From Portside <[email protected]>
Subject Bernie Sanders: The Time for Senate Talk Is Over. We Need to Vote.
Date January 22, 2022 1:45 AM
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[If we cannot pass a comprehensive piece of legislation, we should
divide it up into separate bills and members of the Senate should have
to vote on the very popular agenda we are fighting for. Thats how you
win elections.] [[link removed]]

BERNIE SANDERS: THE TIME FOR SENATE TALK IS OVER. WE NEED TO VOTE.  
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Bernie Sanders
January 20, 2022
CNN
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_ If we cannot pass a comprehensive piece of legislation, we should
divide it up into separate bills and members of the Senate should have
to vote on the very popular agenda we are fighting for. That's how you
win elections. _

"Senator Joe Manchin (WV)" , by Third Way is licensed under CC
BY-NC-ND 2.0

 

The Republican Party is working overtime to suppress the vote and
undermine American democracy. It is a party which ignores climate
change, the existential threat to our planet and represents the
interests of the wealthy and the powerful while turning its back on
struggling working-class families. The GOP is the party that
gives tax breaks to billionaires
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pushing for cuts to
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Security,
[[link removed]] Medicare,
Medicaid and other programs
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needed by ordinary Americans.

[Bernie Sanders]

Bernie Sanders

And yet, despite the outrageous behavior of leading Republicans and
their reactionary and unpopular agenda, recent polling
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that Republicans stand a strong chance to gain control of both the
House of Representatives and the Senate and pick up additional seats
in state legislatures throughout the country.

Why is this happening? Why, despite the horrendous Republican record,
are Democrats losing support among Latinos
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people
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Americans
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How does it happen that a party that is supposed to stand for working
families was rejected by over 75% of White voters without college
degrees
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the most recent gubernatorial race in Virginia?

Democrats cannot ignore these realities and continue traveling down a
failed road which will only lead to disaster.

Now is the time for a major course correction. Now is the time for
Senate Democrats to put legislation on the floor that addresses the
needs of working families and challenge Republicans to vote against
these important and popular initiatives. Now is the time to rally the
American people around an agenda that works for all, not just the 1%.

[What 2020&#39;s pro-Trump phony electors means for 2024]
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What 2020's pro-Trump phony electors means for 2024
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The Democratic Party, with very slim margins, controls the House and
the Senate as well as the White House. And we should be very proud of
what we've managed to accomplish this past year, including the
enormously successful American Rescue Plan
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the bipartisan infrastructure bill.
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the reality is very little has been achieved in the past several
months and the American people know that. And they are becoming
demoralized.

The good news is that the House and an overwhelming majority of the
Senate Democratic Caucus -- as many as 48 out of 50 members -- are
prepared to pass strong and popular legislation that addresses the
long-neglected needs of the working class. At a time when the top 1%
is doing phenomenally well, we are ready to reform our regressive tax
system and demand that the very rich and large corporations pay their
fair share of taxes.

We want to take on the greed of the pharmaceutical industry and
substantially lower prescription drug prices, expand Medicare to cover
hearing, dental and vision, address the crisis of childhood poverty
and a dysfunctional child care system, improve the quality of home
health care, build the affordable housing we desperately need and
create millions of good jobs by combating the existential threat of
climate change.

The bad news is that two members of the Senate Democratic Caucus,
Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, have
withheld their support. For six months, President Biden and many of us
have engaged in endless negotiations with these senators. These
never-ending conversations, which have gone nowhere, must end. The
time for voting must begin.

[The White moderates MLK warned us about]
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The White moderates MLK warned us about
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In my view, we must schedule a vote in the immediate future on a
version of the Build Back Better bill that strengthens, not weakens,
what the House has already passed
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Surprising things occur when a bill comes to the floor and I am not
convinced that we cannot get the 50 votes we'd need to pass the Build
Back Better bill when the roll call takes place in the light of day.

If, however, we cannot pass a comprehensive piece of legislation, we
should then divide it up into separate bills and members of the Senate
should have to vote on the very popular agenda that we are fighting
for.

To my mind, in a democratic society, constituents have a right to know
how their senators vote on some of the most important issues facing
the country.

If Manchin, Sinema and Senate Republicans want to sink the Build Back
Better package and then go on to vote against individual bills that do
exactly what the American people want: lowering prescription drug
costs, demanding the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes, expanding
Medicare, improving home healthcare, extending the Child Tax Credit,
building affordable housing, addressing the crisis of childhood
poverty, making a wildly expensive child care system affordable and
combating climate change, they should have that opportunity. And then
they can go home and try to explain their votes to their constituents.
That's what democracy is supposed to be about.

Sign up for CNN Opinion's newsletter.
[[link removed]] CNN on Twitter 
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Democrats will not win in 2022 with a demoralized base. There must be
energy and excitement. Today, in these difficult times, the American
people want to know that their elected officials have the courage to
take on the powerful special interests and fight for their needs.

And, when we do that, the fundamental differences between the two
parties will become crystal clear. That's how you win elections.

_Bernie Sanders, an Independent from Vermont who caucuses with the
Democrats, is chairman of the Senate Budget Committee. The views
expressed in this commentary belong to the author. View
more opinion  [[link removed]]at CNN._

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