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Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

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Bernard Sanders (born September 8, 1941) is an American politician who has been the junior United States Senator from Vermont since 2007. Sanders is the longest serving independent in U.S. congressional history. Since his election to the House of Representatives in 1990, he has caucused with the Democratic Party, which has entitled him to congressional committee assignments and at times given Democrats a majority. Sanders became the ranking minority member on the Senate Budget Committee in January 2015; he had previously been chair of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee for two years.

Since January 2017, he has been Chair of the Senate Democratic Outreach Committee. Sanders's campaign against Hillary Clinton for the party's 2016 U.S. presidential nomination raised more money in small, individual contributions than any other in American history, and helped him rise to international recognition. A self-described democratic socialist and a New Deal-era American progressive, Sanders is pro-labor and emphasizes reversing economic inequality. Many scholars consider his views to be more in line with social democracy.

Sanders was born and raised in the Brooklyn borough of New York City and graduated from the University of Chicago in 1964. While a student he was an active protest organizer for the Congress of Racial Equality and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee during the Civil Rights Movement. After settling in Vermont in 1968, Sanders ran unsuccessful third-party campaigns for governor and U.S. senator in the early to mid-1970s. As an independent, he was elected mayor of Burlington—Vermont's most populous city of 42,417 in 2010—in 1981, by a margin of ten votes. He went on to be reelected as mayor three times. In 1990, he was elected to represent Vermont's at-large congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he co-founded the Congressional Progressive Caucus in 1991. He served as a congressman for 16 years before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006. In 2012, he was reelected with 71% of the popular vote. State-by-state polls have indicated that he received some of the highest favorability ratings of senators with their constituents, ranking third in 2014 and first in both 2015 and 2016. Polls in the year 2017 showed that Sanders had the highest favorability rating of the leading political figures included in the polls.

Sanders rose to national prominence after his 2010 filibuster against the Middle Class Tax Relief Act of 2010, which extended the Bush tax cuts that favored the wealthiest Americans. He has built a reputation as a leading progressive voice on issues such as campaign finance reform, corporate welfare, global warming, income inequality, LGBT rights, parental leave, and universal healthcare. Sanders has long been critical of U.S. foreign policy and was an early and outspoken opponent of the Iraq War, the First Gulf War, and U.S. support for the Contras in Nicaragua. He is also outspoken on civil liberties and civil rights, criticizing racial discrimination in the criminal justice system as well as advocating for privacy rights against mass surveillance policies such as the USA Patriot Act and the NSA surveillance programs.

Sanders announced his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination on April 30, 2015. Initially considered a long shot, Sanders won 23 primaries and caucuses and approximately 43% of pledged delegates to Clinton's 55%. His campaign was noted for its supporters' enthusiasm, as well as for his rejection of large donations from corporations, the financial industry, and any associated Super PAC. On July 12, 2016, Sanders formally endorsed Clinton in her unsuccessful general election campaign against Republican Donald Trump, while urging his supporters to continue the "political revolution" his campaign had begun. In November 2016, Sanders's book Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In was released; upon its release, it was number 3 on The New York Times Best Seller list. In 2016 Sanders formed Our Revolution, a political organization dedicated to educating voters about issues, getting people involved in the political process, and electing progressive candidates. In February 2017, Sanders began webcasting The Bernie Sanders Show on Facebook. Polls taken in 2017 have found Sanders to be the most popular politician in the United States.

SOURCE: Wikipedia

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