Sanders: A sad, sad day for American democracy

By: Dom Amato; WCAX

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) – Vermont’s congressional delegation was inside the Capitol building on Wednesday when rioters moved in.

Sen. Bernie Sanders said he and other lawmakers were moved to a secured hearing room inside the Capitol, escorted by heavily armed FBI agents. “It was a very disturbing moment. This is the first time I think since the War of 1812 that our Capitol was ransacked by looters, by rioters. It was a sad, sad day for American democracy,” said Sanders, I-Vermont. Sanders said President Trump is responsible for the chaos.

Vermont’s congressional delegation has called for the president to resign or to be removed from office through the 25th Amendment, which would involve the vice president and cabinet members declaring him unfit for office.

President-Elect Joe Biden has selected Boston Mayor Marty Walsh as his labor secretary, a job Senator Bernie Sanders was under consideration for. Sanders says he spoke with Biden Thursday morning about the decision. Both agreed that with a 50-50 Senate, it was important for Sanders to stay in his role.

In the new Senate, Sanders expects to become the chairman of the Budget Committee, responsible for a more than $3-trillion federal budget.

“We will now be by the tiniest of margins, the majority party. I will be a chairman, Senator Leahy will be a chairman. And, we now have the opportunity to move this country forward with a very different set of priorities than we’ve seen in the last few years, so I feel fine,” said Sanders.

Sanders says one of the first actions of the budget committee will be drafting a new COVID relief bill that includes $2,000 payments to most Americans.