“You don’t have to like Bernie Sanders’s ideas. I get it. He’s a Democratic Socialist, a progressive, and some folks don’t like that. However, you can’t say he doesn’t have any accomplishments. Here are 28 of them, just to name a few.
BERNIE SANDERS: Former student organizer for the Congress of Racial Equality and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Led the first ever civil rights sit-in in Chicago history to protest segregated housing. One of only 2 sitting US Senators to have heard MLK’s “I have a Dream Speech” in person in the march on Washington, DC. Former professor of political science at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and at Hamilton College. Former mayor of Burlington, VT. Elected by the state of Vermont 8 times to serve in the House of Representatives. The longest-serving independent in U.S. congressional history. He was dubbed the “amendment king” in the House of Representatives for passing more amendments than any other member of Congress. Ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee. Author of 2 books, and co-author of 3 others. Has recorded and released a folk music album. Self-described Democratic Socialist. Married to a woman named Jane, who is a former president of Burlington College.
~In a stunning upset in 1981, Sanders wins the mayoral race in Burlington, Vermont’s largest city, by a mere 10 votes. Running as an independent, he shocks the city’s political establishment by defeating a six-term, local machine mayor.
~During his tenure as mayor, he balanced the city budget, drew a minor league baseball team to Burlington, turned the formerly industrial waterfront into a mixed-use district featuring housing, parks, and public space. Burlington is now reported to be one of the most livable cities in the nation.
~In 1991, he was the first independent elected to the House in 40 years. He will be re-elected by the people of Vermont to serve eight terms.
~Votes against a measure providing President George H. W. Bush with authorization to use military force in the Gulf War. “I have a real fear that the region is not going to be more peaceful or more stable after the war,” he says at the time.
~Co-founded the Congressional Progressive Caucus and chaired the group for its first 8 years.
~In 1992, Congress passes Sanders’ first signed piece of legislation to create the National Program of Cancer Registries. All 50 states now run registries to help cancer researchers gain important insights.
~Voted against the Clinton-era North American Free Trade Agreement, which we now know sent millions of American jobs overseas.
~Sanders is one of only 67 votes against the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, which denied federal benefits to same-sex couples legally married. It took 17 years to overturn this Act.
~Standing up against the major pharmaceutical companies, Sanders becomes the first member of Congress to take seniors across the border to Canada to buy lower-cost prescription drugs. The congressman continues his bus trips to Canada with a group of breast cancer patients the following April. These women are able to purchase their medications in Canada for almost one-tenth the price charged in the States.
~Thanks to Sanders’ efforts, IBM agreed to a $320 million legal settlement with some 130,000 IBM workers and retirees.
~About 10 years before the 2008 Wall Street crash spins the world economy into a massive recession, Sanders votes “no” on a bill to undo decades of financial regulations enacted after the Great Depression. The House passed the bill 362-57 over Sanders’ objection.
~Sanders votes against the USA Patriot Act. “All of us want to protect the American people from terrorist attacks, but in a way that does not undermine basic freedoms,” Sanders says at the time.
~Sanders votes against the Bush-Cheney war in Iraq. He warns at the time that an invasion could “result in anti-Americanism, instability and more terrorism.” We now know that that war was one of the worst foreign policy decisions in our history.
~Sanders passes an amendment in the House to stop the government from obtaining library and book-buying records on Americans.
~Sanders defeats Vermont’s richest man, Rich Tarrant, to be elected to the U.S. Senate. Sanders, running as an Independent, is endorsed by the Vermont Democratic Party and supported by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
~Sanders’ authored energy efficiency and conservation grant program passes into law. He later secures $3.2 billion in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 for the grant program.
~Thanks to Sanders’ efforts, funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program funding doubles, helping millions of low-income Americans heat their homes in winter.
~Sanders works with Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley to pass an amendment to an economic recovery bill preventing Wall Street banks that take taxpayer bailouts from replacing laid-off U.S. workers with exploited and poorly-paid foreign workers.
~Sanders passes language in the Affordable Care Act to allow states to apply for waivers to implement pilot health care systems by 2017. The legislation allows states to adopt more comprehensive systems to cover more people at lower costs.
~In 2010, President Barack Obama signs into law the Affordable Care Act with a major Sanders provision to expand federally qualified community health centers. Sanders secures $12.5 billion in funding for the program which now serves more than 25 million Americans. Another $1.5 billion from a Sanders provision went to the National Health Service Corps for scholarships and loan repayment for doctors and nurses who practice in underserved communities.
~Sanders works with Republican Congressman Ron Paul in the House to pass a measure as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform bill to audit the Federal Reserve, revealing how the independent agency gave $16 trillion in near zero-interest loans to big banks and businesses after the 2008 economic collapse.
~In 2012, he becomes Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
~Sanders, backed by seniors, women, veterans, labor unions and disabled Americans leads a successful effort to stop a “chained-CPI” proposal supported by Congressional Republicans and the Administration to cut Social Security and disabled veterans’ benefits.
~Sanders introduces legislation to break up major Wall Street banks so large that the collapse of one could send the overall economy into a downward spiral.
~A bipartisan $16.5 billion veterans bill written by Sanders, Sen. John McCain and Rep. Jeff Miller is signed into law by President Barack Obama.
~In 2015, Sanders takes over as ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, using the platform to fight for his economic agenda for the American middle class.
~Sanders votes against the Keystone XL pipeline which would allow multinational corporation TransCanada to transport dirty tar sands oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.
~Both the NAACP and the NHLA (National Hispanic Leadership Agenda) have given Sanders 100% voting scores during his tenure in the Senate. Earns a D- from the NRA.
*Info from berniesanders.com
Keep this list handy so that when someone asks what he’s done for us lately, you’ve got your answer ready.”