Here’s only a few facts from Sanders congressional record.
1991: one of a handful in Congress to vote against authorizing US military force in Iraq. “I have a real fear that the region is not going to be more peaceful or more stable after the war,” he said at the time.
1992: Congress passes Sanders’ first signed piece of legislation to create the National Program of Cancer Registries. A Reader’s Digest article calls the law “the cancer weapon America needs most.” All 50 states now run registries to help cancer researchers gain important insights.
November 1993: Sanders votes against the Clinton-era North American Free Trade Agreement. Returning from a tour of factories in Mexico, Sanders says: “If NAFTA passes, corporate profits will soar because it will be even easier than now for American companies to flee to Mexico and hire workers there for starvation wages.”
July 1996: Sanders is one of only 67 (out of 435, 15%) votes against the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, which denied federal benefits to same-sex couples legally married. Sanders urged the Supreme Court to throw out the law, which it did in a landmark 2013 ruling – some 17 years later.
July 1999: Standing up against the major pharmaceutical companies, Sanders becomes the first member of Congress to personally take seniors across the border to Canada to buy lower-cost prescription drugs. The congressman continues his bus trips to Canada with a group of breast cancer patients the following April. These brave women are able to purchase their medications in Canada for almost one-tenth the price charged in the States.
But that didn't change the discourse about the price of pharmaceuticals in.
August 1999: An overflow crowd of Vermonters packs a St. Michael’s College town hall meeting hosted by Sanders to protest an IBM plan to cut older workers’ pensions by as much as 50 percent. CBS Evening News with Dan Rather and The New York Times cover the event. After IBM enacts the plan, Sanders works to reverse the cuts, passing a pair of amendments to prohibit the federal government from acting to overturn a federal district court decision that ruled that IBM’s plan violated pension age discrimination laws. Thanks to Sanders’ efforts, IBM agreed to a $320 million legal settlement with some 130,000 IBM workers and retirees.
November 1999: About 10 years before the 2008 Wall Street crash spins the world economy into a massive recession, Sanders votes “no” on a bill to undo decades of financial regulations enacted after the Great Depression. “This legislation,” he predicts at the time, “will lead to fewer banks and financial service providers, increased charges and fees for individual consumers and small businesses, diminished credit for rural America and taxpayer exposure to potential losses should a financial conglomerate fail. It will lead to more mega-mergers, a small number of corporations dominating the financial service industry and further concentration of power in our country.” The House passed the bill 362-57 over Sanders’ objection.
October 2001: Sanders votes against the USA Patriot Act. “All of us want to protect the American people from terrorist attacks, but in a way that does not undermine basic freedoms,” Sanders says at the time. He subsequently votes against reauthorizing the law in 2006 and 2011.
October 2002: Sanders votes against the Bush-Cheney war in Iraq. He warns at the time that an invasion could “result in anti-Americanism, instability and more terrorism.” Hillary Clinton votes in favor of it.
(But hey, Hillary has said she's sorry, what's the big deal? It's not like the US invasion of Iraq caused anything for us to worry about. It was just a vote. And now Hillary has all that experience traveling in airplanes around the world.)
November 2006: Sanders defeats Vermont’s richest man, Rich Tarrant, to be elected to the U.S. Senate. Sanders, running as an Independent, is endorsed by the Vermont Democratic Party and supported by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
December 2007: Sanders’ authored energy efficiency and conservation grant program passes into law. He later secures $3.2 billion in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 for the grant program.
September 2008: Thanks to Sanders’ efforts, funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program funding doubles, helping millions of low-income Americans heat their homes in winter.
February 2009: Sanders works with Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley to pass an amendment to an economic recovery bill preventing Wall Street banks that take taxpayer bailouts from replacing laid-off U.S. workers with exploited and poorly-paid foreign workers.
December 2009: Sanders passes language in the Affordable Care Act to allow states to apply for waivers to implement pilot health care systems by 2017. The legislation allows states to adopt more comprehensive systems to cover more people at lower costs.