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Friday, October 23, 2015

From the Office of Senator Sanders, United States Senator for Vermont: Newswatch Friday October 23, 2015

Senator Sanders 
Puerto Rican Debt Crisis Sen. Bernie Sanders said Thursday that Wall Street financiers who loaned money to Puerto Rico may "have to take a haircut" on their returns from the fiscally troubled island. "The lenders are not going to get 100% of their dollars back. They're going to have to take a haircut -- probably a pretty significant haircut," the Vermont independent senator told CNN en Espanol's Juan Carlos Lopez on "DirectoUSA."  “Why should they get 100 percent of their investment when they are paying 30 to 70 percent for their bonds?” Sanders said in a hearing on Puerto Rico's crisis according to The New York Times, The Associated Press, The Washington Post and NPR’s All Things Considered. LINKLINKLINKLINKVIDEOAUDIO
The Time for Real Change "The American people understand that our current economic system is rigged, and that our campaign finance system is corrupt. They know that while the very rich get much richer, millions of Americans work longer hours for lower wages, and we have the highest rate of childhood poverty of almost any major country on Earth," Sen. Bernie Sanders wrote for Concord Monitor. "Now is the time for bold action to rebuild our disappearing middle class. Now is the time to protect the most vulnerable members of our society – the elderly, the disabled and the children." LINK  
Prison Phone Calls The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday voted to slash what it called “excessive rates and egregious fees” that families have to pay to call their relatives in prison. Currently, calls to inmates can cost as much as $14 a minute.  The FCC decision comes a week after Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders and 15 other Democrats wrote a letter to the agency’s chairman Thomas Wheeler in support of his reform effort. The lawmakers were critical of the existing system, which they said has profited from charging inmates “unreasonably” high call rates, MSNBC reported. LINK  
Consistency John Dillon, news director at Vermont Public Radio, has covered Sen. Sanders for more than 25 years and says the candidate has focused on economic inequality from his earliest campaigns, Iowa Public Radioreported. “Even when he was running as a third party candidate for U.S. senator and governor in the state of Vermont back in the 70s, he talked about these issues that he’s talking about today.” LINK
Marijuana Sen. Sanders suggested on Jimmy Kimmel Live that he is open to supporting the legalization of marijuana, The HillMSNBCRolling StoneThe Week and National Journal reported. "We have large numbers of lives who have been destroyed because of this war on drugs," he stated. "I think we have got to end the war on drugs. I am not unfavorably disposed to moving toward the legalization of marijuana," Sanders said. LINKLINKLINKLINKLINK 
Free Public College Tuition Sen. Sanders promised on Thursday to “revolutionize” higher education with universal free public college tuition, because it is the “right thing to do”, The Guardian reported. Sanders argued on Thursday that “an education should be available to all regardless of anyone’s station” both as the best chance for people’s personal fulfillment and also to give the US “the best educated workforce in the world.” LINK  
Climate Change Sen. Sanders said late Wednesday that Republicans think climate change isn't real because of the Koch brothers and other big energy interests, The Hill reported. “When you have people like the Koch brothers and ExxonMobil today spending huge amounts of money trying to deny that reality, it slows up the entire world from aggressively addressing what is an international crisis,” Sanders said. "This is serious stuff." LINK  
Column: Skyrocketing Drug Prices " For most Americans, the out-of-pocket prices that we must pay for essential prescription drugs, already too high, are increasing far too rapidly for our family budgets to sustain.  The Congress has the ability to moderate these price spikes — but only a sustained national outcry from the American people will bring about reform," Rep. Elijah Cummings wrote in Afro. "For some time now, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and I have been investigating the skyrocketing prices for prescription drugs.  We have received evidence of repeated drug price increases with no apparent justification and with no evident link to any increase in the cost of manufacturing these drugs." LINK  

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