Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan just made a campaign promise that could literally drive millions of young, progressive Democrats to the polls across America. If you’re a Bernie Sanders supporter, these words might just be music to your ears…
If voters select Democrats over at least four incumbent Republican Senators, then Bernie Sanders will become the next Senate Budget Committee Chairperson. It would be the ideal place for Vermont’s Senator Sanders to push for his priorities like infrastructure spending, fighting climate change, adding the public option to Obamacare and making sure that millions of Americans are guaranteed food security.
Paul Ryan's doomsday scenario if GOP loses the Senate: "A guy named Bernie Sanders" becomes Budget committee chair
— Abby D. Phillip (@abbydphillip) October 14, 2016
— Jessica Arp (@news3jessica) October 14, 2016
Senate races in Florida, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Missouri and New Hampshire are all too close to call for various reasons and all feature Democrats in close races against Republican incumbents, who’re facing a Trump headwind or worse.
It hasn’t taken long for observers to realize the immense power that Senator Sanders would directly be able to dictate how the federal government spends its $4.15 trillion dollar annual budget.
Twitter especially noticed:
— gbastian (@gbastian) October 14, 2016
That's weird that Paul Ryan is trying to motivate discouraged Bernie Sanders supporters to vote downballot if nothing else but I'll take it https://t.co/aySMqm2s3B
— Christina Holland (@americanwombat) October 14, 2016
Paul Ryan just energized the supposedly apathetic youth bloc of Democratic voters. https://t.co/jhTujaYdjf
— Jeff Crow (@jeffreycrow) October 14, 2016
The three singularly most powerful elected officials in America are the President, House Speaker and Senate Majority leader, and right behind them loom Congresspeople who control the two Budget Committees who literally hold the power of the purse in the palm of their hands.
This is amazing news for all of the Vermont Senator’s supporters nationwide and should provide extra motivation to “Bernie or Bust” voters to make sure there’s a tremendous turnout down the ticket.
It’s also further proof that the Democratic Party and Sanders do have a longer term future together, and recognition of Bernie’s visionary leadership which hasn’t changed much since he arrived in Congress, but America has grown to appreciate.
If America votes Democratic down the ticket to flip Congress while making Hillary Clinton our first female President, then we certainly will see the political revolution Senator Sanders envisioned: because he’ll be deciding how to spend Uncle Sam’s money himself.
Grant Stern is an Editor-At-Large for OccupyDemocrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, and a senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition