Bernie Sanders has narrowly edged out Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar in a nail-biting New Hampshire primary — winning a razor-thin victory in the Granite State after the chaotic Iowa caucuses, according to ABC, NBC and CBS network projections. The “Democratic Socialist” and party outsider from Vermont won 26 per cent of the vote but failed to turn out a revolution in his New England neighbourhood and shake Buttigieg after they virtually tied in Iowa.
“The reason that we won this tonight in New Hampshire and we won in Iowa is our volunteers,” said a jubilant Sanders. “We have an unprecedented grassroots movement from coast to coast. We are putting together a multi-gender, multiracial political movement. This is the movement from coast to coast that we finally have an economy and a government that works for all of us,” New York Post quoted Sanders as saying. And in a none-too-veiled swipe at Mike Bloomberg, he told the crowd, “At this point in the campaign we are taking on billionaires and campaigns funded by billionaires.” Here, we have a look at Bernie Sanders’ political positions on some key issues:
Healthcare: Sanders is leading the charge for universal healthcare, which has become popularly known as “Medicare-for-all” and is being embraced by most 2020 Democrats. He sponsored a bill pushing for this in 2017. Under Sanders’ plan, every American would be provided with health insurance through Medicare and private insurers would be eliminated. “The goal of health care must be to provide quality care to all in a cost effective way, not tens of billions in profits for the insurance companies and outrageous compensation packages for CEOs,” Sanders said in a campaign speech in California in late March.
Immigration: Sanders, who has referred to President Donald Trump’s immigration policies as “heartless,” wants to offer a pathway to citizenship to most undocumented immigrants and supports comprehensive immigration reform. One of Sanders’ top 2020 staffers is an undocumented immigrant living in the US under protections via Obamaera Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme. His campaign has defended this choice against criticism from conservatives. Sanders has called for restructuring Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), stating, “We must not be about tearing small children away from their families.”
Climate change: Sanders is a co-sponsor of a resolution known as the “Green New Deal,” which is a plan to transition the US to 100% clean and renewable energy within the next decade. The Vermont senator has been vocal on environmental issues for decades and has criticised the media for not focusing enough on climate change. Sanders frequently rails against the fossil fuel industry and has vowed to stop allowing it to “destroy our planet for profit” if he wins the election.
Campaign finance: Sanders has zeroed-in on campaign finance reform for years. In fact, Sanders gained popularity in 2016 by refusing corporate donations and looking to small donors to fund his presidential campaign. He’s continuing with this policy in 2020. He has pushed for a constitutional amendment that would “effectively prevent corporations from bankrolling election campaigns, and would give Congress and the states explicit authority to regulate campaign finances.”
Abortion: Sanders has said “abortion is health care” and “the decision about abortion must remain a decision for the woman and her doctor to make, not the government.” He believes abortion should be legal and in 2018 voted against a bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks. “We must stand up and fight any and all attempts to undercut Roe v. Wade,” Sanders said in a November 2018 tweet. “We must protect and expand a woman’s right to abortion and reproductive health care services.”
Education: Sanders supports making public college and universities tuition-free for undergraduate students. Under Sanders’ College for All Act, the federal government would cover 67% of this cost, while the states would be responsible for the remaining 33% of the cost. Sanders has also pushed for drastically lowering student loan interest rates, stating it’s “revolting” the federal government makes “billions in profits off of student loans each year.”