|This is a profile of a U.S. senator. (See all the Vermont portal for all incumbents, candidates and blogs.)|
- 1 Record and controversies
- 2 Bio
- 3 Money in politics
- 4 Committees and Affiliations
- 5 More Background Data
- 6 Contact
- 7 Articles and resources
Record and controversies
Sanders voted against the resolution authorizing the use of force against Iraq in the fall of 2002 and opposed the subsequent invasion. He later joined almost all of his colleagues in voting for a non-binding resolution expressing support for U.S. troops at the outset of the invasion, although he gave a floor speech blasting the partisan nature of the resolution and the Bush administration's actions in the run-up to the war.
Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act
On January 15, 2007, Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) introduced the Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act of 2007. It was referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. The measure was intended to increase performance standards for electricity generation and motor vehicles with the option of an emissions "cap and trade" system.
- Main article: U.S. congressional action on climate change#Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act of 2007 (S.309)
Reparations for Japanese Latin Americans
Sanders cosponsored The Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Latin Americans of Japanese Descent Act in the 110th Congress which would establish a commission that would determine the facts and circumstances involving the relocation, internment and deportation of Japanese Latin Americans.
- Main article: Redress for Japanese Latin Americans/ U.S. legislation#Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Latin Americans of Japanese Descent Act of 2007
The son of a Polish immigrant, Sanders was born September 8, 1941 in Brooklyn New York. Sanders was educated at Brooklyn College and the University of Chicago. He has lived in Vermont since 1964. He was a member of the anti-Vietnam War Liberty Union Party, and in the 1970s ran for governor and senator four times. Sanders is married to the former Dr. Jane O'Meara, president of Burlington College, and they have four children.
Sanders has worked as a free-lance writer, documentary film maker, was the director of the American People's Historical Society (1977) and a lecturer at Hamilton College (1989-1990) and Harvard University (1989).
In 1981, at the suggestion of a friend who was a philosophy professor at the University of Vermont, Sanders ran for mayor of Burlington, and defeated a six-term Democratic incumbent by 12 votes. Increasingly popular because of his successful revitalization of the downtown area, he won three more terms, defeating Democratic and Republican candidates. In his last run for mayor, in 1987, he defeated a candidate endorsed by both major parties.
During his first term, supporters of Sanders formed the Progressive Coalition, forerunner of the Vermont Progressive Party. The Progressives never held more than six seats on the 13-member city council, but it was enough to keep the council from overriding Sanders' vetoes. Under Sanders, Burlington became the first city in the country to fund community-trust housing. His administration also sued the local cable provider and won considerably reduced rates and a substantial cash settlement.
Sanders ran for governor in 1986. He finished third with 14.5% of the vote, which was enough to deny incumbent Democrat Madeleine Kunin a majority; she was elected by the state legislature. In 1988 when six-term incumbent Representative Jim Jeffords made a successful run for the Senate, Sanders ran for the open seat and narrowly lost to Peter Smith, the former lieutenant governor and the Republican candidate for governor two years earlier. He sought a rematch against Smith in 1990. In one of the biggest upsets in recent political history, he took 56 percent of the vote and defeated Smith by 16 points, becoming the first independent member of the House since 1950.
House of Representative election record
Sanders has been reelected six times and is the longest-serving independent member of the House. Despite his independent status, he has only faced one difficult contest. That came in 1994, in the midst of a huge Republican wave that saw that party take control of the House. In a year where marginal seats fell to Republicans left and right, Sanders managed a narrow 3-point victory. In every other election, he has never failed to win less than 55 percent of the vote. Most recently, in 2004, Sanders took 69% to Republican Greg Parke's 24% and Democrat Larry Drown's 7%.
Positions and Views
On the domestic front, Sanders supports universal health care and opposes foreign trade agreements which, he says, deprive American workers of their jobs while exploiting foreign workers in sweat-shop factories. An amendment he offered in 2005 to limit provisions giving the government power to obtain individuals' library and book-buying records passed the House by a significant bi-partisan majority, giving President Bush a rare and major legislative defeat and marking the first rejection of any section of the USA PATRIOT Act. His lifetime legislative score from the AFL-CIO is 100%. In contrast, as of 2004, he has a grade of "F" from the National Rifle Association, despite the fact that he voted against the Brady Bill and in October 2005 Sanders voted in favor of an NRA-sponsored bill to restrict lawsuits against gun manufacturers.. On other issues Sanders does occasionally supported Republican led bills: he voted to abolish the marriage penalty and also for a bill that sought to ban human cloning.
Relations with rest of House
Although relations between Sanders and House Democratic leadership have not always been smooth, the Democrats have not actively campaigned against Sanders since his first run for Congress. While Democratic candidates have run against him in every election except 1994 (when Sanders managed to win the Democrats' endorsement), they have received scant financial support. He has endorsed every Democratic candidate for president of the United States since 1992.
Campaign for Senate
Sanders had mentioned on several occasions that he would run for the Senate if Jeffords, a longtime friend, ever retired. When Jeffords announced on April 21, 2005 that he would not seek a fourth term in 2006, Sanders wasted little time in formally jumping into the race.
Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, immediately endorsed Sanders. Schumer's backing was critical, as it likely means that any Democrat running against Sanders cannot expect to receive significant financial backing. He was also endorsed by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean (a former governor of Vermont and presidential candidate in 2004) and other leading Democrats. Dean said in May that he considered Sanders an ally who voted with House Democrats.
According to the leftist magazine In These Times, "Judging from his popularity, Sanders' election is all but assured. If he takes office, he will become the Senate's most progressive member."
Money in politics
This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. <crpcontribdata>cid=N00000528&cycle=2006</crpcontribdata>
|Links to more campaign contribution information for Bernie Sanders
from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org site.
|Fundraising profile:||2006 election cycle||Career totals|
|Top contributors by organization/corporation:||2006 election cycle||Career totals|
|Top contributors by industry:||2006 election cycle||Career totals|
- Revolving door profile for Bernie Sanders from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org website.
- 2006 privately funded travel profile for Bernie Sanders from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org website.
- Personal finance profile for Bernie Sanders from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org website.
Committees and Affiliations
- Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
- Subcommittee on Energy
- Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests
- Subcommittee on National Parks
- Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works
- Subcommittee on Private Sector and Consumer Solutions to Global Warming and Wildlife Protection
- Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety
- Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
- Subcommittee on Children and Families
- Subcommittee on Retirement and Aging
- Senate Committee on the Budget
- Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs
Committee assignments in the 109th Congress (2005-2006)
- House Committee on Financial Services
- Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit - Ranking Minority Member
- Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity
- Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy Trade and Technology
- House Committee on Government Reform
- Subcommittee on Criminal Justice Drug Policy and Human Resources
- Subcommittee on National Security Emerging Threats and International Relations
Coalitions and Caucuses
- Co-Chair, Congressional Child Care Caucus,108th Congress
- Officer, Congressional Progressive Caucus, 108th Congress
- National Guard and Reserve Components Organization
- Co-Chair, Prescription Drug Task Force
Boards and other Affiliations
- Member, Coalition on Population and Development
- Member, Friends of Ireland
- Member, Northeast/Midwest Coalition
- International Advisory Council, International Labor Rights Fund
- Global Advisory Committee, Earth Day Network 
More Background Data
36 Chickering Drive, Suite 103
Brattleboro, VT 05301
1 Church Street, 2nd Floor
Burlington, VT 05401
2 Spring St.
Montpelier, VT 05602
Articles and resources
- Official website
- Campaign website
- Technorati Search: Bernie Sanders
- Google News Search: Bernie Sanders
- Yahoo! News Search: Bernie Sanders
- Power Trips: How much did Bernie Sanders travel?
- Open Secrets - 2006 congressional races database
- See how you compare to Bernie Sanders
- Progressive Budget Blueprinr and Petition
Local blogs and discussion sites
- Matt Taibbi, "Four Amendments and a Funeral," Rolling Stone, August 10, 2005.
- John Nichols, "Being Like Bernie," The Nation, August 15, 2005.
- Jerry Skurnik, " Congressional Elections - Good for the Jews (and the Buddhists)," Room Eight, November 8, 2006.
- Peter Freyne, "Bernie Meets Condi," Freyne Land Blog, January 31, 2007.
- Jon Queally, "Sanders Goes on Offense Against Austerity with 'Progressive Budget Blueprint'," Common Dreams, November 13, 2013.
Books and articles by Bernie Sanders
- Bernard Sanders and Huck Gutman,Outsider in the House (Verso, 1997), ISBN 1859848710.
- How a Bad Bill Becomes Law by Bernie Sanders
- The Collapse of the Middle Class by Bernie Sanders
- Falling Behind In Boom Times by Bernie Sanders
- Free Trade Means America's Biggest Export is its Jobs by Bernie Sanders
- Ground Control to Mr. Bush by Bernie Sanders
- A Year of Contrasts: Courage, Sacrifice and...Corporate Greed by Bernie Sanders
- The Export-Import Bank: Corporate Welfare At Its Worst by Bernie Sanders
- U.S. Needs A Political Revolution by Bernie Sanders
- Remote Control by Bernie Sanders
- Congress Can No Longer Ignore Corporate Control of the Media
- Censorship of the Media Creating Insidious Chill on Free Expression on our Airwaves by Bernie Sanders
- The USA Patriot Act: What Are You Reading? by Bernie Sanders
|Current Office: U.S. Senate|
Ranking Member On:
Ranking Member On:
|Committees: Senate Committee on the Budget, Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources/Subcommittee on Energy, Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources/Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests, Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources/Subcommittee on National Parks, Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works/Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety, Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works/Subcommittee on Private Sector and Consumer Solutions to Global Warming and Wildlife Protection, Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works/Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Senate Committee on Health Education Labor and Pensions, Senate Committee on Health Education Labor and Pensions/Subcommittee on Retirement and Aging, Senate Committee on Health Education Labor and Pensions/Subcommittee on Children and Families, Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs|
|First Elected to Current Office:
November 7, 2006
|First Took Current Office:
January 3, 2007
November 6, 2012
|Previous Political Work?
U.S. House of Representatives, Mayor of Burlington
|Other Party Membership:|
|Zip Code Affiliations:|
Date of Birth: September 8, 1941