The Week in Review

Standing with the leadership of the AFL-CIO, AARP, the National Organization for Women and leading veterans and disability organizations – groups representing tens of millions of seniors, veterans, workers, women and the disabled – Bernie spoke out on Thursday against proposed cuts in Social Security and veterans benefits. On Tuesday, Sanders chaired a hearing on the shortage of primary care doctors. On Monday, he told a news conference in Vermont that a proposed moratorium on wind power projects in the state would send a “terrible message” to the rest of the country.

Hands Off Social Security and Veterans A remarkable coalition came together for a news conference in the Capitol on Thursday to oppose changing how inflation is calculated in a way that would take billions of dollars from retirees and disabled veterans. Watch news conference highlights »

Primary Care Crisis A shortage in primary care doctors and other providers will get worse when 30 million more people are insured next year under the Affordable Care Act. One in five sick Americans visits an emergency room for care that should have been rendered by a primary care physician resulting in higher health care costs and poorer outcomes for patients, according to a report prepared for Sanders’ Subcommittee on Primary Care and Aging. Read the report » Watch hearing highlights »

Global Warming A member of the U.S. Senate environment and energy committees, Sanders urged state lawmakers in Vermont to reject a three-year ban on wind power projects. “If Vermont ceases new wind development the message will go out all across the country, spread by the well-funded coal and oil companies, that even in Vermont – progressive Vermont – there is not a serious commitment to combating global warming,” Sanders said. Read the senator’s full statement »

Polluter Tax A Sanders proposal to tax carbon emissions would reduce the use of fossil fuels that contribute to climate change, encourage U.S. companies to move to cleaner forms of energy use, increase efficiency of existing fossil fuels, and help develop new technologies. Individuals and households would receive rebates to reduce or eliminate the impact of this tax on their energy bills. The revenue raised would be used to help invest in clean energy technologies and solve budget problems. What do you think?

Veteran Suicides “The suicide level for veterans is unacceptable,” Sanders said.  The chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs was responding to a report released on Friday by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The report said the percentage of veterans who die by suicide has decreased slightly since 1999 while the estimated total number of Veterans who have died by suicide has increased.  “What we’re seeing is an extraordinary tragedy which speaks to the horror of war and the need for us to do a much better job in assisting our soldiers and their families after they return home. The Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee will be working aggressively with the Department of Veterans Affairs to address this crisis,” Sanders added.