Bernie SandersU.S. Senator
Bernie Sanders is a two-term Senator from Vermont. Previously, he served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1991-2006.
Unions and Workers
Sanders' plan for working people would allow workers to join together industry-wide to negotiate wages and benefits, allow state and local governments to find new ways to give workers power, and put our taxpayer dollars to work to support more good union jobs. He would also establish federal protections against the firing of workers for any reason other than “just cause,” expand access to collective bargaining for workers who are currently excluded, and make it harder for employers to deny responsibility for wages and working conditions.
Introduced legislation to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour and backs legislation that would make it easier for working people to form unions.
Has stood withstriking McDonalds workers in the Fight for $15 and a union.
Proposes to reach universal health coverage through Medicare for All legislation, which would create a single-payer system.
Supports comprehensive immigreation reform including a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) which protects Dreamers and a similar program for the parents of U.S. citizens and green card holders, a humane policiy for asylum seekers, an end to family separation, dismantling of deportation programs and detention centers, and independent oversight of immigration enforcement agencies.
Calls climate change “the single greatest threat facing our planet” and supports the Green New Deal.
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Sanders spoke to union members about his plan to invest $2.5 trillion over the next decade to make housing more affordable. Sanders’ plan would pay for it by establishing a wealth tax on the wealthiest 175,000 families.
In the Democratic debate, Sanders defended his Medicare for All plan saying, “We need a health care system that guarantees health care to all people as every other major country does, not a system which provides $100 billion a year in profit for the drug companies and the insurance companies.”
Ruling out nuclear energy, Sanders touted his $16 trillion plan to invest in wind, solar and geothermal energy as the “safer and more cost-effective” ways to combat climate change and achieve zero emissions.
Sanders said Medicare for All is the defining issue of the 2020 campaign, saying “the bill I wrote guarantees healthcare to all people.”
Sanders Pledges to Appoint Best Person for Job as Labor Secretary, Does Not Commit to Appoint Union Member
At the AFSCME 2020 Public Service Forum, Sanders would not promise to select a union leader as labor secretary, but said, “there is no labor secretary stronger in trade and labor than who I will appoint.’”
Union members at an AFSCME forum pressed Sanders on his health-care plan, eliciting a commitment from the candidate that Medicare-for-all would provide the same generous benefits that many union members have negotiated in their health plans.
Sanders said he would allow Americans to import cheaper prescription drugs from Canada on his first day in office--only a day after Trump announced a more modest proposal.
“I get a little bit tired of Democrats afraid of big ideas. Republicans are not afraid of big ideas,” Sanders said. “Please don’t tell me that we cannot take on the fossil fuel industry...nothing happens unless we do that.”
In effort to bring attention to “greedy” pharmaceutical companies, Sanders led a small group people with Type I diabetes into Canada to purchase low-cost insulin for a fraction of the price they would be charged in the United States.
Sanders Unveils Plan to Address Racial Disparities in Healthcare Jobs, Boost Number of Black Employees in Industry
Sanders released a plan to increase the number of black employees in the healthcare industry, saying, “When we are in the White House, we will address the need for more black doctors, more black dentists, more black nurses and more black mental health providers who can provide culturally competent care in their communities.”
Sanders rallied with airline food workers threatening to strike at DC airports, calling for higher wages and better benefits. Sanders supported workers’ demands for $15 an hour and better health care and endorsed their rallying cry of ‘one job should be enough.’
Organizers for Sanders’ presidential campaign approved a pay-raise proposal from management, arguing they were paid less than the minimum wage Sanders supports publicly.
“Sen. Bernie Sanders, while wading in to a local fight over a Philadelphia hospital, proposed Monday a plan to create a federal fund to help local governments purchase for-profit hospitals struggling with debt and in danger of closing.”