Bernie Sanders on Corporations

Democratic primry challenger; Socialist Senator; previously Representative (VT-At-Large)


Let's create America that works for all, not handful on top

People are anxious about the fact that they're seeing the new income and wealth going to the top 1 percent. They're saying the rich are getting richer, what are you going to do about it? Somebody like Trump comes along and says, "We hate Muslims, because Muslims are terrorists." I say to those who go to Trump's rallies: He thinks a low minimum wage is a good idea. I believe we stand together to address the real issues. Let's create an America that works for all of us, not the handful on top.
Source: 2015 ABC/WMUR Democratic primary debate in N.H. , Dec 19, 2015

If Teddy Roosevelt saw modern banks he'd say "break them up"

Q [to Clinton]: Sen. Sanders recently said, "People should be suspect of candidates who receive large sums of money from Wall Street." You?

CLINTON: You can look at what I did in the Senate. I've laid out a very aggressive plan to rein in Wall Street-- not just the big banks. We have to go after what is called the shadow banking industry. Those hedge funds. I want to look at the whole problem; my proposal is much more comprehensive than anything else that's been put forth.

Q: Sen. Sanders, you said that the donations to Secretary Clinton are compromising. So what did you think of her answer?

SANDERS: Not good enough. Let's not be naive about it. Over her political career has Wall Street been the major campaign contributor to Hillary Clinton? You know, maybe they're dumb and they don't know what they're going to get, but I don't think so. If Teddy Roosevelt, a good Republican, were alive today, you know what he'd say? "Break them up." Reestablish Glass-Steagall. And Teddy Roosevelt is right.

Source: 2015 CBS Democratic primary debate in Iowa , Nov 14, 2015

Fix estate tax so mega-rich pay their fair share

Currently the super-rich and the largest corporations in America don't pay their fair share of taxes, which means there's not enough funding for programs that will alleviate systemic inequalities. The tax code needs to be reformed to enable us to break out of this vicious cycle and enable more people to have economic opportunities and build a more equitable economy. Bernie says, "If you have seen a massive transfer of wealth from the middle class to the top 1/10 of 1%, you know what, we've got to transfer that back if we're going to have a vibrant middle class. And you do that in a lot of ways. Certainly one way is tax policy."
    How would that tax policy work? Bernie has many ideas, but here are some major planks of his plan for more equitable taxation:
  1. Progressive income taxes on the richest Americans.
  2. Fixing the estate tax so mega-rich families pay their fair share.
  3. Taxing corporations more fairly, including addressing tax havens.
  4. Taxing Wall Street speculation.
Source: 2016 grassroots campaign website FeelTheBern.org, "Issues" , Sep 5, 2015

If a bank is too big to fail, it is too big to exist

No single financial institution should have holdings so extensive that its failure would send the world economy into crisis. If an institution is too big to fail, it is too big to exist and that is the bottom line. Today, just six huge financial institutions have assets of nearly $10 trillion which is equal to nearly 60% of GDP. These huge banks handle more than 2/3 of all credit card purchases, write over 35% of the mortgages, and control nearly half of all bank deposits. This bill would require regulators to establish a "Too Big To Fail" list of financial institutions and other huge entities whose failure would pose a catastrophic risk on the US economy without a taxpayer bailout. This list must include, but is not limited to: JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, and Morgan Stanley. Within a year, the Treasury Secretary would be required to break up financial institutions on this list so that they cannot cause another financial crisis ever again.
Source: The Essential Bernie Sanders, by Jonathan Tasini, p. 48-9 , May 6, 2015

Worker-owned cooperatives instead of corporate tax breaks

We need to develop new economic models to increase job creation and productivity. Instead of giving huge tax breaks to corporations which ship our jobs to China and other low-wage countries, we need to provide assistance to workers who want to purchase their own businesses by establishing worker-owned cooperatives. When workers have an ownership stake in the businesses they work for, productivity goes up, absenteeism goes down and employees are much more satisfied with their jobs.
Source: 2016 presidential campaign website, BernieSanders.com , Mar 21, 2015

Bank bailout was socialism for the rich

After the banking crisis of 2008, we got alarmed and we passed regulations. The only problem is, we passed regulations on the banks that weren't involved and gave more power to the bank that was involved--the Fed. No bank in Kentucky failed during this crisis, yet Dodd-Frank pummeled our small community banks with crippling regulations. What we really needed was more oversight of the Fed, not small community banks.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and I don't agree on much, but I thought he did a great job of describing the Fed and the bank bailouts as: "A clear case of socialism for the rich; and rugged-you're-on-your-own-individualism for everyone else."

The Fed, with unlimited ability to print money, now prints that money to lobby against Congressional oversight. It is a disgrace and every citizen in the land should rise up and say: We the people are in charge and we demand an audit!

Source: Article: Audit/End the Fed, by Rand Paul, on Breitbart.com , Feb 10, 2015

Americans want change: corporations get rich & people don't

Q: You said: "It is essential to have someone in the 2016 presidential campaign who is willing to take on Wall Street, address the collapse of the middle class, tackle the spread of poverty." If you thought Hillary Clinton were doing that, you wouldn't be considering running?

SANDERS: I know that the middle class in this country is collapsing. I know that the gap between the very, very rich and everybody else is growing wider. I know there is profound anger at the greed on Wall Street and corporate America. Anger at the political establishments. Anger at the media establishment.

Q: But if Hillary Clinton were speaking more robustly on these issues...

SANDERS: The issue is not Hillary. The question is: At a time when so many people have seen a decline in their standard of living, when the wealthiest people and largest corporations are doing phenomenally well, the American people want change. So, let Hillary speak for herself. I know where I'm coming from.

Source: Meet the Press 2014 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Sep 14, 2014

Investigate huge dairy processors for anti-trust violations

The huge dairy processors, such as Dean Foods and Dairy Farmers of America, to my mind siphon off most of the money from dairy. When the price of milk drops, prices to consumers don't drop: the middlemen and the retailers get wealthy. Farmers, especially modest-size family farms like those we have in Vermont, get little. The price of and demand for milk today is overly controlled by just a few uncompetitive corporate giants, most often through speculation on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The Department of Justice, at my request, has investigated Dean Foods for antitrust violations. Dean Foods has paid settlements to farmers to resolve the legal situation, but in my view the virtual monopoly over milk continues. There is something very wrong when large processors reap large profits, and family farmers--who can barely survive, or must sell their farms.
Source: Sanders Intro to `Milk Money`, by Kirk Kardashian, p. x-xi , Oct 9, 2012

Corporations do not have First Amendment rights

In my view, a corporation is not a person. In my view, a corporation does not have first amendment rights to spend as much money as it wants, without disclosure, on a political campaign. In my view, corporations should not be able to go into their treasuries and spend millions and millions of dollars on a campaign in order to buy elections.

I do not believe that is what American democracy is supposed to be about.

In my view, history will record that the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision is one of the worst decisions ever made by a Supreme Court in the history of our country. While the campaign finance system we had before Citizens United was, in my view, a disaster, as a result of Citizens United, that bad situation has become much worse

Source: The Essential Bernie Sanders, by Jonathan Tasini, p. 73 , Dec 8, 2011

Greed is addictive; their sickness hurts country terribly

These cry babies, these multimillionaires and billionaires, they are crying and crying, but the effective tax rate for the top 400 income earners was cut almost in half from 1992 to 2007.

The point that needs to be made is, when is enough enough? Greed, in my view, is like a sickness. It is like an addiction. They can't stop. But I would hope that these people who are worth millions of dollars will look around and say: "There is something more important than the richest people becoming richer when we have the highest rate of childhood poverty in the industrialized world." Maybe they will understand that they are Americans, part of a great nation which is in trouble today. Maybe they have to go back to the Bible, whatever they believe in, and understand there is virtue in sharing. This greed, this reckless, uncontrollable greed is almost like a disease which is hurting this country terribly. During the Bush years, the wealthiest 400 Americans saw their wealth increase by some $400 billion.

Source: The Speech: A Historic Filibuster, by Bernie Sanders , Dec 10, 2010

Small banks did just fine during financial crisis

Under [Fed chairman] Volcker's plan: JPMorganChase would have to give up their trading operations. Bank of America and Merrill Lynch would go back to being separate companies. Goldman Sachs could no longer be a bank holding company. That is exactly what needs to be happening.

I come from a small State. We have community banks. Here is the irony: The banks in Vermont, in the midst of all of this financial disaster, did just fine. They are small, locally owned banks. They know the people they lend money to. The CEOs are not making millions of dollars in profit. They know their community. Now, I may be old-fashioned like Mr. Volcker, but I think that is what banking is about: to lend out money to people in the productive economy, to the business community, who can use the money to expand and create jobs; to homeowners who need that money to buy a home, not to be living in your own world engaged in a huge gambling casino producing and selling worthless products nobody understands.

Source: The Speech: A Historic Filibuster, by Bernie Sanders , Dec 10, 2010

Deregulation led to incredible greed of $39B in CEO bonuses

In our country today we have the most unequal distribution of income and wealth of any major country on Earth, with the top 1% earning more income than the bottom 50%, and the top 1% owning more wealth than the bottom 90%. We are living at a time when we have seen a massive transfer of wealth from the middle class to the very wealthiest people in this country; when, among others, CEO's of Wall Street firms receive unbelievable amounts in bonuses, including $39 billion in bonuses in the year 2007 alone for just the 5 major investment houses. We have seen the incredible greed of the financial service industry manifested in the hundreds of millions of dollars they have spent on campaign contributions and lobbyists in order to deregulate their industry so hedge funds and other unregulated financial institutions could flourish. We have seen them play with trillions and trillions of dollars in esoteric financial instruments in unregulated industries which no more than a handful of people even understand.
Source: Outsider in the White House, by Bernie Sanders, p.323 , Oct 1, 2008

Cap deductions for CEO pay; count perks as profit

In 1995, I introduced HR 2534, the Corporate Responsibility Act, which contained many of these provisions. While the fight against corporate welfare has been led by progressives in Congress, we've also had support from honest conservatives who are rightfully appalled at this waste of taxpayer dollars. As a result, the concept of corporate welfare is now filtering into the mainstream, and some legislation has been passed which is beginning to chip away at this outrageous waste of money.
Source: Outsider in the House, by Bernie Sanders, p. 208-10 , Jun 17, 1997

In 1980s, wealthiest 1% got 2/3 of all wealth increases

When I first ran for Congress, I asked the people of VT to send me to Washington so that I could fight for those people who can't afford to attend $500-a-person fundraisers; and who can't afford to have well-paid lobbyists in Washington protecting their interests. That's the promise that I made, and that's the promise that I've kept.

During the 1980s, the top 1% of wealth holders in this country enjoyed 2/3 of all increases in financial wealth. The bottom 80% ended up with less real financial wealth in 1989 than in 1983--and that trend continues. Today, tragically, the US has the most unfair distribution of wealth and income in the entire industrialized world.

Source: Outsider in the House, by Bernie Sanders, p. 47 , Jun 17, 1997

The needs of the rich & large corporations are never ignored

The problem with Washington, and politics in the US, is NOT that ordinary people have too much power and influence. It's not that the needs of the rich and large corporations are ignored. The problem is that groups representing the wealthiest people in this country are able to decisively influence the legislative process so that public policy reflects the interests of the privileged few and not the needs of the general population.
Source: Outsider in the House, by Bernie Sanders, p. 75-6 , Jun 17, 1997

Bernie Sanders on Banking Reform

The auto industry bill was really a bailout for Wall Street

CLINTON: Let's talk about the auto bailout. In 2008, we were both in the Senate, there was a vote on a free-standing bill to rescue the auto industry. We both voted for it. Unfortunately, it did not succeed. A month later, a new piece of legislation was offered that contained the money that would be used for the auto rescue. I voted for it. It was a hard vote. But the fact is the money that rescued the auto industry was in that bill.

SANDERS: The bill that Secretary Clinton is talking about was the bailout of the recklessness, irresponsibility and illegal behavior of Wall Street. It was the Wall Street bailout. And I find it interesting that when Secretary Clinton, who was the former senator of New York, of course, when she defended her vote, she said, "Well, it's going to help the big banks in New York. Those are my constituents." And then you go to Detroit and suddenly this legislation helps the automobile workers.

Source: 2016 PBS Democratic primary debate in Miami , Mar 9, 2016

If we don't break up banks, we'll be bailing them out again

The business model of Wall Street is fraud. It's fraud. I believe that corruption is rampant, and the fact that major bank after major bank has reached multi-billion dollar settlements with the United States government when we have a weak regulator system tells me that not only did we have to bail them out once, if we don't start breaking them up, we're going to have to bail them out again, and I do not want to see that happen.
Source: MSNBC Democratic primary debate in New Hampshire , Feb 4, 2016

Corporate America & Wall Street won't like President Sanders

Q: Fortune Magazine put you on its cover with the headline "Business Loves Hillary," pointing out your support for many CEOs in corporate America. Eight years later, should corporate America love Hillary Clinton?

CLINTON: Everybody should. I want to be the president for the striving and the successful. I want to make sure the wealthy pay their fair share,

Q: Will corporate America love a President Sanders?

SANDERS: No, I think they won't. So Hillary and I have a difference. The CEOs of large multinationals may like Hillary. They ain't going to like me and Wall Street is going to like me even less. We need an economy that works for the middle class, not just a handful of billionaires, and I will fight and lead to make that happen.

CLINTON: There are currently two hedge fund billionaires running ads against me here in N.H. Now, why are they running ads against me? And the answer is: Because they know I will go right after them.

Source: 2015 ABC/WMUR Democratic primary debate in N.H. , Dec 19, 2015

Wall Street will not be in my Cabinet; their model is fraud

Secy. CLINTON: If the big banks don't play by the rules, I will break them up.

SANDERS: With all due respect to the secretary, Wall Street play by the rules? Who are we kidding? The business model of Wall Street is fraud. That's what it is. Let me make this promise. Whether it's Republican administrations or Democratic administrations, we have seen Wall Street and Goldman Sachs dominate administrations. Here's my promise: Wall Street representatives will not be in my cabinet.

CLINTON: I represented Wall Street and I worked closely with New Yorkers after 9/11 to rebuild.

SANDERS: Many of us supported you in trying to rebuild that devastation. But at the end of the day, Wall Street today has enormous economic and political power. Their business model is greed and fraud. And for the sake of our economy, the major banks must be broken up.

Source: 2015 CBS Democratic primary debate in Iowa , Nov 14, 2015

I'm not part of casino capitalism that wrecked our economy

Q: Do you consider yourself a capitalist?

SANDERS: Every other major country providing health care to all people as a right, except the United States. You see every other major country saying we are going to have medical and family paid leave. I think we should look to countries like Denmark and learn from what they have accomplished for their working people. Do I consider myself part of the casino capitalist process by which so few have so much and so many have so little by which Wall Street's greed and recklessness wrecked this economy? No, I don't. I believe in a society where all people do well. Not just a handful of billionaires.

CLINTON: What Senator Sanders is saying certainly makes sense in the terms of the inequality that we have. But we are not Denmark. We are the United States of America.

Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas , Oct 13, 2015

Fraud is the business model of Wall Street

The greed and recklessness and illegal behavior of Wall Street, where fraud is a business model, helped to destroy this economy and the lives of millions. In the 1990s, when the Republican leadership and Wall Street spent billions in lobbying, when Alan Greenspan said, "what a great idea it would be to allow these huge banks to merge," Bernie Sanders fought them, and helped lead the opposition to deregulation.
Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas , Oct 13, 2015

Make Wall Street bail out Wall Street; but middle class did

Hank Paulson & Ben Bernanke came in, and said, "The economy is going to collapse because Wall Street is going under." And you know what I said? "Your millionaire and billionaire friends caused this problem. How about your millionaire and billionaire friends paying for the bailout, not working families?" It was wrong to ask the middle class to bail out Wall Street. I want Wall Street now to help kids in this country go to public colleges and universities, free with a Wall Street speculation tax.
Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas , Oct 13, 2015

Wall Street business model is a fraud & led us to recession

Q: You said that the same old, same old cannot win.

SANDERS: People do not understand why the middle class of this country is collapsing at the same time as almost all of the new income and wealth is going to the top 1%. People do not like the idea that, as a result of Citizens United, our campaign finance system has become corrupt and politicians are dependent upon super PACs and billionaires for money. People want us to deal with climate change, make college affordable. Those are the issues I have been talking about.

Q: You also talk about taking on the billionaire class. Give us some specifics.

SANDERS: I think that the business model of Wall Street is fraud. And I think these guys drove us into the worst economic downturn into the modern history of America. I think they're at it again. I believe that, when you have so few banks with so much power, you have to not only reestablish Glass-Steagall, but you have got to break them up.

Source: CNN SOTU 2015 interview series: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Aug 30, 2015

Casino-type capitalism causes devastating problems

Q: Do you agree with the Pope's harsh condemnation of capitalism?

SANDERS: I think what the pope has been saying in a very profound and deep way is that casino-type capitalism is causing devastating problems not only in terms of our climate but in terms of income and wealth inequality. The pope is saying there's something wrong internationally where almost all of the new wealth in this world is going to people on the top and so many other people are falling by the wayside. So, yes, I think that Pope Francis has played an extraordinary role; he has been a voice of conscience all over the world, speaking out for those people who don't have a voice, those people who are suffering. And what are you saying, enough is enough. Money cannot be the God of life. We have got to look at our kids, look at those people who are hurting; we've got to come together to create a new world and not a world in which a handful of people have so much wealth and so many other people are suffering.

Source: CBS Face the Nation 2015 coverage:2016 presidential hopefuls , Jul 12, 2015

Break up major Wall Street firms

The function of banking is to facilitate the flow of capital into productive and job-creating activities. Financial institutions cannot be an island unto themselves, standing as huge profit centers outside of the real economy. Today, six huge Wall Street financial institutions have assets equivalent to 61 percent of our gross domestic product--over $9.8 trillion. These institutions underwrite more than half the mortgages in this country and more than two-thirds of the credit cards. The greed, recklessness and illegal behavior of major Wall Street firms plunged this country into the worst financial crisis since the 1930s. They are too powerful to be reformed. They must be broken up.
Source: 2016 presidential campaign website, BernieSanders.com , Mar 21, 2015

Break up the Wall Street giants; they can't be reformed

Taking on Wall Street:
The function of banking is to facilitate the flow of capital into productive and job-creating activities. Financial institutions cannot be an island unto themselves, standing as huge profit centers outside of the real economy. Today, six huge Wall Street financial institutions have assets equivalent to 61 percent of our gross domestic product--over $9.8 trillion. These institutions underwrite more than half the mortgages in this country and more than two-thirds of the credit cards. The greed, recklessness and illegal behavior of major Wall Street firms plunged this country into the worst financial crisis since the 1930s.
Source: 12 Steps Forward, by Sen. Bernie Sanders , Jan 15, 2015

Crooks on Wall Street started Great Recession & got richer

In the midst of the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s, the middle class is collapsing and poverty is increasing. Meanwhile, the people at the top are doing phenomenally well. The crooks on the Wall Street whose greed precipitated this recession are now earning more money than before the American people bailed them out. The top once percent in our country now earn over 23 percent of all income, more than the bottom 50 percent. The U.S. today has by far the most unequal distribution of income and wealth of any major country on earth and the gap between the very rich and everyone else is growing wider.
Source: Sanders Introduction to `Playing Bigger`, by S. Acuff, p. 2 , Nov 8, 2012

Bernie Sanders on Voting Record

Regrets vote to deregulate swaps and derivatives

Hillary Clinton said, "I'm the only one on this stage who did not vote to deregulate swaps and derivatives, as Senator Sanders did, which led to a lot of the problems that we had with Lehman Brothers." Did Bernie Sanders vote to deregulate swaps & derivatives? Bustle.com says:

"Clinton's claim is unavoidably true. In 2000, Sanders voted for the Commodity Futures Modernization Act. The act prevented the government from regulating credit default swaps and the trading of financial derivatives. Swaps like these, which are a type of financial derivative, were largely vilified during the financial meltdown of 2008. Sanders was far from the only Democrat who voted for the bill. It passed the House by a wide margin: Only four representatives did not vote for it. Not to mention, Clinton's husband, then-president Bill Clinton, supported the bill and signed it into law."

Bernie now says he regrets that vote, but Hillary was accurate.

Source: OnTheIssues FactCheck: 2016 Dem. primary debate in Brooklyn , Apr 15, 2016

Stop $31M Pentagon payments for corporate mergers

One of Burlington's largest employers was Martin Marietta. When that defense contractor merged with Lockheed to form Lockheed-Martin, I was more than usually attuned to the implication of that deal--the downsizing of 17,000 American workers. For making the "tough decision" to fire all those workers, the executives of the newly merged company decided to pay themselves $91 million in executive bonuses. $91 million as a reward for obliterating 17,000 jobs.

Now, a $91 million bonus for executives who were laying off 17,000 workers is obscene enough. Fully 1/3 of that money, $31 million, was to come from the Pentagon as "restructuring costs." As soon as I learned about this outrageous federal giveaway, I drafted an amendment to prevent the Pentagon from paying the bonus. Imagine: workers thrown out of their jobs paying taxes so that the bastards who fired them could stuff their pockets. We termed the legislation the "payoffs for layoffs" amendment. The amendment passed by voice vote.

Source: Outsider in the House, by Bernie Sanders, p.103-4 , Jun 17, 1997

Voted NO on replacing illegal export tax breaks with $140B in new breaks.

Vote to pass a bill that would repeal an export tax break for U.S. manufacturers ruled an illegal trade subsidy by the World Trade Organization, while providing for about $140 billion in new corporate tax cuts. Revenue raising offsets would decrease the cost of the bill to $34.4 billion over 11 years. It would consist of a buyout for tobacco farmers that could not go over $9.6 billion. It also would allow the IRS to hire private collection agencies to get back money from taxpayers, and require individuals who claim a tax deduction for a charitable donation of a vehicle to obtain an independent appraisal of the car.
Reference: American Jobs Creation Act; Bill HR 4520 ; vote number 2004-259 on Jun 17, 2004

Voted NO on Bankruptcy Overhaul requiring partial debt repayment.

Vote to pass a bill that would make it easier for courts to change debtors from Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which allows most debts to be dismissed, to Chapter 13, which requires a repayment plan.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Gekas, R-PA; Bill HR 333 ; vote number 2001-25 on Mar 1, 2001

Require Code of Conduct for US corporations abroad.

Sanders co-sponsored requiring Code of Conduct for US corporations abroad

OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: Requires any national of the United States that employs more than 20 persons in a foreign country, either directly or through subsidiaries or licensees, to take the necessary steps to implement a Corporate Code of Conduct with respect to the employment of those persons.


    The Congress finds the following:
  1. On 1/31/1999, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan challenged world business leaders to 'embrace and enact' the Global Compact, an agreement that asks corporations to protect human rights, labor rights, and the environment.
  2. In a recent poll, 88% of the respondents agreed that 'American companies that operate in other countries should be expected to abide by US environmental standards.'.
  3. The European Parliament has passed a European Code of Conduct calling for European businesses to abide by European Union laws in operations outside of Europe.
  4. The protests in 2000 against the WTO in Seattle, and the World Bank and IMF in Washington, D.C., demonstrate a growing constituency against the unregulated expansion of globalization.
  5. Unfortunately, too many US businesses with operations abroad are notorious for their blatant disregard for the well being of the citizens of their host nations who are employees of the businesses.
  1. Provide a safe and healthy workplace.
  2. Ensure fair employment, including the prohibition of the use of child and forced labor, the prohibition of discrimination, the right to bargain collectively, and the payment of a living wage to all workers.
  3. Prohibit mandatory overtime work by employees under the age of 18.
  4. Prohibit the practice of pregnancy testing of employees.
  5. Comply with minimum international human rights standards.

LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Referred to House Subcommittee on International Monetary Policy and Trade; never came to a vote.

Source: Corporate Code of Conduct Act (H.R.2782) 01-HR2782 on Aug 2, 2001

Rated 14% by the US COC, indicating an anti-business voting record.

Sanders scores 14% by US Chamber of Commerce on business policy

Whether you own a business, represent one, lead a corporate office, or manage an association, the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of AmericaSM provides you with a voice of experience and influence in Washington, D.C., and around the globe.

Our members include businesses of all sizes and sectors—from large Fortune 500 companies to home-based, one-person operations. In fact, 96% of our membership encompasses businesses with fewer than 100 employees.

Mission Statement:

"To advance human progress through an economic, political and social system based on individual freedom, incentive, initiative, opportunity, and responsibility."
The ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.
Source: COC website 03n-COC on Dec 31, 2003

Expand lending caps for credit unions to small business.

Sanders co-sponsored Small Business Lending Enhancement Act

Congressional Summary:

Supporter's Comments: (by CUNA, a pro-credit union organization)
America's small businesses are the engine of growth of our nation's economy. The effects of the financial crisis of the past few years have spread to all types of lending, resulting in a reduction in the availability of business credit. At a time when banks are withdrawing credit from America's small businesses, credit unions have actually been expanding credit to small businesses, but with more credit unions approaching the cap, this growth is threatened. Congress should enact legislation which increases the credit union member business lending cap from 12.25% of assets to 27.5% for well-capitalized credit unions

Opponent's Comments: (by the Independent Community Banks of America, Nov. 15, 2012)
The tax-subsidized credit union industry is pressing for doubling the statutory cap Congress placed on member business loans. Shifting assets from tax-paying banks to tax-exempt credit unions would reduce tax revenue to the government; the CBO estimates the revenue impact at $354 million over 10 years. We believe that banks are currently meeting the needs of credit-worthy businesses, as substantiated by numerous business surveys.

Source: HR1418 /S2231 12-S2231 on Mar 22, 2012

Rated 86% by UFCW, indicating an anti-management/pro-labor record.

Sanders scores 86% by UFCW on labor-management issues

The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) is North America's Neighborhood Union--1.3 million members with UFCW locals in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Canada. Our members work in supermarkets, drug stores, retail stores, meatpacking and meat processing plants, food processing plants, and manufacturing workers who make everything from fertilizer to shoes. We number over 60,000 strong with 25,000 workers in chemical production and 20,000 who work in garment and textile industries.

    The UFCW Senate scorecard is based on these key votes:
  1. American Jobs Act (+)
  2. Balanced Budget Amendment (-)
  3. Rejecting Cut, Cap, and Balance (+)
  4. Repeal Health Care Law (-)
  5. Sen. Am. 14 Wicker Am. to S 223, excluding unionization at TSA (-)
  6. Sen. Am. 740 McCain Am. to HR 2112, defunding TAA (-)
  7. Trade Adjustment Assistance Extension Act (TAA) (+)
Source: UFCW website 12-UFCW-S on May 2, 2012

Corporate political spending is not free speech.

Sanders sponsored Constitutional Amendment to overturn Citizens United

Constitutional Amendment

  1. Whereas the right to vote in public elections belongs only to natural persons, so shall the ability to make contributions and expenditures to influence the outcome of public elections belong only to natural persons.
  2. Nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to restrict the power of Congress and the States to protect the integrity and fairness of the electoral process, limit the corrupting influence of private wealth in public elections, and guarantee the dependence of elected officials on the people alone by taking actions which may include the establishment of systems of public financing for elections, or the imposition of requirements to ensure the disclosure of [election] contributions and expenditures.
  3. Nothing in this Article shall be construed to alter the freedom of the press.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:[Supreme Court majority opinion in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, for which the Constitutional Amendment is proposed as a remedy. The FEC had ruled that the movie "Hillary", released in 2008 to persuade voters against Hillary Clinton, was illegal because it was a disguised campaign contribution made by a corporation. The Supreme Court overruled the FEC]:

Modern day movies might portray public officials in unflattering ways. Yet if a covered transmission [is broadcast] during the blackout period, a felony occurs solely because a corporation, [instead of a candidate or donors, paid] in order to engage in political speech. Speech would be suppressed in the realm where its necessity is most evident: in the public dialogue preceding a real election. Governments are often hostile to speech, but it seems stranger than fiction for our Government to make this political speech a crime. Some members of the public might consider Hillary to be insightful and instructive; some might find it to be [unfair]; those assessments, however, are not for the Government to make.

Source: H.J.RES.34 / S.J.RES.11 14_SJR11 on Mar 13, 2013

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CA: Sanchez(D) vs.Harris(D) vs.Chavez(R) vs.Del Beccaro(R) vs.Sundheim(R) vs.Brannon(R)
CO: Bennet(D) vs.Glenn(R) vs.Neville(R) vs.Frazier(R) vs.Keyser(R) vs.Littleton(R)
CT: Blumenthal(D) vs.Carter(R) vs.Orchulli(R) vs.Kudlow(R) vs.Wolf(R) vs.Foley(R)
FL: Rubio(R) vs.Murphy(D) vs.Grayson(D) vs.Keith(D) vs.DeSantis(R) vs.Cantera(R)
GA: Isakson(R) vs.Barksdale(D) vs.Buckley(L) vs.Barrow(D) vs.Grayson(R)
HI: Schatz(D) vs.Carroll(R) vs.Pirkowski(R) vs.Cavasso(R)
IA: Grassley(R) vs.Judge(D) vs.Fiegen(D) vs.Hogg(D) vs.Krause(D)
ID: Crapo(R) vs.Sturgill(D) vs.Pro-Life(C) vs.LaRocco(D)
IL: Kirk(R) vs.Duckworth(D) vs.Harris(D) vs.Zopp(D)
IN: Bayh(D) vs.Young(R) vs.Stutzman(R) vs.Hill(D) vs.Holcomb(R) vs.Bosma(R)
KS: Moran(R) vs.Wiesner(D) vs.Orman(I)
KY: Paul(R) vs.Gray(D) vs.Conway(D)
LA: Fleming(R) vs.Kennedy(D) vs.Campbell(D) vs.Boustany(R) vs.Maness(R) vs.Cao(R)
MD: Van Hollen(D) vs.Szeliga(R) vs.Flowers(G) vs.Douglas(R) vs.Steele(R)
MO: Blunt(R) vs.Kander(D)
NC: Burr(R) vs.Ross(D) vs.Brannon(R) vs.Haugh(L) vs.Rey(D) vs.Wright(R)
ND: Hoeven(R) vs.Glassheim(D) vs.Marquette(L)
NH: Ayotte(R) vs.Hassan(D) vs.Rubens(R)
NV: Cortez-Masto(D) vs.Heck(R) vs.Angle(R)
NY: Schumer(D) vs.Long(R)
OH: Portman(R) vs.Strickland(D) vs.Sittenfeld(D)
OK: Lankford(R) vs.Workman(D) vs.Johnson(D)
OR: Wyden(D) vs.Callahan(R) vs.Stine(D)
PA: Toomey(R) vs.McGinty(D) vs.Stern(R) vs.Sestak(D) vs.Fetterman(D)
SC: Scott(R) vs.Dixon(D)
SD: Thune(R) vs.Williams(D)
UT: Lee(R) vs.Snow(D) vs.Swinton(D)
VT: Leahy(D) vs.Milne(R)
WA: Murray(D) vs.Vance(R)
WI: Johnson(R) vs.Feingold(D) vs.Lorge(R)
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Page last updated: Aug 30, 2016