. "The idea of one reporter calling another to find out about what's coming down the pipe is completely business-as-usual," he said. When Andrew Cuomo resigned as governor in August, Chris Cuomo told CNN viewers that he was "not an advisor," but "a brother." He acknowledged that he talked with his brother's aides and gave his "take" until CNN told him to stop doing so in May. The "Cuomo Prime Time" anchor also said on the air in August, "I never attacked nor encouraged anyone to attack any woman who came forward. I never made calls to the press about my brother's situation." Monday's revelations cast some doubt on his statement about his interactions with the press. "I would -- when asked, I would reach out to sources, other journalists, to see if they had heard of anybody else coming out," Chris Cuomo said during testimony. Chris Cuomo also said under oath what he told CNN viewers earlier this year: That he "never influenced or attempted to control CNN's coverage of my family." During the questioning, he reiterated that sentiment, saying, "If I had tried to influence any of the reporting at CNN or anywhere else, I guarantee you people would know, and so would a lot of others." In its May statement, CNN had said, "Chris has not been involved in CNN's extensive coverage of the allegations against Governor Cuomo — on air or behind the scenes." The network's statement added, "In part because, as he has said on his show, he could never be objective. But also because he often serves as a sounding board for his brother. However, it was inappropriate to engage in conversations that included members of the Governor's staff, which Chris acknowledges. He will not participate in such conversations going forward." The anchor at the time also took to his show to say that he is "family first and job second" and apologized for how he helped his brother. "It will not happen again. It was a mistake, because I put my colleagues here, who I believe are the best in the business, in a bad spot," he said. "I never intended for that I would never intend for that and I am sorry for that." While a report on the sexual misconduct allegations against Andrew Cuomo was released in August, James' office continues with a separate investigation into allegations he misused state resources for the development, production and promotion of a book he wrote on the pandemic. Rich Azzopardi, a spokesman for Andrew Cuomo, called the latest release of transcripts, documents and videos a "manipulated release." "New Yorkers are no one's fool and James and her colleagues' obvious misuse of government resources to damage political opponents is as obvious and repugnant as it is unethical and illegal," Azzopardi said in a statement. CNN's Sonia Moghe contributed to this report.