You’ve just gotta love the fact that Bernie Sanders has been named by Democrat Harry Reid to be the Ranking Member on the Senate Budget Committee.
As you are probably aware, Bernie voted “no” yesterday on the DOD budget, and has vowed to register a “hell no” on today’s budget vote, thus joining Vermont Democrat Peter Welch whose vote in the House repudiated a $1.1 trillion budget that would weaken banking regulations and further corrupt the election process.
The next Congress should be a doozy of a match up, as Bernie faces off against likely Budget Chair, Alabama Republican Jeff Sessions…arguably one of the meanest men in the Senate.
Sessions was one of three Senators who opposed increased funding for the VA, something that must have infuriated Bernie who has long been a champion of veterans’ health and welfare.
An opponent of abortion rights, immigration reform, and same sex marriage, Sessions wants to open the Arctic Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling and to make the Bush tax cuts permanent.
He once opined that the NAACP and the ACLU were “unAmerican” for forcing “civil rights down the throats of people.”
A class act all the way.
With Sessions hand upon the purse strings, they won’t be readily parted in aid of the disadvantaged.
Senator Reid knows that whoever takes the Democratic helm as Ranking Member on the Senate Budget Committee will have a thankless job ahead of them.
As a nominal “Independent,” Bernie was a shrewd pick who can be relied upon to take the budgetary battle right up to Session’s comfort zone in the most forceful way without concern for political blowback.
His constituents will love him all the better for championing the interests of vets, students, the elderly, the poor and the disadvantaged.
With Bernie in opposition, Sessions, who has shown little interest in compromise will be matched toe-to-toe by the most articulate of verbal duelists. It seems likely that Bernie’s artless candor will at least win the media battles; maybe even shutting down some potential defections from the DINO seats.
I would guess that there is a cynical side to the appointment, as well. Good Democrats first and foremost, Reid and company may figure that budgetary battles could bloody Bernie’s nose and steal some of his potency for a 2016 presidential bid.
They could be right, but I doubt it. As Bernie has demonstrated time and again, he is a force to be reckoned with. If he determines it to be a worthwhile endeavor, nothing will quash his voice in 2016.