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Bernie Sanders’ stance on key issues, from health care to gun control

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Bernie Sanders' stance on key issues, from health care to gun control

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.

3 BERNIE SANDERS POLICIES NOW EMBRACED BY THE DEMOCRATIC FIELD

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.

Health care

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.

Education

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?”

Immigration

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.

Gun control

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.”

Economy

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.

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“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.

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Hillary Clinton warns Dems about impeachment push, says she was ‘target of a Russian plot’

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Hillary Clinton compares ‘Game of Thrones’ to real life political drama

It seems Hillary Clinton still isn’t over her 2016 election defeat.

In a fiery op-ed published in the Washington Post, the former secretary of state and Democratic candidate for president charged Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report outlined: “a serious crime against the American people.”

“Our election was corrupted, our democracy assaulted, our sovereignty and security violated. This is the definitive conclusion of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report. It documents a serious crime against the American people,” the piece begins.

Clinton — who admitted early in the column, “this is personal for me, and some may say I’m not the right messenger” — then discussed the man who defeated her in 2016, and seemingly warned her party against pushing for impeachment.

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“The debate about how to respond to Russia’s “sweeping and systematic” attack — and how to hold President Trump accountable for obstructing the investigation and possibly breaking the law — has been reduced to a false choice: immediate impeachment or nothing. History suggests there’s a better way to think about the choices ahead,” she wrote.

“My perspective is not just that of a former candidate and target of the Russian plot. I am also a former senator and secretary of state who served during much of Vladi­mir Putin’s ascent, sat across the table from him and knows firsthand that he seeks to weaken our country.

“I am also someone who, by a strange twist of fate, was a young staff attorney on the House Judiciary Committee’s Watergate impeachment inquiry in 1974, as well as first lady during the impeachment process that began in 1998. And I was a senator for New York after 9/11, when Congress had to respond to an attack on our country. Each of these experiences offers important lessons for how we should proceed today.”

Clinton continued in the piece to call on Congress to “hold substantive hearings that build on the Mueller report and fill in its gaps,” and said the country needs “clear-eyed patriotism, not reflexive partisanship.”

GEORGE CONWAY PRAISES HILLARY CLINTON FOR HER OP-ED ON MUELLER PROBE: ‘I’M WITH HER’

Clinton’s op-ed was published after Whitewater independent counsel Robert Ray explained why he believes the former secretary of state is “exactly wrong” to claim President Trump would have been indicted if he weren’t president.

Ray said he believes the report disputes that, adding that Barr speaking to Special Counsel Robert Mueller prior to the release of the report — and his press conference — only further weight on the opposite side of Clinton’s claim.

“That is why the attorney general, before the report was released to the public went back to the special counsel apparently on more than one occasion, as he said in his press conference,” Ray said during a Wednesday appearance on “Fox & Friends.”

He continued, claiming the purpose of going back to Robert Mueller was “to inquire about” whether the reason why Trump wasn’t indicted is that he’s sitting president.

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“The answer that came back is, no, that is not what I’m saying,” Ray said.

“So I know people in some quarters don’t want to listen to what the attorney general actually said but while that is a reasonable question, Hillary Clinton has it exactly wrong. That is not the reason.”

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Cindy McCain responds to reports that her family will endorse Joe Biden in 2020 race

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Cindy McCain responds to reports that her family will endorse Joe Biden in 2020 race

Cindy McCain, the widow of late Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., responded to the reports that her family will endorse former Vice President Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election.

McCain tweeted Wednesday: “Joe Biden is a wonderful man and dear friend of the McCain Family. However, I have no intention of getting involved in presidential politics.”

Her daughter, “The View” host Meghan McCain retweeted the remarks.

JOE BIDEN OFFICIALLY LAUNCHES 2020 PRESIDENTIAL BID

Biden officially announced his candidacy for president Thursday in a video message, capping off weeks of reports that he will join the crowded Democratic field. Biden unsuccessfully ran for president in 1988 and 2008.

McCain’s comment comes after a report in the Washington Examiner that said the McCain family would support Biden. The report cited sources close to the family.

“The source said they expected Meghan McCain to speak out in favor of Biden should he get the nomination, but a Cindy McCain endorsement could come sooner,” according to the Washington Examiner.

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During the 2016 presidential election, Sen. John McCain withdrew his support for then-candidate Donald Trump following the “Access Hollywood” tape. Trump recently criticized McCain by saying he was not “a fan” of the late senator. McCain died in August 2018 after a battle with cancer. Trump has made a habit of attacking McCain, even after his death.

Fox News’ Liam Quinn contributed to this report.

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Ocasio-Cortez-aligned group attacks Biden, says he’s ‘out-of-touch’ with Democratic Party

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Joe Biden announces 2020 presidential bid: 3 things to know about the former vice president

A progressive political group that boosted New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez‘s bid for Congress last year vowed to oppose former Vice President Joe Biden in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, blasting him as part of the “old guard” and accusing him of standing in opposition to the “center of energy” in the Democratic Party.

JOE BIDEN OFFICIALLY LAUNCHES 2020 PRESIDENTIAL BID

“While we’re going to support the Democratic nominee, we can’t let a so-called ‘centrist’ like Joe Biden divide the Democratic Party and turn it into the party of ‘No, we can’t,’” the group Justice Democrats said Thursday.

Biden announced his candidacy for president Thursday. He enters a crowded field of Democratic contenders aiming to unseat President Trump — nearly 32 years after he announced his first campaign for president. The campaign is Biden’s third bid for the White House, having also unsuccessfully run in 1988 and 2008.

“The old guard of the Democratic Party failed to stop Trump, and they can’t be counted on to lead the fight against his divide-and-conquer politics today,” Justice Democrats said. “The party needs new leadership with a bold vision capable of energizing voters in the Democratic base who stayed home in 2016.”

The group added: “Joe Biden stands in near complete opposition to where the center of energy is in the Democratic Party today.”

BIDEN’S SENATE RECORDS HELD BY HIS ALMA MATER WON’T BE RELEASED UNTIL LATE 2019, POSSIBLY EVEN LATER

“Democrats are increasingly uniting around progressive populist policies like ‘Medicare-for-All,’ a Green New Deal, free college, rejecting corporate money, ending mass incarceration and deportation. We don’t need someone who voted for the Iraq War, for mass incarceration, and for the Bankruptcy Reform Act while voting against gay marriage, reproductive rights, and school desegregation,” Justice Democrats said.

Others, though, took issue with the group’s claim about the energy in the party.

“It’s probably worth noting that while this group, Justice Democrats, calls Biden ‘out-of-touch’ with the ‘center of energy’ in the Democratic Party, only 26 of the 79 candidates it endorsed last year won their primaries, and only 7 of those went on to win the general election,” said Nate Silver, the editor of FiveThirtyEight.

According to its website, Justice Democrats says its mission is “to elect a new type of Democratic majority in Congress, one which will create a thriving economy and democracy that works for the people, not big money interests.”

The attacks could foreshadow the looming clash between the progressive and establishment wings of the party: Biden, along with independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont — who enjoys the support of Democratic Socialists in the party — have consistently topped the polls in the race for the Democratic nomination.

Fox News’ Lillian LeCroy and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

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