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Barney vs. Bernie: Sanders Is the Real "Progressive Who Gets Things Done"

By       Message Richard Eskow       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   3 comments

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Reprinted from Smirking Chimp

Barney Frank Tries To Kneecap Bernie Sanders
Barney Frank Tries To Kneecap Bernie Sanders
(Image by Secular Talk, Channel: Secular Talk)
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As he has so many times in recent months, Barney Frank had some harsh things to say about Bernie Sanders -- this time in a recent interview with Slate.com. Frank has endorsed Hillary Clinton (a fact neither he nor Slate interviewer Isaac Chotiner saw fit to mention), and has written several nasty, petty, and personal attacks on Bernie Sanders in his capacity as a Clinton surrogate.

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He stayed true to form in his Slate interview, arguing that Bernie Sanders got little done on Capitol Hill. That's become classic Clinton spin. She and her surrogates love to claim that Bernie Sanders is just a talker, while Clinton and her allies -- despite her "centrist" leanings -- are "progressives who get things done."

Here's the truth: Hillary Clinton got very little done during her eight years in the United States Senate, while Bernie Sanders amassed an impressive record of accomplishments in both the House and Senate.

Sanders began racking up legislative accomplishments in the House of Representatives, where a 2005 analysis of legislative data revealed that he had passed more amendments in the House than any other Member of Congress over a 10-year period. In 2005, Rolling Stone called him the "amendment king."

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But as Politifact notes: "In comparison, Hillary Clinton passed zero roll call amendments during her tenure as a senator from New York from 2001-09."

Readers who have been subjected to Barney Frank's unsubstantiated trash talk should note this, also from Politifact: "Out of 419 amendments Sanders sponsored over his 25 years in Congress, 90 passed, 21 of them by roll call votes."

Where has been Barney Frank been for 25 years? For Mr. Frank, and any other readers who might be unfamiliar with the Sanders record, here are some examples of his many accomplishments:

When Sanders was Chairman of the Senate Veterans Committee, it was learned that veterans were not receiving the medical care they needed in a timely fashion. Long waiting lists at the Veterans Administration led to a national scandal.

In response, Sanders built a strong coalition of veterans' groups to back a comprehensive $21 billion bill that allowed the VA to hire more doctors and nurses, increase its operational staff, and ensure that veterans get the care they need. Republicans blocked that bill, but Sanders did not give up. Instead, Sanders worked with Republican Senator John McCain on a compromise deal that passed the Senate 93-3.

"It wasn't a perfect bill," Sanders says of the VA deal. "I would have written it differently, and John (McCain) would have written it differently."

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"But we got it done," Sanders adds.

McCain agrees. "Negotiating with Bernie was not a usual experience, because he is very passionate and he and I are both very strong-willed people and we spend a lot of time banging our fists on the table and having the occasional four-letter word," McCain told The Huffington Post. "But at the end of the day, Bernie was result-oriented."

We'll repeat that last phrase for Mr. Frank's benefit: "Results-oriented."

Frank told Slate that Bernie Sanders "has been in Congress for 25 years with little to show for it in terms of his accomplishments."

Really? The VA has hired over 14,000 new doctors, nurses, and medical staff a result of Sanders' work on that bill alone, and the backlog in disability claims has been reduced by nearly 90 percent.

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Host of 'The Breakdown,' Writer, and Senior Fellow, Campaign for America's Future

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