If there is one thing that we can be assured of it is that when Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) rises to speak in the Senate, he will pull no punches and mince no words. If he has something to say, he will say it and he does not care who does or does not like what he says. On Friday he spoke his mind to the Congressional TEApublicans who would shut down the government for the sole goal of getting rid of Obamacare.
He told them that he was in agreement with them, that there is much to be debated and that many things need to change, including Obamacare, but he also pointed out that there are many much more pressing issues that they should be discussing and that the way they are going about dealing with the impasse between themselves and the Democrats, indeed even many mainstream Republicans, threatening to shut the government down, is exactly the wrong way to do it. He told them, “One thing is certain, you do not hold the American people hostage by threatening to shut down the government or for the first time in the history of our country not paying our bills and bringing this country and perhaps the entire world into a major financial crisis.”
He went on to say, “There was an election a year ago on this very issue — one of the major issues in the campaign — and the Republican candidate said, ‘Let’s defund Obamacare.’ He lost the election! Republicans lost seats in the Senate, they lost seats in the House! And that’s what democracy is about. What democracy is not about is a handful of members of the House of Representatives, extreme right-wing Republicans, saying, ‘If we do not get our way, we are prepared to punish tens of millions of Americans. Yeah, we lost the election. Yeah, we lost seats in the House and Senate. But we are prepared to bring this government down. We are prepared to cause, perhaps, a major global financial crisis unless we get our way!’” He pointed out that the debate currently transpiring in Congress is, “making us look like fools throughout the entire world because a handful of right wing extremists are so determined to try to destroy this president.”
He told them, “There’s a lot to be debating about, but one thing we should not be debating about is shutting down the United States government in order to achieve a narrow political goal,” going on to list the many issues they should be talking about. Things such as our crumbling infrastructure and the trend in business to shift to part-time jobs in order to avoid providing any benefits, a trend that predates Obamacare by decades. He brought up the fact that while the TEApublicans were calling for the repeal of minimum wage laws, what we really need is an expansion of those same laws, and that to repeal the minimum wage would, in effect, guarantee wage slavery in high unemployment areas.
Told that his time had expired, Bernie had one last point to make, he said, “Maybe the most important discussion we should have is ending an overturning this disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision which gives the billionaires in this country the ability to control what goes on here in the Unites States Congress, forcing members of the House and Senate to raise unbelievable amounts of money.”
You can see Bernie’s entire smackdown of his Congressional counterparts below.