Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) recently told Mother Jones that legislation favored by the majority of Americans will likely never see a Congressional vote.
“[V]irtually every piece of legislation that gets to the floor of the House is in a sense being pushed by one or another powerful special interest group,” Sanders said. “The American people want to raise the minimum wage. Every poll tells us that. That bill will not get to the floor of the Senate.”
“The American people want to ask the rich to pay more in taxes,” he continued. “But the legislation that will get to the floor is tax breaks for billionaires. A few months ago, the Senate voted to repeal sections of the Dodd-Frank Act designed to control Wall Street greed. I would say 90 percent of the American people think that’s crazy. Wall Street thought it was a great idea.”
“So pretty much what the American people want is exactly the opposite of what appears in the Senate.”
Sen. Sanders also said that he understands the vast majority of Americans are growing increasingly frustrated with wealth inequality, which he considers more than just a political talking point.
“There is something immoral when so few have so much and so many have so little … we’ve driven around [San Francisco] and seen people sleeping out on the streets. In my state, you’ve got people working 40, 50 hours a week and going to emergency food shelves because they don’t earn enough money to feed their families adequately. You have millions of young people graduating college deeply in debt. They can’t get their lives started, can’t get married. So I think the issue of income and wealth inequality is in fact a moral issue.”
While he has not made up his mind just yet, Sanders did confirm that he is still considering a run for president in 2016. If he does decide to enter the race, he will also have to decide whether to run as an Independent or Democrat. One thing he is sure of, though, is that he “will not play the role of a spoiler who ends up helping elect a right-wing Republican.”
Regarding a potential President Hillary Clinton, Sanders said that whether she would be a step forward or backward depends on “what she will campaign on and what she would do if she were elected president.”
“What I know is, I voted against the war in Iraq and helped lead the effort against that,” he said. “I was one of the strongest voices in Congress against the deregulation of Wall Street. I believe in a single-payer national health care system. I do not want to see the United States entangled in a never-ending war in the Middle East.”
“I am opposed to the Keystone pipeline,” Sanders continued. “And I am very strongly opposed to the trade policies that we’ve had for 35 years, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership. That’s my reckoning. You’ll have to ask Hillary what her views are.”