Sen. Bernie Sanders is back on the campaign trail.
The 77-year-old self-proclaimed Democratic socialist is once again making a bid for the White House, joining a growing number of lawmakers who plan to take on President Trump in the 2020 presidential election.
Sanders will join Fox News Channel for a town hall co-anchored by Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum on Monday, April 15, at 6:30 p.m. ET in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
As the seasoned Vermont senator starts stumping for 2020, here’s a look at where he stands on key issues such as gun control, healthcare and the economy.
Sanders’ name has arguably become synonymous with Medicare-for-All, a bill he introduced in 2017. The goal? To achieve universal healthcare.
In a nutshell, the single-payer health insurance plan would require all U.S. residents to be covered with no copays and deductibles for medical services. The insurance industry would be regulated to play a minor role in the system.
In other words: A government-run system would replace private health insurance offered through employers, which is the mainstay of coverage some 160 million people.
Sanders recently released an updated version of the legislation, adding coverage for long-term care. Several presidential hopefuls — namely Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. and Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J. — have already endorsed the new bill.
But the program, which would likely be financed through large tax increases, has been knocked by critics for its expected cost.
Though single-payer healthcare could reportedly save taxpayers roughly $500 billion a year, according to FeelTheBern.org, the plan’s cost could up federal spending by more than $2 trillion per year, according to The New York Times, while several independent studies on the program have estimated it could increase government spending on health care to $25 trillion to $35 trillion or more over a 10-year period.
Sanders is a huge proponent of tuition-free public colleges and universities.
Under the “College for All Act”, which Sanders first introduced in May 2015, per his website, the government would “provide $47 billion in federal funding to incentivize states to increase investments in their public higher education systems and eliminate tuition for undergraduate students.”
Total tuition costs at public colleges and universities totals to roughly $70 billion annually, according to Sanders’ campaign. Under the legislation, the federal government would cover $47 billion of that cost, or 67 percent, while states would shoulder $23 billion, or the remaining 33 percent.
“The legislation would eliminate tuition and fees at four-year public colleges and universities for families making up to $125,000 — about 80 percent of the population — and make community college tuition- and fee-free for all,” according to a 2017 statement on the legislation.
“College tuition is free in Germany, even for citizens of other countries. It’s also free in Denmark, Norway Sweden, Finland, Ireland, Iceland, and Mexico. If they can do it, why can’t we?” questioned Sanders in a 2015 editorial for the Huffington Post. “Why do we accept a situation where hundreds of thousands of qualified people are unable to go to college because their families don’t have enough money?”
Sanders supports immigration reform to address the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants living in the U.S., but the ways in which he thinks the government should go about such a reform largely differs from his Republican and conservative-minded colleagues.
“What I do not support is, under the guise of immigrant reform, a process pushed by large corporations which result in more unemployment and lower wages for American workers,” Sanders told The Washington Post in 2013.
Sanders in 2013 voted in favor of the Senate immigration bill which “proposed a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, doubling the number of border patrol officers, and providing an additional 350 miles of border fencing,” according to PBS, which noted the bill failed to become law.
The senator has also called for the restructuring of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
In July 2018, Sanders called for the abolishment of the “cruel, dysfunctional immigration system we have today and pass comprehensive immigration reform.”
“That will mean restructuring the agencies that enforce our immigration laws, including ICE. We must not be about tearing small children away from their families. We must not be about deporting DREAMers, young people who have lived in this country virtually their entire lives,” he tweeted, in part, though did not detail at the time how he would plan to abolish the program.
Sanders, too, supported the 2007 Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, which would grant legal status to a group of undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. He later co-sponsored the act in 2011 when it was reintroduced, according to FeelTheBern.org.
Sanders is a supporter of “middle-ground legislation” when it comes to gun control, according to FeelTheBern.org.
“As such, he understands that Americans in rural areas have a very different view towards guns as do those who live in densely populated urban environments. Bernie believes in a solution which promotes gun rights for those who wish to possess them while also ensuring their safe and secure use so that they cannot be used to harm fellow human beings,” reads the website, which noted the senator in the past has voted for a nationwide ban on assault weapons, expanded background checks and a ban on “high capacity magazine over ten rounds.”
In a 2016 speech, Sanders said most Americans who own and use guns are “law-abiding people” and pushed for a “common sense proposal on guns that will have the support, not of everybody, but a significant majority of American people.”
He went on to say those with criminal records or mental health issues should not own guns, echoing his comments from a 2015 NPR interview.
“We need strong sensible gun control, and I will support it,” Sanders told the news outlet at the time. “But some people think it’s going to solve all of our problems, and it’s not. You know what, we have a crisis in the capability of addressing mental health illness in this country. When people are hurting and are prepared to do something terrible, we need to do something immediately. We don’t have that and we should have that.”
Sanders has touted raising the so-called estate tax to “invest in the disappearing middle class” and close what he has said is a growing gap between the wealthy and the rest of the country.
Rather recently, in January, Sanders revealed a plan to expand the federal estate tax, which he said on Twitter would only apply to the “richest 0.2 [percent] of Americans,” or those who inherit $3.5 million or more.
That said, Sanders’ plan was largely different than a bill proposed by some a few of his Republican counterparts.
Days before, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, and Sen. John Thune, R-S.D. introduced a plan to scrap the estate tax altogether. Sanders in a tweet slammed the bill as “absurd.”
Sanders has also made pushes throughout the years to increase the minimum wage.
He recently reintroduced legislation to increase the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2024.
“While the official unemployment rate is relatively low, too many workers in America today are making wages that don’t pay enough to make ends meet. Workers and their families cannot make it on $9 an hour or $10 an hour – or even less,” Sanders said in a statement in November, claiming it would give 40 million workers a raise. “We have got to raise the minimum wage in this country to a living wage – at least $15 an hour.”
At least 20 states increased their minimum wages since the start of the New Year, according to Fox Business.
Fox News’ Jennifer Earl and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News Politics
Congressional Democrats who are calling into question the credibility of U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr in wake of the release of the Mueller report should leave him alone and “let him do his job,” Sen. John Kennedy said.
The Louisiana Republican said on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” on Friday that there is a group of “wholly dishonest” members of the Democratic Party that believed that the findings by special counsel Robert Mueller into the Russia probe thought it would be the “second coming of the apocalypse.”
Instead, he said, they were disappointed by the findings and are now attacking the process and Barr, who issued a summary of the nearly 400-page document. He said Barr is being used as a “punching bag for something he didn’t do.”
Barr is under scrutiny from congressional Democrats as he prepares a redacted version of Mueller’s report on the Russia investigation.
“Here is my advice for my friends on the Democratic side who are in bad faith. Number one, leave Bill Barr alone. Let him do his job,” Kennedy said. “We’ll have the report next week. The redacted report. If every third word is redacted and you can’t make any sense out of it, I’ll join them raising fresh hell.”
He continued: “Number two, he is not a moron. He knows if he does that he will be heavily criticized by both Democrats and Republicans. I don’t think he will do it. My final bit of advice for my Democratic friends is, look, never corner somebody meaner.”
Mueller concluded his investigation last month and submitted a nearly 400-page confidential report to Barr.
The attorney general then sent Congress a four-page letter that detailed Mueller’s “principal conclusions.” Democrats have questioned how Barr could boil down Mueller’s full report so quickly and allege that it may have been written in a favorable way for the president.
In his letter, Barr said the special counsel did not find a criminal conspiracy between Russia and Trump associates during the campaign, but Mueller did not reach a definitive conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice. Instead, Mueller presented evidence on both sides of the obstruction question, but Barr said he did not believe the evidence was sufficient to prove that Trump had obstructed justice.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News Politics
RABAT, Morocco – A Swiss man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison by a Moroccan terrorism court for links to Islamic extremists who allegedly killed two Nordic tourists last year.
The man, 33, was convicted of charges including “deliberately helping perpetrators of terrorist acts” and training terrorists, according to state news agency MAP. The verdict was Thursday but reported Friday.
The online advertising technician, who was arrested in December, has a Moroccan wife, according to a lawyer representing another Swiss suspect in the case.
Moroccan prosecutors have filed terrorism charges against 25 individuals suspected of links to the killings.
The women tourists, one from Denmark and one from Norway, were found dead in their tent in the Atlas Mountains Dec. 17. Authorities blamed followers of the Islamic State group.
Source: Fox News World
Bill Richardson, former US ambassador to the United Nations, said Friday he does not support the idea of a third summit with North Korea but instead backs the idea of a series of smaller deals with Pyongyang over its nuclear intentions.
“I believe right now that a summit with Kim Jong Un would not be a good idea,” Richardson told America’s Newsroom.
President Trump on Thursday said he would be open to a third meeting with the North Korean leader despite their last summit abruptly ending six weeks ago in Vietnam, producing no breakthrough. Speaking before an Oval Office meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Thursday, Trump seemed to open the door to a series of smaller negotiations with North Korea.
“There are various smaller deals that maybe could happen,” Trump said. “Things could happen. You can work out step-by-step pieces, but at this moment we are talking about the big deal. The big deal is we have to get rid of the nuclear weapons.”
Trump stopped short of saying he’d ease sanctions on North Korea but also said he’d decided not to impose additional penalties on the Asian country, a testament he says to his relationship with the North Korean dictator.
But Richardson believes that smaller deals would show “flexibility on both sides.”
“Maybe North Korea freezes its nuclear missile development or activity, shuts down that Yongbyon nuclear facility and in return the United States has some sanctions relief because both sides are really far apart,” Richardson said. “North Korea wants all sanctions relief on everything – we can’t do that. And we want North Korea to totally denuclearize… that’s not going to happen, so something in between.”
Richardson adds that Trump should leave the deal-making to professional negotiators or the State Department.
South Korea has also come out in recent days and said that the breakdown in talks in Vietnam should not be seen as a failure but as the catalyst to a bigger and better deal between North Korea and the U.S. South Korea, which is right in the line of fire of North Korea, has also been pushing for a third summit.
“(South Korean President Moon Jae-in) wants a deal between the U.S. and North Korea because it’s good politically for him… it’s good for his country,” Richardson said. “In some ways… he’s pushed us a little too far to make deals when we have to coordinate better.”
Source: Fox News World
CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. – The man accused in a hit-and-run crash that killed three Girl Scouts and a mother as they collected trash along a highway in Wisconsin is due in court.
Colten Treu is scheduled to appear in Chippewa County court on Friday for a preliminary hearing. The 22-year-old is accused of huffing from an aerosol canister before crashing his pickup truck into members of Girl Scout Troop 3055 in November as they picked up litter in Lake Hallie.
Treu hasn’t entered a plea. His public defenders didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment Friday.
The four people killed in the crash were 9-year-old Jayna Kelley and 10-year-old Autumn Helgeson, who were both from Lake Hallie; and 10-year-old Haylee Hickle and her mother, 32-year-old Sara Jo Schneider, from Lafayette.
A fifth person, Madalyn Zwiefelhofer, was injured.
Source: Fox News National
DETROIT – The U.S. Justice Department won’t appeal a decision by a Detroit federal judge who threw out female genital mutilation charges against members of a Muslim sect.
Solicitor General Noel Francisco calls it an “especially heinous practice.” But in a letter to Congress, he says the law needs to be changed to be constitutional under U.S. Supreme Court precedent.
Judge Bernard Friedman in November said the law was unconstitutional because Congress didn’t have power to regulate genital mutilation. The government pulled its appeal on March 30.
Dr. Jumana Nagarwala was accused of performing genital mutilation on nine girls at a suburban Detroit clinic. She denies any crime and says she performed a religious custom. The girls were from Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota.
There still are other charges in the case.
Source: Fox News National
Before his legal troubles, Assange looked like a different man, as seen here at the Swedish Trade Union Confederation headquarters in Stockholm, Aug. 14, 2010.
Bertil Ericson /TT News Agency via AP
Source: Fox News World
The former mayor of a Florida town – who is facing multiple charges, including allegedly shooting at cops and conspiring to impede an investigation against him – reportedly smoked crack cocaine nightly and used meth while he was still in office.
The new allegations against former Port Richey Mayor Dale Massad were revealed in court records obtained by the Tampa Bay Times on Thursday. Massad, while he was in office, allegedly received drugs via drug runners and acted as a doctor for friends at his home, the newspaper reported.
An investigation into Massad was reportedly launched after authorities received tips that Massad was engaging in corruption, using drugs and acting as a doctor in his home. Massad had previously lost his medical license in 1992 over a toddler’s death, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Massad was arrested in February for allegedly shooting at Pasco County sheriff’s deputies who were trying to serve a search warrant at his residence after reports he was operating an illegal medical practice at his home. He eventually surrendered to police and was taken into custody.
Massad was then re-arrested in March, along with the town’s acting Mayor Terrence Rowe, for allegedly conspiring to intimidate a city police officer who was involved in his February arrest.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said at the time it received information the two men had discussed ways to intimidate the police officer during a recorded phone call in March at the Pasco County Jail.
Court records, obtained by the Tampa Bay Times, revealed Massad bought crystal methamphetamine from a man named Corey White. He nicknamed the drug “jet fuel” and White told officers he had delivered the drug to the mayor dozens of times. Massad would also arrange others to buy the drugs for him, according to the documents.
Massad’s lawyers have maintained the former mayor is innocent of the allegations against him.
Bjorn Brunvand told the Tampa Bay Times the people who spoke to law enforcement shouldn’t be considered credible.
“We have to be very, very careful about how much weight we give to those individuals,” he told the paper.
Fox News’ Lucia I. Suarez Sang contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News National
DURHAM, N.C. – A North Carolina prosecutor is scrapping the death penalty in hopes of scheduling a trial in July for a man charged with killing three young Muslims four years ago.
District Attorney Satana DeBerry plans to proceed with a potential life prison sentence to speed up the first-degree murder case against Craig Hicks, she said in a statement posted on Facebook on Thursday. Hicks is accused of bursting into a condo and killing University of North Carolina dental student Deah Barakat, 23; his wife, Yusor Abu-Salha, 21; and her 19-year-old sister Razan Abu-Salha.
“Their families have suffered not just the tragic death of three bright, beloved children but the continued delay of the prosecution of their case,” DeBerry said. “To insure we are able to bring this case to trial as quickly as possible and help begin the process of healing for the families, I have decided to try this as a noncapital case.”
DeBerry noted that the womens’ father, psychiatrist Mohammad Abu-Salha, testified this week to a congressional hearing on hate crimes. Hicks had expressed hateful comments that the women were wearing head scarves in observance of their faith, he said.
Police said in 2015 that Hicks was angered by a dispute over a parking space in their shared complex.
“Three beautiful young Americans were brutally murdered and there is no question in our minds that this tragedy was born of bigotry and hate,” Dr. Abu-Salha testified Tuesday before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee. “And because the climate of bigotry is getting worse, I am gravely worried that more tragedies will happen if action is not taken at all levels of government.”
Even as he spoke about the details he read in the autopsy reports of his slain daughters and son-in-law, the live chat function on YouTube was disabled because it was overrun by anti-Semitic and white nationalist comments, DeBerry noted.
Source: Fox News National
WARSAW, Poland – The union leader of Poland’s striking teachers says that key high-school graduation exams next month could be cancelled if government does not respond to pay demands.
Slawomir Broniarz warned that the exams, scheduled for May, may not happen because the strike may prevent the qualification procedure.
On Friday, teachers were on strike for the fifth day in a row as part of an indefinite action related to their 30% pay demand. The government is urging the strikers to accept an offer of half that amount.
Friday was the last day of middle school exams, which were held in spite of the strike action. On Monday, primary school exams begin.
Teachers’ monthly earnings range from 1,800 zlotys to 3,000 zlotys ($470 to $780).
Source: Fox News World