The Week in Review
January 21, 2011
President Obama on Friday put a person in charge of creating jobs in America who has been outspoken in the past about jobs - in China. With Chinese President Hu's state visit to the United States as a backdrop, Sanders questioned why the National Museum of American History gift shop sells presidential busts "crafted in China." The new Republican majority in the House repealed the new health care law, but the bill that would take insurance away from 32 million Americans is likely to hit a dead end in the Senate. As Obama put finishing touches on next Tuesday's State of the Union address, Sanders and a coalition of seniors' organizations urged him to keep his promise to protect Social Security.
State of the Union Social Security faces new threats from the Republican-controlled House and newly-elected ultra-conservatives in the Senate. In advance of President Obama's State of the Union address next Tuesday, Sanders urged him to keep his campaign promise to preserve the "strong and vibrant" system that serves more than 52 million Americans. Sanders also is forming a congressional caucus to protect Social Security. By extremely lopsided margins, thousands of you in our latest survey opposed raising the retirement age and favor lifting the cap on wages subject to the payroll tax. What's your opinion? To take the survey, click here. To read the letter to the president, click here. To read about the caucus, click here. To watch a video on Obama's statement on Social Security produced by the Campaign for America's Future, click here.
Jobs Obama on Friday appointed Jeffrey Immelt, the chief executive of General Electric, to head a new White House board to foster private-sector job growth. Immelt in the past has been outspoken about job growth, not so much in the United States as in China. "I hope he changes his mind and focuses on rebuilding the manufacturing sector here in the United States, not in China, and in the process creates millions of good-paying jobs," Sanders said on Friday during a visit to Windsor, Vt., a once-thriving industrial community in Vermont's Connecticut River Valley. To watch Sanders discuss Immelt and jobs, click here.
Made in China As President Hu Jintao of China traveled to Washington, D.C., and Chicago for a state visit, Sanders questioned why the busts of American presidents sold to tourists at the National Museum of American History are made in China. He called the symbolism both "extraordinary" and "pretty pathetic." The director of the Smithsonian museum told the senator he was sensitive to the issue and would look for more American-made merchandise for the museum store.
Health Care in Vermont Vermont could provide every resident with health insurance, improve care and save money with a single-payer system, a health consultant told state lawmakers Wednesday. During a Statehouse conference on Tuesday, Sen. Sanders said he will introduce a bill to authorize federal waivers for Vermont to adopt a Medicare-for-all, single-payer system three years sooner than the current law allows. "Here in Vermont, I can tell you we are looking forward to being the first state in the country to pass a Medicare-for-all single-payer system," Sanders told Ed Schultz on MSNBC. To watch, click here. To read more, click here.
Health Care in the House The House voted Wednesday to repeal last year's landmark health care overhaul. The bill faced an almost-certain dead end in the Senate. "I can assure the American people that health care reform is not going to be repealed. It should not be repealed. In fact, it should be made stronger," Sanders said. "We are certainly not going to deny 32 million more Americans health insurance. We`re not going to deny 20 million more Americans access to community health centers. We`re not going to do away with coverage for pre-existing conditions and the right of young people to be able to be part of their family`s insurance programs.
Mega Media Monopoly In back to back actions on Tuesday, the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice approved Comcast's bid to take control of NBC Universal from General Electric. Sanders fought this merger which will create a huge media monopoly in the United States and drive up cable rates. "At a time when a small number of giant media corporations already control what the American people see, hear, and read, we do not need another conglomerate with more control over the production and distribution of news and other programming. The mega-merger of Comcast and NBC Universal will lead to less local news coverage, fewer points of view, and reduced competition for viewers and advertising, not just in Comcast's network but throughout the country. To read more, click here.