News September 14

Senator Sanders

The Fed President Barack Obama would face opposition from within his own party if he were to nominate Lawrence Summers to head the Federal Reserve. There is so much “Democratic antipathy to Mr. Summers that Mr. Obama will have to sweat on a bloc of Republican votes in the Senate to get him across the line,” according to Financial Times. Sens. Sherrod Brown and Jeff Merkley have indicated they will vote against Summers and Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren penned an op-ed entitled "Four questions for Fed chair candidates," including whether the nominee would "work to break up 'too-big-to-fail' financial institutions." LINK

Obama and the Left President Obama's push to use military force against the Syrian regime highlighted his many differences with liberals who believe the president has fallen short of his progressive mandate, according to Politico. Several progressives, including Sens. Sanders and Brown, did not back a military authorization bill and others, such as Rep. Alan Grayson, opposed it outright. LINK

Immigration Reform Sen. Sanders introduced three amendments to the Senate-passed immigration reform package aiming to ensure fair wages and working conditions for workers, Heather Gautney wrote in an op-ed for TruthoutLINK

Koch Brothers Charles and David Koch funneled $250 million to right-wing causes last year through a secretive organization called Freedom Partners which supports the United States Chamber of Commerce, Think Progress reported. The chamber consistently has supported the Export-Import Bank, which Sen. Sanders once called "corporate welfare at its worst." LINK

Sanders on Syria Sen. Sanders expressed his serious reservations about President Obama's plan for military strikes in Syria in his "Bernie Buzz" e-newsletter, Seven Days reported. The latest edition said Sanders "shares" widespread public opposition to the strikes. LINKLINK

Missile Defense Camp Ethan Allen in Vermont has been selected as a potential candidate for a United States missile defense system, National Journal reported. Sen. Sanders, alongside the rest of Vermont's congressional delegation and governor, opposes a plan to bring the missile defense system to the state. LINK


U.S.-Russia Talks on Syria’s Arms Make Progress President Obama will not insist on a United Nations Security Council resolution threatening Syria with military action, senior administration officials said Friday, as American and Russian negotiators meeting in Geneva moved closer to an agreement that would seek to ultimately strip Syria of its chemical weapons,The New York Times reported. Secret Syrian military units have been ordered to move stocks of poison gases and munitions to as many as 50 different locations to make them harder for the United States to track, The Wall Street Journal reported. LINKLINK

Taliban Attacks U.S. Diplomats in Afghanistan Taliban fighters attacked the United States consulate in Herat, Afghanistan on Friday, The Wall Street Journal reported. A truck of men carrying rocket-propelled grenades, suicide vests and assault rifles attacked the outpost. Security forces stopped the attack, which killed multiple Afghan civilians but no Americans. LINK


Minimum Wage The nation's most populous state passed legislation this week to raise its minimum wage to $10 an hour, the highest in the country, The Hill reported. Democrats were quick to praise the California measure and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi urged Congress to follow suit at the federal level. LINK

VA Health Care The Department of Veterans Affairs’ reputation took a beating this week at a congressional hearing over its handling of the nation's veterans health care system, The Washington Post reported. House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Chairman Jeff Miller held a hearing in Pittsburgh on Monday to hear heart-wrenching testimony from veterans and family members about their frustrations with the VA. LINK


St. Albans Downtown The city of St. Albans will press forward with plans to revive its downtown area through real estate deals, voter approval and government funding, theBurlington Free Press reported. City voters authorized a $13 million parking structure at a special election this week. Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin and state legislators have promised $5.5 million in funds for new St. Albans downtown office space. LINK

Solar Plans Scrapped Rockingham will no longer pursue a plan to create a 500-kilowatt solar facility on town-owned land due to the lapsing of the property's Act 250 permit, The Associated Press reported.LINK