BURLINGTON, Vt. Oct. 23 – There has been a flurry of press speculation about what might happen if the number of independents in the Senate increased as a result of the Nov. 4 elections. Would Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont continue to caucus with Democrats in the next session of Congress? In response to news media inquiries, Sanders issued the following statement:
“I intend to caucus with that party that will most likely support a major federal jobs program putting millions of Americans back to work rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure; supports overturning the disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision; supports raising the minimum wage to a living wage; supports pay equity for women workers; supports a single-payer national health care program; ends our disastrous trade policies; addresses the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality; and is prepared to aggressively address the international crisis of global warming.
“I could be wrong,” Sanders added, “but my guess is that will not be the Republican Party.”
There now are two independents in the Senate, Sanders and Angus King of Maine. Sanders is the longest serving independent in the history of Congress. The late Sen. Harry F. Byrd Jr. of Virginia comes in second, according to the Biographical Directory of the United States Senate.