News August 2

Senator Sanders

Sanders: No on Debt Deal A debt-ceiling bill awaits a noon vote today in the Senate after Monday's 269 to 161 passage by the House of Representatives. Sen. Bernie Sanders came out against the bill, the Burlington Free Press reported. He said the package unfairly hurts working families, according to The Associated Press. LINK and LINK

No Shared Sacrifice "How much are the rich and the powerful going to contribute into this deficit reduction package? The answer is zero, not one cent," Sanders said in a floor speech excerpted on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered" and quoted by USA Today. "So many people are struggling just to keep their heads above water economically. This deficit-reduction package is going to slap them in the side of the head," Sanders said in an NBC News affiliates report. "This is an unfair proposal," Sanders said on CBS Radio News. LINK, LINK, VIDEO, AUDIO and AUDIO

Jobs Killer With the country still emerging from recession and with unemployment at 16 percent for those without jobs and those who have given up looking for work, Sanders told the Rev. Al Sharpton on MSNBC that the deficit deal is "going to cost us hundreds of thousands of jobs." VIDEO

Senate Split Sen. Sanders said the debt deal could slash funding for home heating assistance, dairy farmers, community health centers and other critical programs for Vermont. Sen. Patrick Leahy said, "I'm not about to allow the United States to go over a cliff," according to, WCAX-TV and WVNY-TV and Vermont Public Radio. LINK, LINK, VIEW, VIEW and VIEW

‘Grotesque' and ‘Grossly Unfair' "This deficit-reduction package is grotesquely unfair. It should not be passed," Sanders said, according to The Christian Science Monitor and The Hill.  The deal, Sanders said in The Nation and the Guardian, "is not only grossly unfair, it is bad economic policy." On Fox News, Neil Cavuto described Sanders as "furious about this, apoplectic, says the party has caved. I'm paraphrasing, but says that the president just gave everything away."  LINK, LINK, LINK and LINK

Super Committee The defining element of the debt-limit deal is an all-out, five-month war fought on the battlefield of a 12-member congressional super committee. "We are looking to up to $1.4 trillion in cuts. Virtually every program that working families depend upon, that our children depend upon, that the sick depend upon, is on the line," Sanders said in The Washington Times. LINK

Oil Speculation Four senators asked the federal commodity regulators to impose position limits on energy trades. Sens. Blumenthal, Bill Nelson, Wyden and Sanders couched their request in the context of rising energy prices and how they could derail a fragile economic recovery, the Bureau of National Affairs reported.  

Approval Vermont's delegation to the U.S. Senate enjoys some of the highest approval ratings in the country. Sanders' in-state approval ratings make him the third most popular senator in the nation behind only Daniel Inouye and John Barrasso. Sens. Leahy and Sanders each enjoy 60 percent approval ratings, the Times Argus reported. LINK 

National

House Passes Deal to Avert Debt Crisis After months of partisan impasse, the House on Monday approved a budget agreement intended to head off a potential government default, pushing Congress a big step closer to the conclusion of a bitter fight that has left both parties bruised and exhausted, The New York Times reported. LINK

Vermont

Energy Efficiency Vermonters could save more than $800 million during the next 20 years and could generate jobs in the home improvement industry, but to tap that potential "we need to make energy efficiency easier to see and do," Gaye Symington, executive director of High Meadows, told AP. LINK

Vermont Yankee Central Vermont Public Service Corp., the state's largest electric utility, signed two new power supply contracts to fill a gap created by the end of the existing contract with the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, AP reported. LINK