National Candidate Category: United States Senator
Bernie Sanders is serving his second term in the U.S. Senate after winning re-election in 2012 with 71 percent of the vote. His previous 16 years in the House of Representatives make him the longest serving independent member of Congress in American history.
Other Campaign DetailsParty Affiliation : DemocratVetted By:
- Income and wealth inequality is the overarching issue of our time. Our progressive movement must address this urgent moral and economic crisis through our political policies. Meeting this challenge requires us to enact a wide range of policies. No one fix will do. Our government cannot stand by while the poorest among us are dying just for being poor.
- Getting Big Money Out of Politics and Restoring Democracy - Our vision for democracy should be one in which candidates are speaking to the vast majority of our people – working people, the middle class, low-income people, the elderly, the children, the sick, and the poor – and discussing with them their ideas as to how we can improve lives for all of the people in this country.
- Make College Tuition Free and Debt Free - An educated and highly-skilled workforce is essential to our country’s economic and social growth. Make tuition free at public colleges and universities.
- Climate and the Environment - We can move forward on energy by taxing carbon pollution, repealing fossil fuel subsidies and making massive investments in sustainable energy, including in wind and solar power. Fracking must end, and projects such as the Constitution Pipeline and Dakota Access Pipeline, which encourage fracking and dependency on natural gas, must be stopped.
- Fair and Humane Immigration Policy - We should provide a fair pathway to citizenship for DREAMers and for immigrants whose efforts have benefited both our economy and our communities. In our immigration decisions, we should always consider the best interests of children, whether the children were born in the U.S. to immigrants and to guest workers or were born outside the country. A progressive agenda must include recognition of our obligations to refugees from other nations, whether these refugees are escaping violence, political oppression, or economic disadvantage. Finally, a progressive approach to immigration requires us to use our limited resources wisely on technological approaches, such as high-grade cameras, thermal imaging, movement sensors and on training and oversight; we should not spend resources on failed and ineffective projects such as the border fence.
- Racial Justice - Demilitarizing our police is essential. We must work to protect the voting rights of all Americans. The need to reform our justice system must include banning for-profit prisons.
- LGBTI Equality - Support the Equality Act, an expansion of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Pass the Every Child Deserves a Family Act. We should work with our domestic health agencies and the State department to prevent both domestic health discrimination and protect LGBTI people, internationally. We should implement school policies to eliminate bullying and national policies that combat LGBTI suicides. We also need to ban financial discrimination against LGBTI Americans.
- Women's Rights - Our movement must work to eliminate gender and gender identity discrimination, by ending wage discrimination based on these factors. We should increase funding for Planned Parenthood and for other women’s health programs. Progressives should fight to ensure that contraception as well as safe and legal abortions are accessible to women of all income levels. Appointing and voting to confirm Supreme Court justices who will uphold Roe v. Wade and protect reproductive rights are key to protecting women’s rights. A progressive women’s rights policy will offer high-quality childcare and Pre-K to all Americans, especially to those who cannot currently afford it. Federal and state laws must require employers to provide at least twelve weeks of paid family leave. We must also require employers to provide at least one week of paid sick leave. Progressives should expand the WIC program, so that low-income mothers and children can get the nutritious food they need.
- Native American and Native Hawaiian Rights - We should respect Native American tribal sovereignty to prosecute non-Native people who commit crimes on tribal land. Native Americans must have authority over tribal housing. We should fully fund the Indian Housing Block Grant program. Native Americans and Native Hawaiians must be given the same protections and opportunities as all other Americans. These protections and opportunities must include access to clean energy, affordable housing, healthcare and fair wages. We must support legislation that protects Native lands from pollution due to pipelines and fracking. Our national tuition-free college plan will help break the cycle of Native American and Native Hawaiian poverty. Both communities have an unacceptably higher rate of uninsured people, than the national rate. A Medicare-for-all system would expand access to care for our Native populations.
- Strengthen and Expand Social Security - Progressives should work to extend the life of Social Security by ”lifting the cap” on taxable income. Progressives must increase the COLA to better reflect rising healthcare costs and to ensure the ability of low-income recipients to afford basic necessities. Americans shouldn’t have to chose between food, heat and medications.
- Disability Rights - Our movement should fight to protect the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program. Progressives should support increasing employment and educational opportunities for disabled Americans who are seeking work. We need to fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) as well as Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs), which provide long-term disability care. The U.S. ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities treaty would guarantee more rights to disabled Americans. One of the most pressing obstacles to disabled citizens obtaining medical care is our government’s patchwork of inadequate health programs. A Medicare-for-all plan would address this common healthcare obstacle.
- Standing with Puerto Rico and Guam - Both Puerto Rico and Guam deserve to be able to hold a political referendum about their own political futures. Just like all Americans, citizens of Puerto Rico and Guam deserve federal political representation and the right to vote for President. Puerto Rico deserves the same financial rights and protections that our country grants to every other American municipality. Guam would benefit from national College-for-All, Medicare-for-all and infrastructure plans.
- Fair Trade and TPP - Fair trade policies put Americans to work, preserve our jobs, and expand our economy. Progressive trade policies should be implemented in a way that benefits the 99%. Trade policies such as NAFTA, CAFTA, PNTR and the proposed TPP have the opposite effect.
War, Peace, Foreign Policy, Security and the Iran Deal - America must show its strength and leadership through peaceful resolution of international conflicts, not through wars. Our country should increase its global influence through diplomacy, humanitarian action and economic support. War should always be our country’s last resort, but our security, vital interests and our morality mean that sometimes, military action is necessary.Key to a progressive foreign policy are non-military efforts to target terror funding and to combat online radicalization. We should advocate against unilateral military action and for defining the scope of any future military action.At home, we must protect Americans from organized international and lone-wolf terrorists. We must, though, also balance our security with civil liberties and privacy rights. A progressive stance on Israel and Palestine includes support for a two-state solution in which each state has a right to exist in peace, with security and with mutual recognition. Israel and Palestine each have a right to a politically and economically-independent homeland. The U.S. should lead international efforts to achieve a two-state solution. Progressives should support the 2016 Iran deal.
- The Rural Economy - Support investment in wind, solar, biomass, geothermal and other sources of renewable energy for rural communities. Rebuilding rural energy grids and in the expansion of rural broadband and high-speed internet services is vital to the success of rural farmers. Federal investment in rebuilding and maintaining our dams will improve water supplies to rural communities.
- Health and Healthcare - Because Medicare is currently our country’s most cost-effective insurance system, every American should be able to benefit from Medicare. We need a plan that would cover everything from birth to long-term/palliative care as well as cover dental, vision and mental health services.
- Caring for our Veterans - Taking care of veterans is as essential a cost of war as paying for the equipment used in the war, itself. Yet too often, our country’s politicians don’t prioritize policies and funding for soldiers, once these soldiers return from service. We must care for veterans’ families who have lost their mothers, fathers, husbands and wives. It’s our country’s responsibility to care for injured vets, no matter which injury they’ve suffered: whether our veterans have lost a limb, become paralyzed, need mental health support, have PTSD, TBIs and/or are at risk of suicide.