This morning at approximately 10:30 am, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) began what he referred to on his Twitter account as a “filibuster” or “very long speech” making the case against President Obama’s tax deal, which would prolong the Bush tax cuts for all Americans for two years, extend unemployment benefits for 13 months, and instate a temporary 2 percent reduction in the payroll tax.
While Sanders’ stand is not technically a “filibuster” — there are no votes scheduled for today that he is delaying, so it does not meet the procedural requirement for being one — the senator has stayed on the Senate floor all day today, using his time to educate the public about why he feels the tax deal should be defeated. The senator has not been alone in his efforts. Progressive Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and, surprisingly, conservative Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) joined Sanders’ effort, using their time on the floor to attack the tax deal and make the case to the public about why it should be defeated.
“What this agreement says is, we’re going to provide huge tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires. That is insane,” argued Sanders. “It blows a hole in our budget deficit,” said Brown. “I cannot remember a time when we were asked to vote on an appropriations deal of this magnitude or a tax bill of this magnitude that we’ve been asked to vote on something this reckless, this in-your-face to the poor, in-your-face to the middle class,” roared Landrieu.
ThinkProgress has assembled a compilation of the senators’ remarks criticizing the proposed tax deal and urging their colleagues to vote it down. Watch it:
As of the time of this publishing, Sanders is still on the floor. He has been engaging in his “long speech” for more than four hours and is currently the fifth trending topic on Twitter worldwide.
With respect to the House Democrats, The Hill is currently maintaining a whip count of who is opposed to the tax deal. Access it here.
freeman writes: “Years ago when bernie sanders was the mayor and Leahy was the senator mutual friends of my wife and I used to regularly occupy their offices as a political protest and unfurl banners from their windows .
They called themselves the narcoleptics because that is what a judge arraigning them called them as a result of their all falling asleep in his court room .
It was tiring being arrested in one part of the country and driving across country to court over an arrest in another state .
Sanders and Leahy were great , they would allow the occupations and scheduled them on their calendars.
True story .”