News July 28 EXTRA

Senator Sanders

Sanders, Miller Announce Bipartisan Veterans Deal Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Jeff Miller, the Senate and House veterans committee chairmen, announced Monday a bipartisan deal on a $17 billion legislative package to reform the VA and address the short- and long-term needs of veterans seeking health care, The Associated Press, Reuters, USA Today, Bloomberg News, NBC News online, Bloomberg TV, WTOP-AM, United Press International, The Huffington Post, National Journal, Politico, The Hill, Stars and Stripes, Talking Points Memo, The Arizona Republic, The (Jacksonville) Florida Times-Union, The Washington Post (video), the Washington Examiner, and The Blaze reported. "People understand this issue should and must go beyond politics, that we have people who have put their lives on the line and come back with a whole lot of problems," Sanders said. LINK, LINK, LINK, LINK, LINK, LINK, VIDEO, AUDIO, LINKLINK, LINK, LINK, LINK, LINK, LINK, LINK, LINK, VIDEOLINK, LINK

Compromise Expands Health Care Access An agreement to provide funds for veterans health care authorizes veterans on long wait lists to utilize private doctors and provides funds for more doctors, nurses and operating space at VA facilities MSNBC and Fox News reported. The deal also opens the door for 27 new VA health clinics across the country, The (Baton Rouge, La.) Times-Picayune reported. VIDEO, VIDEO, LINK 

Sanders Confident VA Bill Will Pass Sen. Sanders told Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC Monday morning he remains confident a VA reform bill will pass before an August recess in Congress. “We owe that to the veterans of this country,” he said. VIDEO

Rove: Deals Happen Without President Obama A deal between Sen. Sanders and Rep. Miller on legislation to reform the VA is proof that “the administration ought to play less politics and let Congress go forward,” Karl Rove said on Fox News according to Politico. “What’s also interesting to me is who is not participating in this process,” Rove said. “The administration has largely been absent from negotiations, and has played no significant role in this…we don’t have Harry Reid intruding in this process like he has done in all the other negotiations and all the other attempts to have the House and Senate arrive at legislation.” LINKVIDEO  

Rutland Airport Receives $8.1 Million Grant Sens. Sanders and Patrick Leahy and Rep. Peter Welch announced Monday that the Rutland Southern-Vermont Regional Airport in North Clarendon has received an $8.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to make safety improvements, The Associated Press reported. LINK  

Center-Left America The last several decades of federal politics have been dominated by center-right policies while truly left-wing politicians, such as Sen. Sanders have been largely marginalized, Joshua Sager wrote for Salon. However, polling data over the past year indicate that most Americans favor center-left policy proposals. LINK 

Media Consolidation With the 2010 retirement of "prairie populist" Byron Dorgan, Sen. Al Franken arguably inherited the mantle of the Senate’s biggest media consolidation critic - although Sen. Sanders "also is in the hunt," Broadcasting & Cable reported. LINK   


US Ships Dirty Coal Abroad In what one expert called "the single biggest flaw in U.S. climate policy," administration rules regulating carbon pollution at power plants in the United States do not consider the impact of the tons of coal exported abroad, The Associated Press reported. LINK 

Israel Threatens 'Prolonged Campaign' Israel's prime minister warned Monday that the country faced a prolonged campaign against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, as the military urged residents in parts of the embattled territory to evacuate ahead of what appeared to be a broadening of the three-week war, The Associated Press reported. "What is coming will be worse," the Israeli military said in phone messages targeting Gaza militants. LINK


Medicare Outlook Improves The Medicare trust fund will be exhausted in 2030, and the trust fund for Social Security will be depleted in 2033 if Congress makes no change to the existing law, the Obama administration said on Monday. The outlook for Medicare has improved significantly, mainly because spending on hospital care was lower than expected last year, the administration said to The New York TimesLINK

Virginia Gay Marriage Ban Ruled Unconstitutional A federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., ruled Monday that Virginia’s restrictive ban on same-sex marriage violated the United States Constitution, upholding a lower court’s declaration in February, The Washington Post reported. LINK


Cheryl Hanna, 48 Vermont Law School professor and well-known legal commentator Cheryl Hanna has died, according to the Burlington Free Press. She was 48. LINK