Senator Bernie Sanders doesn’t plan to blend into the sidelines whether Hillary Clinton is elected the new POTUS or not.
In a new interview with the Washington Post, Sanders stated that he plans to push legislation with other like-minded senators, regardless of Clinton’s support, in order to uphold the promises that the Democratic Party platform adopted.
Sanders and other left-wing senators (which include Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown, and Jeff Merkley) have already started on legislation that will further the fight for a $15 federal minimum wage, tuition-free public college, an end to “mass incarceration,” the fight against climate change, and the breakup of “too big to fail” banks.
On what he would do if Clinton was to appoint the “same old, same old Wall Street guys” to regulatory positions, Sanders stated, “I will be vigorously in opposition, and I will make that very clear.”
The Vermont senator also plans to pressure Clinton to appoint liberals to key Cabinet positions.
Sanders intends to use his “leverage” that was gained during the Democratic primaries to promote the agenda that helped him win “22 states and 46 percent of the pledged delegates, 13.4 million votes … and a majority of the younger people, the future of the country.”
Compromise, says Sanders, will not be acceptable: “It’s not good enough for me, or anybody, to say, ‘Well, look, Republicans control the House: From Day One, we’re going to have to compromise.’ The Democratic Party, before they start compromising, has got to rally the American people around our ideas and make it clear that if Republicans do not go along with reasonable ideas to benefit the middle class and the working class, they are going to pay a very heavy political price.”
If the Democrats flip the Senate this election, Sanders is in line to become chairman of the Budget Committee, and thus have a bigger voice in the chamber. However, he has stated that his preference would be to take over the Committee on Health, Education, and Labor and Pensions, which hold jurisdiction over many of the issues he promoted during his campaign, such as minimum wage and health care.
It may be some relief to Sanders’ supporters that regardless of his endorsement, he still plans to oppose Clinton if she chooses to govern as a centrist, should she be elected.
Senator Sanders says that he considers it his job “to demand that the Democratic Party implement that platform.”
In the past, platforms that are adopted during campaign seasons are quickly forgotten after the election has passed, but hopefully Sanders can change that.