Bernie Sanders Weighs In On Local Issues During Cleveland Visit

May 2, 2017

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont (D) spoke at the City Club on Monday.
Credit IDEASTREAM

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders criticized the Trump administration in a speech Monday hosted by the Cleveland City Club.

The former Democratic presidential candidate was also asked to weigh in on a local issue: the deal to fund Quicken Loans Arena renovations with admissions taxes and other public money.

An opponent of the plan asked the Vermont senator about it during a question-and-answer session. Sanders said he didn’t want to get too involved in a local issue, but spoke ill of such arrangements in general.

“You have in many cases, literally billionaires, people who own professional teams, who are going to taxpayers to ask for money," Sanders said. "I don’t like that idea. I think that smacks to me of corporate welfare. I think billionaires can fund their own endeavors."

In a Plain Dealer op-ed this weekend, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson called the deal a good one for the city.

Sanders also criticized President Trump’s tax and budget proposals in a speech, and said there were members of Congress prepared to oppose Trump’s policies. But he said they would have to do more.

“What we need to do is bring forth a progressive agenda that addresses the needs of the working families of this country, an agenda that has a different moral compass than that of President Trump," he said.

Sanders proposed raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, and instituting what he called “Medicare-for-all” single-payer healthcare.

He spoke at the Global Center for Health Innovation.