Sen. Sanders: GOP Base Growing as Democratic Party Turns Its Back on the Working Class
22:45 GMT 10.01.2022 (Updated: 20:35 GMT 19.10.2022)
Between Biden's low approval rating and a gubernatorial loss in the battleground state of Virginia, Democrats have a lot to prove and even more to lose in the upcoming 2022 midterm elections. While Democrats hold the White House and both chambers of Congress, the party has failed to produce the transformational legislation many voters envisioned.
Democrats, although faced with centrist hurdles, must make "a major course correction" and refocus legislative efforts on fighting for the American working class, according to Sen. Bernie Sanders
, whose comments were published exclusively by The Guardian on Monday
Sanders, who serves as chairman of the US Senate Committee on the Budget, told the outlet that the GOP has been able to expand its base due to its appeal to the average employed American.
"It’s not because the Republican party has anything to say to them," Sanders observed. "It's because in too many ways the Democratic party has turned its back on the working class."
The Vermont senator also noted that lawmakers have fallen victim to capitalism and have ignored the true concerns of the average voter, including low wages, lack of healthcare, debt, and the threat of homelessness.
"It’s important that we have the guts to take on the very powerful corporate interests that have an unbelievably powerful hold on the economy of this country," Sanders noted.
While it is hard to approve legislation via the 60-vote threshold in a Senate comprised of 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans, there should be more push—particularly from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer—to set forth legislation with widespread voter support, such as medicare for all, stricter gun laws, and a wealth tax.
"People can understand that you sometimes don’t have the votes," Sanders said. "But they can’t understand why we haven’t brought up important legislation that 70 or 80% of the American people support."
He also called on Schumer to hold votes on bills to support working families, such as proposals on extending the child tax credit and raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.
The US senator from Vermont spoke with the UK-based outlet on January 6, marking the one-year commemoration of a violent and deadly attack by supporters of then-US President Donald Trump against the US Capitol building and its inhabitants.
Sanders also released a statement declaring that American "democracy is under attack from Republicans in Congress" and pointing out that many GOP-controlled state legislatures are working to enact laws that will make it "harder for people of color and young people to vote."
The US senator called on Congress to end the disconnect between Americans and politicians, a result of the repetitive cycle of unfulfilled campaign promises.
"Congress must boldly address the long-neglected crises facing the working people of this country," Sanders added, highlighting the strength of the American working-class vote.