News June 9

newspaperSenator Sanders

Smithsonian The National Museum of American History opened a gift shop selling only American-made merchandise "thanks to a determined senator," according to ABC News' Diane Sawyer. Sen. Bernie Sanders told her "every product sold in this gift shop is made in the United States of America and that's a significant change." LINK

Price of Freedom The Price of Freedom gift shop began selling only American-made gifts Wednesday. The change came after Sanders threatened to introduce legislation, USA Today and the Burlington Free Press reported. "I'm proud to see that in a short period of time, there have been changes," Sanders told The Washington Post. LINK, LINK and LINK

Made in America "We want to do everything that we can to encourage American manufacturing jobs." Sanders said on WPTZ-TV and other NBC stations. On WCAX-TV and WUSA-TV (DC), he said it "made no sense to me that a museum ... whose mission is to talk about our history and our culture was not doing everything it could to buy products made in this county by American workers."  "People want to see the growth of good-paying manufacturing jobs," Sanders told radio host Ed Schultz.  AUDIO, NBCVIDEO, WPTZVIDEO, WCAXVIDEO

Budget Sen. Sanders told Ed Schultz that balancing the budget on the backs of the sick, old, poor and children is "absolutely unacceptable." He told Wolf Blitzer on CNN that a Republican plan to decimate Medicare and Medicaid and give $1 trillion in tax breaks to the wealthy is "insane." CNNVIDEO and EDAUDIO

Swipe Fees The Senate voted Wednesday to leave in place federal rules that will cap the fees charged by banks each time a consumer swipes a debit card. Sen. Sanders voted against the attempt to roll back the rules, The Chicago Tribune reported. "It is incredible that these people on Wall Street who caused the recession are now trying to undo what was done in Dodd-Frank," Sanders told radio host Jeff Santos. LINK

Split with Obama Time magazine called the bid to backtrack on swipe fees the latest effort by vulnerable Democrats to repeal, amend or distance themselves from Obama's agenda. Earlier, for example, Sanders was the caucus's only in-cycle incumbent who didn't vote to repeal a health care provision. LINK

Libya "There are a lot of horrible things taking place all over this world, but we have enormous problems ourselves ... So I'm kind of conservative on getting involved in all kinds of wars abroad," Sen. Sanders told CNN. VIDEO

Afghanistan "We have a $1.5 trillion deficit. We're spending $100 billion a year on Afghanistan. A lot of it goes to rebuild that country. Well, you know what? I know a great country that needs to be rebuilt in terms of roads, bridges, schools. That is called the United States of America. CNN VIDEO

Solar Sen. Sanders lured Sens. Jeff Bingaman and John Boozman into co-sponsoring his measure aimed at sparking installation of solar power systems atop 10 million homes and businesses within the next decade, Reuters reported. LINK

Power of Prayer? Flood victim Roz Payne wanted help salvaging her belongings, but when she called Vermont's 2-1-1 help line she got a Baptist minister and his wife who didn't help move a thing but asked her to join in prayer. Payne was so peeved that she complained to Sens. Sanders and Leahy, Seven Days reported. LINK


Trouble Seen in Afghan Aid Effort The Senate Foreign Relations Committee questioned the benefit of billions of dollars worth of development aid pumped into Afghanistan, in a report issued Wednesday that called for an overhaul to the effort, The Wall Street Journal reported. LINK


Economy's Woes Shift Focus of Budget Talks Recent signs that the economic recovery is flagging have introduced a new tension into the bipartisan budget negotiations, giving rise to calls especially from liberals to limit the size of immediate spending cuts or even to provide an additional fiscal stimulus, The New York Times reported. LINK

Health Care A top Obama administration lawyer defending last year's health care law ran into skeptical questions Wednesday from three federal judges who suggested they may be ready to declare all or part of the law unconstitutional, The Washington Post reported. LINK

Warren Aide May Head Consumer Bureau The White House is considering naming a senior staffer at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to lead the agency as the deadline for its launch draws near, The Washington Post reported. LINK


Storms Almost 1,500 Vermont electric customers remain without power after overnight thunderstorms knocked down power lines in different parts of the state. The Central Vermont Public Service Corp. reported that at its peak Wednesday evening, about 11,000 customers were without power. LINK

Vermont Homeless The state spends $1 million a year putting people with housing emergencies temporarily in motels. Gov. Shumlin said it's time to find ways to move people to more permanent housing more quickly, the Burlington Free Press reported.  LINK

Economic Stress Chittenden County is one of the least economically stressed counties in the country, according to a new analysis conducted by The Associated Press. LINK