News September 2

Senator Sanders

Disaster Declared The White House on Thursday declared a major disaster area in flood-ravaged Vermont. Appearing earlier Thursday on The Diane Rehm Show, Sen. Bernie Sanders said "the federal government is beginning to respond in a serious way" and "we're very appreciative of what they have done." AUDIO

Delegation Urged Swift Action Vermont's congressional delegation had pressed Obama to make a speedy decision, the Burlington Free Press reported. "Our small state is stretched to the limit and needs both immediate and ongoing assistance in recovering from these enormous setbacks," wrote Sens. Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders and Rep. Peter Welch. LINK

Off Base on Offsets "As we have done time and time again, the U.S. government must be there for disaster relief no matter what part of America is impacted. I find the argument made by Congressman Eric Cantor, calling for funding offsets as a condition of disaster relief funds, very curious," Sen. Sanders said in USA TodayLINK

Cantor's Cuts The House Republic leader, who wants to cut FEMA's budget 6 percent and slash funds for first responders by 40 percent, would condition disaster funding on cuts in other government programs. "Nobody expressed more outrage at Cantor's cold-hearted response than Vermont's Sen. Bernie Sanders," wrote Bill Press in a column published by the Orlando Sentinel and NewsdayLINK and LINK

Sanders' Scorn Sen. Sanders "had nothing but scorn for Cantor's idea that money spent by FEMA requires cuts elsewhere in the budget," the Times Argus and Rutland Herald said in an editorial. LINK and LINK

Callous Cantor "The callous comments about disaster relief in recent days by Cantor ... infuriated Bernie Sanders, the independent Vermont senator touring his inundated state, who told Carl Hulse of The Times that coming together to help on disasters "is what being a nation is about," Maureen Dowd wrote in a column published Friday in the Rutland HeraldLINK

Tar Sands Protests When climate activist Bill McKibben needed "big stars" for his series of oil pipeline protests at the White House, he turned to Sen. Sanders. The Vermont independent made a video that McKibben used as a recruiting tool for the protests, which will continue through Saturday, the Burlington Free Press reported. LINK

Nuclear Safety Last week's East Coast earthquake sparked calls for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to update safety rules at nuclear power plants, the Chicago Tribune reported. Sen. Sanders grilled commissioners on their failure to implement reforms recommended after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. "I know what delay means in this town," Sanders said. "It means nothing is going to happen." LINK

Oil Prices "Leave it to Bernie Sanders to release confidential trading information of banks and other companies that accrued commodity futures saying that the public has the right to know where those this $4 gasoline has come from," a Fox Business News anchor said, disapprovingly. VIDEO


China Benefits as U.S. Solar Industry Withers The bankruptcies of three American solar power companies in the last month, including Solyndra of California on Wednesday, have left China's industry with a dominant sales position - almost three-fifths of the world's production capacity - and rapidly declining costs, The New York Times reported. LINK



Bleak Jobs Report The U.S. economy failed to add jobs for the first time in almost a year, while the unemployment rate was stuck in August at 9.1 percent, The Wall Street Journal reported. Nonfarm payrolls were unchanged last month -- the worst result since a small decline in September 2010. The private sector added only 17,000 jobs. LINK

U.S. to Sue a Dozen Big Banks The federal agency that oversees the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is set to file suits against more than a dozen big banks, accusing them of misrepresenting the quality of mortgage securities and seeking billions of dollars in compensation, The New York Times reported. LINK


Welch Tours Flood Damage Rep. Peter Welch will tour flood damaged areas in Rutland and Killington today, The Associated Press reported. Welch planned to visit a business, a Red Cross staging area and a volunteer center in Rutland before heading to Killington, where residents were stranded after a road was washed away.

Green Mountain Forest Closed Green Mountain National Forest Supervisor Colleen Madrid on Thursday issued an order closing the area badly damaged by Tropical Storm Irene, AP reported. LINK