The Week in Review

A National Climate Assessment report issued on Tuesday “is another loud and clear warning that greenhouse gases are rising faster than ever,” Sen. Bernie Sanders said. There is "a trend toward growing inequality and I personally find it a very worrisome,” Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told Sanders during a congressional hearing on Wednesday. In a Senate floor speech on Tuesday, the Sanders laid out a plan to make it possible for more students from working families to go to college. As chairman of the Senate veterans’ committee, Sanders has been focusing on making certain veterans get the care they deserve.

Income Inequality She was responding to a question by Sanders about research into how a small number of powerful players are turning our democracy into an oligarchy. “If policymaking is dominated by powerful business organizations and a small number of affluent Americans, then America's claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened,” Princeton’s Martin Gilens and Northwestern University’s Benjamin Page asserted. Watch Yellen and Sanders

Who Are the Koch Brothers and What Do They Want? Sanders went to the Senate floor on Thursday to answer those questions. Plank by plank, he examined the party platform of the Libertarian Party which slated David Koch as its 1980 nominee for vice president. Polices that were extreme back then when the Libertarians got only 1 percent of the vote have not become mainstream thinking in the right-wing Republican Party of today. “What most Americans probably do not know is that the Koch brothers want to repeal virtually every major piece of legislation that has helped working families, the elderly, the sick, and the poor over the past 80 years.” Watch the speech

College Costs In his Senate floor speech on Tuesday, Sanders described what he called “the crisis of college affordability” and compared the U.S. to nations in Europe where college is free. The senator is drafting legislation to allow low-income students to pursue college courses while they are in high school. He also backs legislation to rein in rising student loan interest rates. Watch the speech

Global Warming “Our refusal to recognize and deal with the crisis could have catastrophic consequences,” he added.  A member of the Senate energy and environment committees, Sanders has proposed a fee on greenhouse gas emissions. His bill is cosponsored by Sen. Barbara Boxer, the Senate environment committee chairman. Another Sanders bill would end subsidies for oil and coal companies. There’s a companion measure in the House by Rep. Keith Ellison. Watch Sanders on MSNBC, Read more about the Sanders-Boxer legislation, Read more about the Sanders-Ellison legislation

VA Health Care The Department of Veterans Affairs health care system is drawing close scrutiny amid allegations in the news media that secret waiting lists were used to cover up long delays for doctors’ appointments at VA hospitals. Sanders announced that Secretary Eric Shinseki will testify next Thursday before the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “The VA provides good quality health care to hundreds of thousands of veterans every single day and veterans have told us in very strong numbers that they appreciate the quality care,” Sanders told The New York Times. “I have no doubt that there are problems. Our job is to ascertain the problems in an honest and nonpolitical way and address them as best as we can.” Read more

Tops on Twitter Time magazine on Monday put Sanders on its annual list of the “most influential Twitter feeds.” Said Time, “He’s a loud conscience for liberal principles. He highlights poverty statistics, tweaks his colleagues for voting against veterans’ benefits and slams the industrialist Koch brothers for their political spending. At a time when political and economic populism has grown in fits and starts, Sanders is a voice consistently railing against inequality.” Read Time’s report on Sanders Tweets