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Senator Bernard Sanders
Independent of Vermont



Liberal Action Score: 94/100
Conservative Action Score: 0/100

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Mailing address: 332 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510
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DC Office Phone: 202-224-5141
VT Office Phone: 800-339-9834

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These Liberal and Conservative Ratings for the U.S. Senate are frequently updated as new bills are introduced, new roll call votes are held, and members of the Senate cosponsor existing bills. Our most recent update: December 31, 2012.
That's My Congress: independent information on legislators, legislation and congressional campaigns for the 112th Congress

Independent Senator Bernard Sanders of Vermont

Sen. Sanders's Liberal Action Score: 94
The Liberal Action Score is calculated by compiling a series of measured liberal actions (both roll call voting and bill cosponsorship) in the 112th Congress and comparing Bernard Sanders's behavior against a liberal standard:
  • Respect for constitutional protections of American civil liberty
  • Transparency and public access in government
  • Equal treatment of people under law
  • The respect and pursuit of empirical knowledge through support for science and education
  • Protection of the Earth's environmental richness
  • Strengthening of economic opportunity for all
  • Pursuit of peaceful solutions and opposition to militarism in policy
A score of 94 means that Senator Sanders has participated in 94% of our slate of liberal actions in the 112th Congress.

Liberal Actions Taken by Sanders during the 112th Congress of 2011-2012:

S. 186

As the text of S. 186 points out, "October 7, 2011, will mark the 10-year anniversary of the start of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan." This war has cost more than a third of a trillion dollars and has spilled the blood of more than a thousand Americans and uncounted civilians of Afghanistan. Ten years into the war, the Taliban is just as strong, Afghanistan is just as fractured, and there is no clear way out. S. 186 declares simply, "It is the policy of the United States to begin the phased redeployment of United States combat forces from Afghanistan not later than July 1, 2011." S. 186 would have the President submit his plan for phased withdrawal from Afghanistan during the same year.

Senator Sanders has followed the liberal course of action by cosponsoring this bill.




S. 940

Multinational oil and gas corporations are experiencing record profits while the world deals with spill disasters caused by their profitable activities. The supporters of S. 940, the Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes Act, are cognizant that big oil corporations are doing just fine on their own, and in this time of economic challenge for the nation tried to end special subsidies benefitting oil and gas corporations and burdening our federal budget. Under S. 940 these oil corporations would have stopped receiving special gifts and would have simply been expected to pay their fair share, just like the American people do. On May 18 2011, a majority of Senators voted for S. 940, but in a procedural move a minority blocked the bill from proceeding. As a result, American oil companies will continue to rake in huge subsidies while they accumulate gigantic profits.

Senator Sanders has taken a liberal course of action by voting for this bill.


H.R. 514

On February 15 2011, H.R. 514 was brought to the floor of the Senate for a vote after short notice, only a few minutes of debate, no committee consideration and no amendments allowed. This bill reauthorized provisions of the Patriot Act, a law that allows agents of the U.S. government to spy on, search and seize the property, papers and communications of individuals without a constitutionally-guaranteed finding of probable cause for that action.

Senator Sanders has taken a liberal course of action by voting against this bill.


S. 953

Did American politicians learn their lesson from the Deepwater Horizon disaster, in which a lack of full regulation and inspection led to a heavy economic and environmental toll? Perhaps only selectively so. Senator Mitch McConnell introduced S. 953 in the 112th Congress and brought it up for a vote on May 18 2011. The bill puts a fig leaf on oil rig spills by requiring studies of safety patterns, but in practice it makes it harder to challenge offshore oil drilling in a number of ways. If S. 953 had been passed, the government would have only 30 days to study and consider an application for offshore oil drilling before approving it, and Americans would have only 60 days to prepare and submit a challenge to that application. In any court hearing, it requires that the government's hastily-prepared account of the facts be presumed correct. Current leases for offshore oil drilling would be arbitrarily extended by a year, regardless of their record. In short, the bill rigs the review process for offshore oil drilling heavily in the oil industry's favor. Even if petitioners had won in the stacked review process, the remedies they could have obtained would have been limited. Fortunately for environmental standards, S. 953 was voted down.

Senator Sanders has taken a liberal course of action by voting against this bill.


S. 598

If passed, the Respect for Marriage Act (S. 598) would repeal DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act. Enacted in the 1990s, DOMA removed the presumption (based in the "Full Faith and Credit" clause of the Constitution) that same-sex marriages carried out in one state would be recognized in other states or by the federal government. S. 598 would restore cross-state and federal recognition, recognition that different-sex marriages continue to enjoy.

Senator Sanders has followed the liberal course of action by cosponsoring this bill.


S. 811

To a person only following expressions of popular culture, it might seem that the United States has moved beyond discrimination against gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transexuals. But in the workaday world, it's still legal for people to be fired from their jobs for no other reason than than their choice of whom to love. And a dirty not-so-secret secret of labor unions has been their historical practice of excluding gay and lesbian workers from full participation and leadership.

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (or ENDA) would make workplace discrimination in hiring and promotions illegal, and would also prohibit discriminatory behavior against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender members of American labor unions. If passed, ENDA would bring the law into the 21st Century along with the majority of Americans who have realized what matters at work is what you do, not who you love.

Senator Sanders has followed the liberal course of action by cosponsoring this bill.




S. 821

"No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States. Nor shall any State deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." These are the American standards of nondiscrimination, chiseled into our legal bedrock in the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

S. 821, the Uniting American Families Act, is a bill to bring America into closer compliance with the 14th Amendment by ending government discrimination according to the status of permanent couples. According to law, same-sex couples in permanent relationships cannot marry; only different-sex couples can. The creates two classes of couple in the United States. They are separate. Are they equal? Not currently. Under current immigration law, married immigrant spouses of citizens and permanent residents have a preferred route toward gaining permanent resident status themselves. Unmarried partners of citizens and permanent residents have this avenue closed to them. That is unequal treatment under law for immigrants under American jurisdiction, and it is an unequal abridgment of legal privilege for the citizens whose permanent partners wish to join them.

The Uniting American Families Act would end this status discrimination by amending various the immigration laws that discriminate against same-sex couples when one member of a couple is a citizen or permanent resident and the other is seeking citizenship or residency status.

Senator Sanders has followed the liberal course of action by cosponsoring this bill.




S. 558

The problem with cluster bombs is threefold:

1. When used, they are distributed in large numbers across terrain;
2. They have a high failure rate, leaving many unexploded bombs;
3. They are small and typically shiny, disproportionately attracting the hands of curious children.

Cluster bombs are designed to kill people, not to damage buildings or roads. Like land mines, they continue to kill people long after the battle in which they were used. It is typical for a large number of these smaller bombs to remain undetonated, waiting to explode, after their initial deployment.

The Federation of American Scientists' report on the matter makes clear the danger of cluster munitions: "40 percent of the duds on the ground are hazardous and for each encounter with an unexploded submunition there is a 13 percent probability of detonation. Thus, even though an unexploded submunition is run over, kicked, stepped on, or otherwise disturbed, and did not detonate, it is not safe. Handling the unexploded submunition may eventually result in arming and subsequent detonation." Cluster bombs kill civilians when they are used. Our government knows this, and yet our government continues to manufacture, use and sell cluster bombs to foreign countries. The Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act, as proposed in the 112th Congress, forbids the United States government from spending money to use, sell or transfer cluster bombs unless the following requirements are met:
  • The cluster bombs are proven to have a 1 percent or lower rate of malfunction
  • The cluster bombs will not be used against anything but a clearly defined military target, in an area where there are no civilians and in places where civilians do not ordinarily live
  • A plan is submitted, with the costs included, for cleaning up all the undetonated explosives that come from cluster bombs, whether they are used by the US military, or by other countries to whom the United States has supplied the cluster bombs


There is a waiver in the law for the first requirement (for the malfunctioning rate of 1 percent or lower), in cases in which it is "vital" to use cluster bombs in order to protect the security of the United States. However, even in such cases, the President is required to submit a report to Congress which explains how civilians will be protected from the cluster bombs, and revealing the failure rate of the cluster bombs, as well as whether the cluster bombs are equipped with self-destruct functions.

Senator Sanders has followed the liberal course of action by cosponsoring this bill.


S. 1428

In 2010 there were 22,000 mercenaries hired by the USA in Iraq and Afghanistan; in 2011 the number of hired mercenaries climbed to more than 28,000. By March 2011, there were more private military contractors paid by the U.S. in Iraq than there were U.S. soldiers. In remarks at an event introducing the bill, Representative Jan Schakowsky explained why this is a problem:

"Military officers in the field have said contractors operate like cowboys, using unnecessary and excessive force uncharacteristic of enlisted soldiers. In 2007, guards working for a firm then known as Blackwater were accused of killing 17 Iraqis, damaging the U.S. mission in Iraq and hurting our reputation around the world. Later that year, a contractor employed by DynCorp International allegedly shot and killed an unarmed taxi driver."

Military contractors have often acted with disregard for human dignity and when they break the law have frequently used loopholes to escape accountability. The result is inexcusable, violence in the name of the United States with no calls for justice. S. 1428 would finally bring this physical, psychological and political disaster to an end, stopping the use of mercenaries for traditional military security and combat roles.

Senator Sanders has followed the liberal course of action by cosponsoring this bill.




S.J. Res. 6

"Net neutrality" is the principle that internet corporations should provide information at the same speed from all sources, no matter whether that source is a small web page like this one expressing individuals' facts and ideas, or a political start-up like Occupy Together that seeks to share information about the #Occupy movement, or a well-funded corporate website from Microsoft or Exxon Mobil. S.J. Res. 6 was a bill in the Senate that would have ended the practice of net neutrality in the United States by overturning FCC Rule 10-201.

FCC Rule 10-201 mandates "Transparency. Fixed and mobile broadband providers must disclose the network management practices, performance characteristics, and terms and conditions of their broadband services." But S.J. Res. 6 "prohibits such rule from having any force or effect."

FCC Rule 10-201 prohibits "Blocking. Fixed broadband providers may not block lawful content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices; mobile broadband providers may not block lawful websites, or block applications that compete with their voice or video telephony services." But S.J. Res. 6 "prohibits such rule from having any force or effect."

FCC Rule 10-201 prohibits "Unreasonable discrimination. Fixed broadband providers may not unreasonably discriminate in transmitting lawful network traffic. Fixed broadband providers may not block lawful content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices." But even the moderate "unreasonable" rule was too much for the supporters of S.J. Res. 6. Their bill "prohibits such rule from having any force or effect."

In a vote on November 10 2011, S.J. Res. 6 was turned back by a Democratic majority.

Senator Sanders has taken a liberal course of action by voting against this bill.




S. Amdt 1126 to S. 1867

As the year 2011 drew to a close, the United States Senate voted to let the U.S. Government to imprison people forever without charge, be they citizens or noncitizens, be they on U.S. soil or in foreign territory. Be they anybody at all that the government accuses of being a terrorist, they can be tossed into detention, without charges, forever, never having their case brought to trial. This is the definition of ultimate unaccountable power. The Feinstein Amendment, S. Amdt 1126, would have taken this language out of the final bill. But a majority of senators, by voting against the Feinstein Amendement, acted in favor of unaccountable indefinite detention without charge, for anybody, anybody at all.

Senator Sanders has taken a liberal course of action by voting for this bill.


H.R. 1540

In mid-December 2011, the United States Senate voted on final passage of H.R. 1540, the final post-conference form of S. 1867. What was the subject of this bill coming up just before Christmas? Letting the U.S. government throw any person at all into detention forever without charge, as long as the government says (without any proof in a court of law) that this person is a terrorist. Indefinite detainees will never be brought to trial, will never face a jury of their peers as the constitution guarantees. A majority of senators voted to pass this bill, placing us all at risk from the exercise of unaccountable, unchecked power.

Senator Sanders has taken a liberal course of action by voting against this bill.


S. Amdt. 2789 to S. 3457

While the United States pours billions and billions and billions of dollars into the procurement of expensive, unreliable and deadly military machines used to kill people overseas, how will it treat the people it has fed through those machines? This question was answered on Wednesday September 19 2012 when the United States Senate fell two votes short of the necessary 60 votes to create a veterans job corps. The veterans jobs corps would have employed the people coming out of the military and being dumped into an absolutely dismal job market, hiring them for jobs that don't just give them a paycheck but help the country through law enforcement, firefighting, historic preservation, resource management and conservation work.

Large majorities of the Senate vote every year to purchase wildly expensive, deadly and technically unreliable drones, bombers and other military machines, distributing taxpayer funds to multinational military corporations. But 42 Senators blocked a move to develop a few jobs for veterans.

A yes vote on Senate Amendment 2789 was a vote to create a veterans jobs corps. A no vote was a vote to spend money on military machines but to deny jobs for veterans coming home.

Senator Sanders has taken a liberal course of action by voting for this bill.




S.Amdt. 3376 to H.R. 1

On December 28 2012, just after Christmas, the U.S. Senate voted to reject this amendment to a House appropriations bill. If it had passed, Senate Amendment 3376 would have eliminated the usual Davis-Bacon rule for federally-funded projects.

The Davis-Bacon rule isn't extravagant, only requiring that construction workers on federally-funded projects be paid at least the prevailing wage of the area in compensation for their labor. That prevailing wage standard is low, even below the poverty level in many places. But for 42 members of the U.S. Senate -- all of them Republicans, poverty-level pay for hard work isn't low enough. After an election in which voters turned away from Republican candidates because those candidates were perceived as anti-worker elitists, this vote will not help to dislodge that perception.

Senator Sanders has taken a liberal course of action by voting against this bill.




H.R. 5949

The 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution declares the freedom of We The People from search and seizure of our papers and communications unless there is a warrant specifying a reason, a time and a place for such search. The FISA Amendments Act violates all of these constitutional guarantees by allowing agents of the United States government to search through and seize anyone's communications without obtaining any warrant describing a time, place or reason for the search. The December 28, 2012 vote by the Senate to reauthorize the FISA Amendments Act for five years without a single reform is a vote against the constitution and the rule of law.

Senator Sanders has taken a liberal course of action by voting against this bill.


Unfinished Business:
Liberal Bills Senator Sanders has failed to support through cosponsorship:

S. 186

As the text of S. 186 points out, "October 7, 2011, will mark the 10-year anniversary of the start of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan." This war has cost more than a third of a trillion dollars and has spilled the blood of more than a thousand Americans and uncounted civilians of Afghanistan. Ten years into the war, the Taliban is just as strong, Afghanistan is just as fractured, and there is no clear way out. S. 186 declares simply, "It is the policy of the United States to begin the phased redeployment of United States combat forces from Afghanistan not later than July 1, 2011." S. 186 would have the President submit his plan for phased withdrawal from Afghanistan during the same year.

Senator Sanders has failed to cosponsor S. 186. After you read the text of S. 186, call Sen Sanders's office at 800-339-9834 and ask him to support it by adding his cosponsorship.


S. 598

If passed, the Respect for Marriage Act (S. 598) would repeal DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act. Enacted in the 1990s, DOMA removed the presumption (based in the "Full Faith and Credit" clause of the Constitution) that same-sex marriages carried out in one state would be recognized in other states or by the federal government. S. 598 would restore cross-state and federal recognition, recognition that different-sex marriages continue to enjoy.

Senator Sanders has failed to cosponsor S. 598. After you read the text of S. 598, call Sen Sanders's office at 800-339-9834 and ask him to support it by adding his cosponsorship.


S. 811

To a person only following expressions of popular culture, it might seem that the United States has moved beyond discrimination against gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transexuals. But in the workaday world, it's still legal for people to be fired from their jobs for no other reason than than their choice of whom to love. And a dirty not-so-secret secret of labor unions has been their historical practice of excluding gay and lesbian workers from full participation and leadership.

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (or ENDA) would make workplace discrimination in hiring and promotions illegal, and would also prohibit discriminatory behavior against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender members of American labor unions. If passed, ENDA would bring the law into the 21st Century along with the majority of Americans who have realized what matters at work is what you do, not who you love.

Senator Sanders has failed to cosponsor S. 811. After you read the text of S. 811, call Sen Sanders's office at 800-339-9834 and ask him to support it by adding his cosponsorship.




S. 821

"No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States. Nor shall any State deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." These are the American standards of nondiscrimination, chiseled into our legal bedrock in the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

S. 821, the Uniting American Families Act, is a bill to bring America into closer compliance with the 14th Amendment by ending government discrimination according to the status of permanent couples. According to law, same-sex couples in permanent relationships cannot marry; only different-sex couples can. The creates two classes of couple in the United States. They are separate. Are they equal? Not currently. Under current immigration law, married immigrant spouses of citizens and permanent residents have a preferred route toward gaining permanent resident status themselves. Unmarried partners of citizens and permanent residents have this avenue closed to them. That is unequal treatment under law for immigrants under American jurisdiction, and it is an unequal abridgment of legal privilege for the citizens whose permanent partners wish to join them.

The Uniting American Families Act would end this status discrimination by amending various the immigration laws that discriminate against same-sex couples when one member of a couple is a citizen or permanent resident and the other is seeking citizenship or residency status.

Senator Sanders has failed to cosponsor S. 821. After you read the text of S. 821, call Sen Sanders's office at 800-339-9834 and ask him to support it by adding his cosponsorship.




S. 558

The problem with cluster bombs is threefold:

1. When used, they are distributed in large numbers across terrain;
2. They have a high failure rate, leaving many unexploded bombs;
3. They are small and typically shiny, disproportionately attracting the hands of curious children.

Cluster bombs are designed to kill people, not to damage buildings or roads. Like land mines, they continue to kill people long after the battle in which they were used. It is typical for a large number of these smaller bombs to remain undetonated, waiting to explode, after their initial deployment.

The Federation of American Scientists' report on the matter makes clear the danger of cluster munitions: "40 percent of the duds on the ground are hazardous and for each encounter with an unexploded submunition there is a 13 percent probability of detonation. Thus, even though an unexploded submunition is run over, kicked, stepped on, or otherwise disturbed, and did not detonate, it is not safe. Handling the unexploded submunition may eventually result in arming and subsequent detonation." Cluster bombs kill civilians when they are used. Our government knows this, and yet our government continues to manufacture, use and sell cluster bombs to foreign countries. The Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act, as proposed in the 112th Congress, forbids the United States government from spending money to use, sell or transfer cluster bombs unless the following requirements are met:
  • The cluster bombs are proven to have a 1 percent or lower rate of malfunction
  • The cluster bombs will not be used against anything but a clearly defined military target, in an area where there are no civilians and in places where civilians do not ordinarily live
  • A plan is submitted, with the costs included, for cleaning up all the undetonated explosives that come from cluster bombs, whether they are used by the US military, or by other countries to whom the United States has supplied the cluster bombs


There is a waiver in the law for the first requirement (for the malfunctioning rate of 1 percent or lower), in cases in which it is "vital" to use cluster bombs in order to protect the security of the United States. However, even in such cases, the President is required to submit a report to Congress which explains how civilians will be protected from the cluster bombs, and revealing the failure rate of the cluster bombs, as well as whether the cluster bombs are equipped with self-destruct functions.

Senator Sanders has failed to cosponsor S. 558. After you read the text of S. 558, call Sen Sanders's office at 800-339-9834 and ask him to support it by adding his cosponsorship.


S. 1428

In 2010 there were 22,000 mercenaries hired by the USA in Iraq and Afghanistan; in 2011 the number of hired mercenaries climbed to more than 28,000. By March 2011, there were more private military contractors paid by the U.S. in Iraq than there were U.S. soldiers. In remarks at an event introducing the bill, Representative Jan Schakowsky explained why this is a problem:

"Military officers in the field have said contractors operate like cowboys, using unnecessary and excessive force uncharacteristic of enlisted soldiers. In 2007, guards working for a firm then known as Blackwater were accused of killing 17 Iraqis, damaging the U.S. mission in Iraq and hurting our reputation around the world. Later that year, a contractor employed by DynCorp International allegedly shot and killed an unarmed taxi driver."

Military contractors have often acted with disregard for human dignity and when they break the law have frequently used loopholes to escape accountability. The result is inexcusable, violence in the name of the United States with no calls for justice. S. 1428 would finally bring this physical, psychological and political disaster to an end, stopping the use of mercenaries for traditional military security and combat roles.

Senator Sanders has failed to cosponsor S. 1428. After you read the text of S. 1428, call Sen Sanders's office at 800-339-9834 and ask him to support it by adding his cosponsorship.




S. 219

S. 219, a bill introduced by Senator Jon Tester, would require senators to file campaign finance reports electronically with the Federal Election Commission, not on paper with the Senate. This may not sound like an important distinction, but the practical effect of the current system is to delay the processing of campaign contribution reports -- often until after an election is over -- and to make the discovery of unsavory campaign expenditures by reporters and citizens more difficult. Tester's bill, the continuation of a veteran effort by ex-Senator Russ Feingold in previous sessions of Congress, would increase efficiency within the government, increase transparency of information to reporters, and increase the accountability of Senators to American citizens.

Senator Sanders has failed to cosponsor S. 219. After you read the text of S. 219, call Sen Sanders's office at 800-339-9834 and ask him to support it by adding his cosponsorship.


Rep. Bernard Sanders has not taken any conservative action on the That's My Congress scorecard during the 112th Congress.

Recent legislative news in which Bernard Sanders plays a part:

Voters Want Less Military, Fewer Lobbyists, Sanders Poll Finds
U.S. Senate Bernard Sanders is conducting a survey this week to find out what the priorities of the American people are in the time before Barack Obama's State of the Union Address. So far, the most important issue has to do with the spread of corrupting forces within Washington D.C. 88.12 percent of respondents so far say that "Reducing the influence of lobbyists and special interest groups in Washington" is a "top priority". That priority may have some connection to the lowest priority of respondents so far. Only 2.93 percent of respondents say that "Strengthening the U.S. military" is a top priority. Politicians in Congress keep on increasing the military budget, of course, even as they're slashing funds for education, infrastructure and health care. The reason: Corporations make a great deal of profit from a fat military budget, and the influence of corporate lobbyists in Washington D.C. is at an all time high. [more]

Donna Christensen Breaks Congressional Silence On Occupation Protests
Interviewed on the Ed Schultz radio show today, U.S. Senator Bernard Sanders noted how the Occupy Wall street protest, and the occupation movement of political demonstrations that it has inspired, have "touched a nerve." Asked by Schultz if Congress had been touched by the Wall Street protest, Sanders said that he didn't think so. "The bottom line is that the current constitution of Congress is such that Wall Street is just enormously powerful." popular protests ignored in congressUntil yesterday, Senator Sanders was the only member of Congress to speak in public about the worth of the occupation movement. Yesterday, Donna Christensen spoke on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives in praise of the people protesting, in 147 communities across America, against corporate greed. Christensen said, "Over the last 2 weeks, there has been an 'occupation of Wall Street' because while homeowners and pensioners and many people have suffered because of their meltdown, we have not seen the kind of remedies for the folks on Main Street , the side streets or the rural roads that would make them whole. They are speaking loudly and effectively on their and on our behalf." Christensen referred to the occupation protests as "a golden opportunity to listen," but so far, neither the Republicans nor the Republicans in Congress seem to be listening to the voice of The 99 Percent - the majority of Americans who are being abused by the trickle down system of corporate rule. The Republicans in Congress are expected to ignore genuine grassroots protests. The Democrats, however, are losing a rare opportunity. If they continue to pretend that these protests don't exist, they may find their political party replaced with a new voice from the Left that knows what... [more]

Bernard Sanders Supports Wall Street Protests, May Visit October 6 Occupation
As That's My Congress has noted before, the United States Congress has been almost completely silent on the riveting, two-week long protest in Wall Street. Last night, Senator Bernard Sanders broke that silence. Speaking on CurrentTV with Keith Olbermann, Senator Sanders praised the protesters who have stayed on Wall Street for 14 days now, saying, "We desperately need a coming together of working people to come together to stand up against Wall Street, corporate America, and say enough is enough!" Sanders also praised the upcoming occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C. to start on October 6, and said that he will attempt to attend that protest himself. "Any attention that we can pay to the greed, recklessness, and illegal behavior on Wall Street or to what the Fed is not doing is deserved attention, so I will see if I can be there," Sanders said. [more]

Are Bernie Sanders and Sherrod Brown Really Marching in Lockstep?
That's what you would think if you'd read the letter sent out by Ohio GOP Chairman Kevin DeWine this week:
Ohio is not Vermont. But you wouldn’t know that by looking at Sherrod Brown’s pals. Sherrod Brown was recently rated as one of the most liberal members of the U.S. Senate. In fact, Brown received the same liberal rating — two years in a row — as the self-described socialist Senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders. Notice a pattern? Liberal Howard Dean and socialist Bernie Sanders may share some pretty extreme viewpoints with Sherrod Brown, but they do not share our Ohio values.
Ouch. Kevin DeWine's gift isn't in timing; the message belittling Vermont came in the wake of a Hurricane that destroyed villages and killed people. But apart from the issue of strategy, is Kevin DeWine right? Are senators Sherrod Brown and Bernard Sanders interchangeable? Here at That's My Congress, we have a way of finding out. We've tracked significant actions on 34 pieces of legislation in the 111th Congress of 2009-2010 and 15 pieces of legislation in the eight months of the 112th Congress that have been completed so far. Across those 15 key legislative acts this year, Bernie Sanders and Sherrod Brown have only differed on one: S. 1428, a bill to end the use of private mercenaries for U.S. military jobs traditionally carried out by soldiers. Bernie Sanders introduced the legislation; Sherrod Brown has failed to cosponsor it. In the 111th Congress, there were more differences. Bernie Sanders has progressively by voting against H.R. 4853, the extension of tax cuts for billionaires. Sherrod Brown voted for the billionaire tax cut. Senator Sanders cosponsored S. 1686, a bill to introduce civil liberties protections to Patriot Act processes. Sherrod Brown didn't move to support that bill. S.... [more]


Indefinite Imprisonment Roll Call of Shame: Only Sanders, 6 Democrats and 6 GOP Stand Up
Today, both the Republican and Democratic political parties lost the right to claim that they stand for freedom, justice and the American way. arbitrary imprisonment without criminal chargeIn the U.S. Senate this afternoon, there came to the floor a terrible bill for a final vote. This bill, H.R. 1540, the Defense Authorization Act, contained a provision that would allow the federal government to imprison Americans without criminal charge for as long as it wants - on the mere accusation of association with a terrorist organization. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America declares that "No person shall... be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law". That makes H.R. 1540 plainly and profoundly unconstitutional. The issue isn't even one of a right to a fair trial. At issue is whether Americans have a right to a trial at all. H.R. 1540 allows Americans to be punished for alleged crimes without any trial. The legislation completely overturns the presumption of innocence in American law, and creates a system where the presumption of guilt rules instead. There were only 6 Democrats who voted against this insult to democracy. There were only 6 Republicans who had the courage to vote against it. Independent Senator Bernard Sanders was made the 13th senator out of 100 to defend Americans' right to a trial. The second group in the roll call you see below is the long list of U.S. senators who voted in favor of passage of the prolonged imprisonment of American citizens without criminal charge or trial. Every single one of these senators deserves to lose their next election. Nothing in the United States of America, not party loyalty or... [more]

Americans Elect Mischaracterizes Bernie Sanders on Priorities and on Same-Sex Marriage
Americans Elect doesn't call it a ratings system or a "National Match" anymore, but the information that constituted its ratings for hundreds of possible presidential candidates is still there. That rating information is still being used to characterize presidential candidates as the initial vote to pick its presidential nominee creeps ever closer, now just 124 days away. And that information is still plagued with error:
  • A new "priorities" ranking of presidential contenders flatly contradicts its old "ratings" ranking on various subjects.
  • Despite placing lower than Gary Johnson in its own ratings system, Jon Huntsman received a preferred ranked spot on Americans Elect's primary ranking page, while Johnson was placed off that primary page.
  • The issue ratings of Barack Obama incorrectly score his positions on the economy, education and the environment, resulting in a lower ranking score than he would otherwise have achieved.
  • The issue ratings of Buddy Roemer bizarrely assign him "Education" as his highest-priority issue, when Education is the issue Roemer has been least likely to discuss as a presidential candidate. Follow Americans Elect links to supposed documentation of Roemer's other positions and you'll find that they actually don't document those positions.
To add to the list of factual and ranking errors in the Americans Elect system, this morning I ran across the... [more]