Senator Bernard 'Bernie' Sanders's Political Positions

Biographical

Full Name: Bernard 'Bernie' Sanders
Current Office: U.S. Senate - Jr, Independent
First Elected: 11/07/2006
Last Elected: 11/06/2012
Next Election: 2018
Gender: Male
Family: Wife: Jane; 4 Children: Levi, Heather, Carina, David
Birth Date: 09/08/1941
Birth Place: New York, NY
Home City: Burlington, VT
Religion: Jewish
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Bernie Sanders has demonstrated Political Courage by telling citizens where he stands on the issues he may face if elected.

What is the Political Courage Test?

Vermont Congressional Election 2012 Political Courage Test

Pro-choiceCandidate AnswerDo you generally support pro-choice or pro-life legislation?
Other or expanded principles

I support a woman's right to choose.

NoInferred Answer Do you support United States' combat operations in Afghanistan? View Citations
  • Bernard Sanders. Project Vote Smart: 2012 Vermont Congressional Political Courage Test. Selected NO ANSWER for: "Do you support United States' combat operations in Afghanistan?" Afghanistan: other or expanded principles: "I support a timetable for quick and complete US withdrawal from Afghanistan. We went to war against Afghanistan to capture Osama bin Laden. He is now dead, and our reason for being there no longer pertains/."
  • Peace Action. 04/18/2012. "Bernie Sanders supported the interests of the Peace Action 86 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
  • Bernie Sanders. S Amdt 4204. 112th Congress. Requiring Afghanistan Troop Redeployment Plan and Timetable. Bernie Sanders voted Yea on 05/27/2010. (votesmart.org)
  • Peace Action West. 04/18/2012. "Bernie Sanders supported the interests of Peace Action West 86 percent in 2010." (votesmart.org)
YesDo you support a timetable for withdrawal from Afghanistan?
Other or expanded principles

I support a timetable for quick and complete US withdrawal from Afghanistan. We went to war against Afghanistan to capture Osama bin Laden. He is now dead, and our reason for being there no longer pertains/.

Indicate which proposals you support (if any) for balancing the federal budget.

In order to balance the budget,

YesCandidate Answerdo you support reducing defense spending?
YesCandidate Answerdo you support an income tax increase on any tax bracket?
Nodo you support reducing Medicaid spending?
Nodo you support reducing Medicare spending?
YesIs balancing the budget a legislative priority?
Other or expanded principles

We should move toward serious deficit reduction, most importantly by taxing the wealthy, who do not pay their fair share of the tax burden, and by closing tax loopholes for large corporations and corporations which ship jobs abroad to fatten their corporate profits. We should NOT blance the buget on the shoulders of the elderly, children, the poor, veterans or the currently hard-pressed middle class.

YesDo you support the regulation of indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?
Other or expanded principles

Citizens United, which decided that corporations are persons and have an almost unlimited capacity to contribute to political campaigns and the issues which shape political campaigns, is one of the two or three worst decisions in the history of the Supreme Court. I jhave introduced legislation which would, by constitutional amendment, reverse Citizens United.

Do you support capital punishment for certain crimes?
Other or expanded principles
YesCandidate AnswerDo you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth?
YesCandidate AnswerDo you support providing tax incentives to businesses for the purpose of job creation?
YesDo you support spending on infrastructure projects for the purpose of job creation?
YesDo you support the temporary extension of unemployment benefits?
Do you support the 2010 temporary extension of tax relief?
Other or expanded principles

[...support the temporary extension of tax relief?] Candidate answered "Yes" and "No".

I support the extention of tax relief for middle class and working families. I do not, emphatically, support the extension of tax breaks for those earning over $250,000 a year.
I believe that federal investment in infrastructure both creates jobs, and makes our nation stronger and more economically competitive. In terms of stimulating our economy and creationg jobs -- as well as sustaining those trapped by this severe economic recession -- I think both unemployment compensation at food stamps are essential to support Americans devastated by the recession.

NoCandidate AnswerDo you support requiring states to implement education reforms in order to be eligible for competitive federal grants?
Other or expanded principles

I believe states, which along with communities have traditionally been the main support for our public schools, should be the entities which decide on reforms. I strongly support both early education (and child care) and extended education (after school programs, summer programs) as ways to strengthen our education of children and youth. I strongly support Pell grants, which help make college more affordable to the children of working families

NoCandidate AnswerDo you support reducing restrictions on offshore energy production?
Other or expanded principles

Global warming is real, and a threat to not only future generations, but to our very planet itself. I strongly support sustainable energy -- solar, wind, biomass, geothermal -- as a way to reduce carbon emissions, and to reduce our dependence of foreign oil.

YesDo you believe that human activity is contributing to climate change?
YesCandidate AnswerDo you support the federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions?
Other or expanded principles

Global warming, and climate change, are one of the great challenges we face today. We must act aggressively to reduce carbon emissions. Solar, wind, thermal and biomass can greatly help us to move in tht direction. I ction. So can the development of hybrid-electric and electric vehicles, energy efficiency, and greater investment in mass transit.

Unknown PositionInferred Answer Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns? View Citations
  • Bernie Sanders. S Amdt 4070. 110th Congress. Prohibiting Funds in the Bill S 1200 from Being Used to Decrease Gun Ownership. Bernie Sanders voted Yea on 02/25/2008. (votesmart.org)
  • Bernie Sanders. Project Vote Smart: 1994 Vermont Congressional Political Courage Test. Did Not Check SUPPORT for: "Impose a national ban on the public sale of assault weapons."
  • Bernie Sanders. Project Vote Smart: 1992 Vermont Congressional Political Courage Test. Selected "Strongly Oppose" for: "A mandatory waiting period before the purchase of a handgun." Which of the following anti-crime measures do you support or oppose? Other or expanded principles: "A ban on specified assault-style semiautomatic weapons."
  • Bernie Sanders. Project Vote Smart: 2000 Vermont Congressional Political Courage Test. Did Not Check SUPPORT for: "d) Repeal federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns."
  • Bernie Sanders. Project Vote Smart: 2000 Vermont Congressional Political Courage Test. Did Not Check SUPPORT for: "e) Allow citizens to carry concealed guns."
  • Bernie Sanders. Project Vote Smart: 1996 Vermont Congressional Political Courage Test. Did Not Check SUPPORT for: "e) Repeal all bans and measures that restrict law-abiding citizens from owning legally-obtained firearms."
  • Bernie Sanders. Project Vote Smart: 2000 Vermont Congressional Political Courage Test. Checked SUPPORT for: "b) Maintain and strengthen the enforcement of existing federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns." Indicate which principles you support (if any) concerning gun issues. Other or expanded principles: "Maintain Ban on Semi-Automatic Assault Weapons"
  • Bernie Sanders. Project Vote Smart: 1996 Vermont Congressional Political Courage Test. Checked SUPPORT for: "c) Maintain all federal registration procedures and restrictions on possessing firearms."
  • Bernie Sanders. Project Vote Smart: 1996 Vermont Congressional Political Courage Test. Did Not Check SUPPORT for: "f) Allow law-abiding citizens to carry concealed firearms that are legally owned and registered."
  • Bernie Sanders. Project Vote Smart: 2000 Vermont Congressional Political Courage Test. Checked SUPPORT for: "f) Require manufacturers to provide child-safety locks on guns." Indicate which principles you support (if any) concerning gun issues. Other or expanded principles: "Maintain Ban on Semi-Automatic Assault Weapons"
  • Bernie Sanders. Project Vote Smart: 1994 Vermont Congressional Political Courage Test. Did Not Check SUPPORT for: "Impose a national ban on the sale of handguns to minors."
  • Bernie Sanders. Project Vote Smart: 1996 Vermont Congressional Political Courage Test. Did Not Check SUPPORT for: "d) Implement tighter restrictions on firearm sales in an effort to hinder terrorist groups from stockpiling weapon arsenals."
  • Bernie Sanders. Project Vote Smart: 2000 Vermont Congressional Political Courage Test. Did Not Check SUPPORT for: "a) Ban the sale or transfer of semi-automatic guns, except those used for hunting."
  • Bernie Sanders. Project Vote Smart: 2000 Vermont Congressional Political Courage Test. Checked SUPPORT for: "j) Require background checks of gun buyers at gun shows." Indicate which principles you support (if any) concerning gun issues. Other or expanded principles: "Maintain Ban on Semi-Automatic Assault Weapons"
  • Bernie Sanders. Project Vote Smart: 1996 Vermont Congressional Political Courage Test. Did Not Check SUPPORT for: "a) Expand the nationwide ban on the sale or transfer of assault weapons to include all forms of semi-automatic weapons."
  • Bernie Sanders. Project Vote Smart: 2000 Vermont Congressional Political Courage Test. Did Not Check SUPPORT for: "k) Require a license for gun possession."
  • Bernie Sanders. Project Vote Smart: 1996 Vermont Congressional Political Courage Test. Did Not Check SUPPORT for: "d) Ease procedures on the purchase and registration of firearms."
  • Bernie Sanders. Project Vote Smart: 1996 Vermont Congressional Political Courage Test. Did Not Check SUPPORT for: "b) Increase restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms."
  • Bernie Sanders. Project Vote Smart: 2000 Vermont Congressional Political Courage Test. Did Not Check SUPPORT for: "c) Ease federal restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns."
  • Bernie Sanders. Project Vote Smart: 2000 Vermont Congressional Political Courage Test. Did Not Check SUPPORT for: "i) Raise the minimum age for ownership of handguns from 18 to 21."
  • Bernie Sanders. HR 4296. 104th Congress. Regulation of Semi-Automatic Assault Weapons. Bernie Sanders voted Yea on 05/05/1994. (votesmart.org)
  • Bernie Sanders. HR 2122. 106th Congress. Mandatory Gun Show Background Check Act. Bernie Sanders voted Nay on 06/18/1999. (votesmart.org)
  • Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. 04/18/2012. "Bernie Sanders supported the interests of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence 66 percent from 1988-2003 (Senate) or 1991-2003 (House)." (votesmart.org)
  • Bernie Sanders. H Amdt 390. 103th Congress. Instant Background Checks for Gun Purchase Amendment. Bernie Sanders voted Yea on 11/10/1993. (votesmart.org)
  • Bernie Sanders. S 397. 109th Congress. Firearms Manufacturers Protection Bill. Bernie Sanders voted Yea on 10/20/2005. (votesmart.org)
  • Bernie Sanders. HR 1025. 103th Congress. Brady Handgun Bill. Bernie Sanders voted Nay on 11/10/1993. (votesmart.org)
  • Bernie Sanders. S Amdt 1067. 111th Congress. Allowing Loaded Guns in National Parks. Bernie Sanders voted Yea on 05/12/2009. (votesmart.org)
  • Gun Owners of America. 04/18/2012. "In 2010 Gun Owners of America gave Bernie Sanders a grade of 18." (votesmart.org)
  • Bernie Sanders. H AMDT 1156. 110th Congress. Trigger Lock Amendment. Bernie Sanders voted Nay on 06/28/2006. (votesmart.org)
  • Bernie Sanders. S Amdt 1618. 111th Congress. Authorizing Concealed Firearms Across State Lines. Bernie Sanders voted Nay on 07/22/2009. (votesmart.org)
  • Bernie Sanders. HR 125. 104th Congress. Gun Ban Repeal Act of 1995. Bernie Sanders voted Nay on 03/22/1996. (votesmart.org)
  • Bernard Sanders. Project Vote Smart: 2012 Vermont Congressional Political Courage Test. Selected NO ANSWER for: "Do you support restrictions on the purchase and possession of guns?" Guns other or expanded principles: "I believe that most concerns about owndership, purchase and possession of guns is best addressed at the state level. As a senator, I believe in deferring this question to the states."
  • Bernard Sanders. News August 3. 3 August 2012. "With the debate over gun control simmering in the wake of the shooting in Aurora, Colo., the members of Vermont's congressional delegation reiterated their beliefs that individual states should maintain their ability to shape their own firearm laws. "In my view, decisions about gun control should be made as close to home as possible," Sen. Sanders told the Addison County Independent." (www.sanders.senate.gov)
Other or expanded principles

I believe that most concerns about owndership, purchase and possession of guns is best addressed at the state level. As a senator, I believe in deferring this question to the states.

YesCandidate AnswerDo you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act?
YesShould individuals be required to purchase health insurance, as mandated in the 2010 Affordable Care Act?
Other or expanded principles

The Affordable Care Act is a step forward toward universal health care, but it is imperfect, and so I voted for it but without strongly endorsing it. I have long believed that health care is a right of every citizen -- every citizen -- and that the best way to achieve a strong and fair health care system is through a Medicare-for-all, single payer system. I have consistently introduced, and strongly supported, legislation to establish a single-payer approach to health care.

NoCandidate AnswerDo you support requiring illegal immigrants to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship?
YesDo you support allowing illegal immigrants, who were brought to the United States as minors, to pursue citizenship without returning to their country of origin?
Do you support the enforcement of federal immigration law by state and local police?
Other or expanded principles

Legal immigration is and should be our practice and our goal. But with 11.5 undocumented immigrants currently residing in the US, we must address that reality. I support the DREAM Act, which would confer citizenship on young people who grew up in the United States if they serve in the military or graduate from high school.
The 14th amendment of the Constitution makes the federal government, not the states, the arbiter of citizenship.

YesCandidate AnswerDo you support same-sex marriage?
Other or expanded principles
NoCandidate AnswerDo you support targeting suspected terrorists outside of official theaters of conflict?
NoShould the U.S use military force in order to prevent Iran from possessing a nuclear weapon?
Other or expanded principles

While we must aggressively pursue international terrorists and all of those who would do us harm, we must do it in a way that protects the Constitution and the civil liberties which make us proud to be Americans.

NoCandidate AnswerDo you support allowing individuals to divert a portion of their Social Security taxes into personal retirement accounts?
Other or expanded principles

I am opposed to the privatization of Social Security.

Spending

Indicate what federal spending levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category; you can use a number more than once.

Slightly Decreasea) Agriculture
Maintain Statusb) Arts
Greatly Decreasec) Defense
Greatly Increased) Education
Slightly Increasee) Environment
Maintain Statusf) Homeland Security
Maintain Statusg) International aid
Slightly Increaseh) Medical Research
Maintain Statusi) Scientific Research
Slightly Decreasej) Space exploration
Maintain Statusk) United Nations
Maintain Statusl) Welfare
m) Other or expanded categories

1 Develop sustainable energy and create green jobs
6 Eliminate corporte welfare

Taxes

Indicate what federal tax levels (#1-6) you support for the following general categories. Select one number per category; you can use a number more than once.

Greatly Increasea) Capital gains taxes
Greatly Increaseb) Corporate taxes
Maintain Statusc) Excise taxes (alcohol)
Maintain Statusd) Excise taxes (cigarettes)
Maintain Statuse) Excise taxes (transportation fuel)
Slightly Decreasef) Income taxes (low-income families)
Maintain Statusg) Income taxes (middle-income families)
Greatly Increaseh) Income taxes (high-income families)
Greatly Increasei) Inheritance taxes
j) Payroll taxes
k) Other or expanded categories

Payroll taxes: I favor ending the payroll tax reduction, which was instituted as a short-term measure to stimulate the economy, because over the long term it will weaken the Social Security Trust Fund. I favor removing the cap on payroll taxes for those earning over $250,000 a year, because doing so would guarantee that all Social Security benefits could be paid for the next 75 years. I believe, I stated earlier, that the wealthy and corporations need to pay their fair share of taxes.

Please explain in a total of 100 words or less, your top two or three priorities if elected. If they require additional funding for implementation, please explain how you would obtain this funding.

REversing the decline of the middle class, which is in good measure due to outsourcing of American jobs and an unfair tax code which has greatly reduced taxes on the wealthy while their share of both the ntion's ealth and its income have soared dramatically,

REducign glob al warming and creating new, good-paying jbos by investing in sustainable energy and eenrgy efficiency.

Bringing transparency to the banking industry, to the Federal Reserve, and to military contracting.