The Democratic Party likes to tell economic progressives that it is their ally. The Democrats claim that they would happily advance an economically progressive agenda, if only the Republicans didn’t control the U.S. House of Representatives.
The legislative record of the Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate shows a different picture. When the Senate Democrats have been given opportunities to pass economically progressive legislation, they have typically failed to do so.
For example, last year, independent senator Bernard Sanders, currently tied for the position of the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate, introduced the End Polluter Welfare Act, which would have eliminated more than 110 billion dollars in government subsidies for the oil industry, which continues to charge Americans high prices for fossil fuels in spite of receiving huge amounts of corporate welfare. Not even one Democrat in the Senate would support the bill.
That was last year, of course. Today, the Democrats have a stronger hand in the U.S. Senate, and so, if they really wanted to advance a progressive economic agenda, we’d see more clear evidence of it.
Instead, we’re seeing the opposite from the Senate Democrats. We’re seeing S. 954.
S. 954 is commonly referred to as the Farm Bill. It might more accurately be referred to as the Starve Impoverished Americans Bill. Part of the program of “reform” that will be created if S. 954 is passed into law will be the elimination of 4 billion dollars in food stamps that are used to provide food to impoverished American families.
The Democratic Party isn’t just going along with this starvation legislation. It helped to create it in the first place. What’s more, last month, the Democrats were given the chance to fix S. 954 by restoring food stamps spending to normal levels, with Senate Amendment 931. However, 26 Senate Democrats voted against this amendment. These Democrats voted specifically to cut billions of dollars in food aid to desperate Americans.
Today, the Senate Democrats have a final chance to repair this injustice. They have a chance to vote against the draconian S. 954. S. 954 is scheduled to be considered for passage by the entire U.S. Senate.
What do you think the chances are that the Democrats will finally keep their promises, and vote to defend a progressive economic vision for America?
If you’ve been paying attention, you know the chances are next to nothing. It’s time for sincere progressives to recognize that the Democratic Party doesn’t represent their point of view. It’s time for American progressives to invest in the Green Party.