“They got him,” Boston’s mayor tweeted late Friday after police arrested a second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings. Another suspect was shot and killed earlier in the day by police investigating what they called an “act of terrorism “and Sen. Bernie Sanders called “a tragedy beyond words.” In Washington, security was heightened throughout the week around the White House and on Capitol Hill. It wasn’t only because of Boston. Letters laced with the poison Ricin were intercepted on their way to President Obama, a senator and a judge. A Mississippi man was arrested. Meanwhile, the Senate on Wednesday took up legislation inspired by another national tragedy, the shootings last December and Newtown, Conn. A Republican filibuster blocked consideration of measures inspired by the shootings that killed 20 first-grade students and six teachers in Newtown, Conn.
Shocked and Saddened Two powerful bombs exploded Monday near the finish line for the Boston Marathon. Three people were killed. More than 100 were hurt. “Everyone in America is shocked and saddened and horrified,” Sanders said.
Guns The Senate on Wednesday rejected legislation that would have expanded background checks on gun buyers and banned assault weapons. Sanders voted for both amendments. “Nobody believes that gun control by itself is going to end the horrors we have seen in Newtown, Conn., Aurora, Colo., Blacksburg, Va., Tucson, Ariz. and other American communities,” Sanders said. “There is a growing consensus, however, in Vermont and across America that we have got to do as much as we can to end the cold-blooded, mass murders of innocent people. I believe very strongly that we also have got to address the mental health crisis in our country and make certain that help is available for people who may be a danger to themselves and others,” Sanders added. The amendment on expanded background checks needed 60 votes to pass but only 54 senators voted for it. In a separate roll call, the Senate voted 60 to 40 against the proposal to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
Obama’s ‘Huge Mistake’ In an interview on PBS, Sanders said President Obama had “made a huge mistake” by proposing significant cuts in Social Security and veterans’ benefits. Obama’s proposal is “unconscionable” public policy and a “dangerous strategy” politically that is “going to hurt” the Democratic Party, Sanders told Tavis Smiley. “For the average American, Social Security has been is the pillar of the social safety net. It’s what the Democratic Party historically has been most proud of.” Watch the Tavis Smiley interview
Sanders Questions Treasury Secretary Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew testified Tuesday before the Senate Budget Committee on President Obama’s proposal to cut Social Security and reduce benefits for disabled veterans. Sanders asked about the White House proposal to tie annual cost-of-living adjustments to a different measure of inflation, a so-called chained consumer price index, to achieve $130 billion in savings by taking benefits away from seniors and veterans. Watch hearing highlights
Gas Prices Fall The average price of a gallon of gas in Burlington has gone from $3.74 down now $3.53, according to gasbuddy.com. Sanders has led an effort to force greater competition in the Vermont gasoline market, where prices had been among the highest in the country and where drivers in the Burlington area in the northwestern corner of the state have historically paid 25-cents a gallon more than at stations in other parts of Vermont. Sanders “kept up a steady campaign of questioning the reasoning behind the difference in price, including holding a congressional field hearing in Burlington last year,” according to the Burlington Free Press. Read more in the Burlington Free Press