Save Us, Kamala!

Kamala Harris Could Deliver $15 Minimum Wage If Democrats Really Wanted It (

SIGN NOW 2,243 signatures

One of Kamala Harris’ top priorities is to pass a $15 an hour minimum wage. There’s great news for the Vice President – she has the power to include it in the Covid relief bill! In her role as the Presiding Chair of the Senate, she has sole authority to decide whether the minimum wage provision can be included in the bill as part of the process called reconciliation.

So, the Vice President can single-handedly save the minimum wage increase and save millions of people from a life of poverty. So, we, the undersigned, ask you, Vice President Harris, to rule that a minimum wage increase is allowed in the Covid relief bill.

 Posted by TYT Staff · Opens 3/2/21 – 3/30/21

Sign at:

Share This Item

Organizing to win!

December 2, 2020 (

Don Bechler, founder of the California health care advocacy organization Single Payer Now, died in October. With his death, the movement has lost a great champion; healthcare advocates all over the country are mourning his passing.

by Barry Hermanson

I met Don Bechler during the successful living wage campaign in San Francisco in the late 1990s, after which 20,000 workers received a raise in pay and many of them joined a union. Following the campaign, Don recruited me to the fight for an Improved Medicare for All. 

Over the years, we became good friends. Don died in October. With his death, the movement has lost a great champion. Healthcare advocates all over the country are mourning his passing.

Don created an organization called Single Payer Now. His brochure states, “To win single payer healthcare in California we need 5,000,000 identified campaign supporters.” I agree. 

The fight for better health care in California will be won at the ballot box. Republican legislators oppose it while Democrats work to make incremental improvements to Obamacare – and Gov. Newsom and legislators remain silent during a pandemic. Political contributions from the for-profit healthcare industry buys that silence.

Rallies, marches, street corners, city hall, Sacramento and Washington were all good places to be an advocate for better health care. Don made many calls recruiting people to attend actions. For years, Single Payer Now mailing parties were held in my home. 

Sometimes, there were so many volunteers, people would be working in the living, dining and breakfast rooms. I cooked dinner for anyone who was still working at the end of the day. There were many wonderful political, health care and organizing conversations around the table. Don was an excellent organizer. 

“As the myth busting website Snopes points out, ‘contrary to popular belief, Congressional members do not receive free health care.’ Instead, they choose a gold-level Obamacare policy and receive federal subsidies that cover 72 percent of the cost of the premiums.”

“Among the public overall, 63 percent of U.S. adults say the government has the responsibility to provide health care coverage for all, up slightly from 59 percent last year. Roughly a third (37 percent) say this is not the responsibility of the federal government, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted July 27 to Aug. 2 among 11,001 adults.” From

Sixty-three percent is good news for longtime healthcare advocates. Without opposition spending, that level of support is enough to win an election. Healthcare profiteers will spend hundreds of millions – whatever it takes – to defeat us. For-profit dialysis clinics spent over $100 million to defeat an initiative to regulate them this November. That amount will be small compared to the opposition to an initiative to remove profit from health care in California. 

We are not ready to go to the ballot. In addition to organizing legislation, influencing politicians and educating voters, much work needs to be done identifying supporters. More than 17 million Californians cast a ballot in the November election: Don’s number of identified supporters should be updated to 9 million – 50 percent plus one to win.

One third of Californians rely on Medi-Cal for their health care. That’s 13 million people. Accessing quality care is difficult, as doctors are reluctant to accept Medi-Cal patients because physician reimbursement rates are low. 

“In Canada, everyone is covered automatically at birth – everybody in, nobody out … coverage is not tied to a job or dependent on your income – rich and poor are in the same system, the best guarantee of quality.”

In addition, how many people can’t afford to use their health insurance? High co-payments and deductibles before insurance payments kick in keep many from calling the doctor. Millions do not have any insurance whatsoever. “Almost four in 10 Californians are living in or near poverty,” more than 15 million people. From

“As the myth busting website Snopes points out, ‘contrary to popular belief, Congressional members do not receive free health care.’ Instead, they choose a gold-level Obamacare policy and receive federal subsidies that cover 72 percent of the cost of the premiums.” From

“In Canada, everyone is covered automatically at birth – everybody in, nobody out … coverage is not tied to a job or dependent on your income – rich and poor are in the same system, the best guarantee of quality.” From   

When we go to the ballot, voters who don’t have access to good health care will not be influenced by the arguments of profiteers who oppose us. If they vote, we will win better health care for everyone in California.

“Don’t mourn. Organize!” is a slogan I learned from my union friends. Don would agree. Winning is difficult; not impossible. That’s why I keep fighting. 

Barry Hermanson is a Green Party of California Coordinating Committee memberGPCA representative to Healthy California Now, a statewide coalition of organizations and activists dedicated to establishing a single-payer Medicare For All system in California, and a former small business ownerContact him at or 415-255-9494 or write to him via the Bay View.

Share This Item

Book: “Medicare for All: A Citizen’s Guide”

Medicare for All: A Citizen's Guide

Medicare for All: A Citizen’s Guide

by Abdul El-Sayed (Goodreads Author), Micah Johnson 

A citizen’s guide to America’s most debated policy-in-waiting

There are few issues as consequential in the lives of Americans as healthcare–and few issues more politically vexing. Every single American will interact with the healthcare system at some point in their lives, and most people will find that interaction less than satisfactory. And yet for every dollar spent in our economy, 18 cents go to healthcare. What are we paying for, exactly?

Healthcare policy is notoriously complex, but what Americans want is simple: good healthcare that’s easy to use and doesn’t break the bank. Polls show that a majority of Americans want the government to provide universal health coverage to all Americans.

What’s less clear is how to get there.

Medicare for All is the leading proposal to achieve universal health coverage in America. But what is it exactly? How would it work? More importantly, is it practical or practicable?

This book goes beyond partisan talking points to offer a serious examination of how Medicare for All would transform the way we give, receive, and pay for healthcare in America.


Link to book review audio:

Share This Item

Hong Kong detains 47 activists on subversion charges

Hong Kong police have detained 47 pro-democracy activists on charges of conspiracy to commit subversion under the sweeping national security law

By ZEN SOO Associated Press February 28, 2021 (

On Location: March 2, 2021


On Location: March 2, 2021Catch up on the developing stories making headlines.

HONG KONG — Hong Kong police on Sunday detained 47 pro-democracy activists on charges of conspiracy to commit subversion under the city’s national security law, in the largest mass charge against the semi-autonomous Chinese territory’s opposition camp since the law came into effect last June.

The former lawmakers and democracy advocates had been previously arrested in a sweeping police operation in January but were released. They have been detained again and will appear in court on Monday, police said in a statement.Recent Stories from ABC News

They allegedly violated the national security law that was imposed by Beijing for participating in unofficial election primaries for Hong Kong’s legislature last year.

The defendants include 39 men and eight women aged between 23 and 64, police said.

The move is part of a continuing crackdown on the city’s democracy movement, with a string of arrests and prosecutions of Hong Kong’s democracy proponents — including outspoken activists Joshua Wong and Jimmy Lai — following months of anti-government protests in 2019.

The pro-democracy camp had held the primaries to determine the best candidates to field to win a majority in the legislature and had plans to vote down major bills that would eventually force Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam to resign.

In January, 55 activists and former lawmakers were arrested for their roles in the primaries.

Authorities said that the activists’ participation was part of a plan to paralyze the city’s legislature and subvert state power.

The legislative election that would have followed the unofficial primaries was postponed by a year by Lam, who cited public health risks during the coronavirus pandemic. Mass resignations and disqualifications of pro-democracy lawmakers have left the legislature largely a pro-Beijing body.

Among those arrested on Sunday was former lawmaker Eddie Chu. A post on his official Twitter account confirmed that he was being charged for conspiracy to commit subversion and that he was denied bail.

“Thank you to the people of Hong Kong for giving me the opportunity to contribute to society in the past 15 years,” Chu said in a post on his Facebook page.

Another candidate in the primaries, Winnie Yu, was also charged and will appear in court on Monday, according to a post on her official Facebook page.

American lawyer John Clancey, a member of the now-defunct political rights group “Power for Democracy” who was arrested in January for his involvement in the primary, was not among those detained on Sunday.

“I will give full support to those who have been charged and will be facing trial, because from my perspective, they have done nothing wrong,” Clancey told reporters.

The security law criminalizes acts of subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign powers to intervene in Hong Kong’s affairs. Serious offenders could face a maximum punishment of life imprisonment. Nearly 100 people have been arrested since the law was implemented.

Share This Item

Warriors’ Steve Kerr lauds Jeremy Lin for post on racism against Asian Americans

Jeremy Lin talks to fellow Santa Cruz Warriors guard Jordan Poole during a recent game at the G League bubble in Orlando.
Jeremy Lin talks to fellow Santa Cruz Warriors guard Jordan Poole during a recent game at the G League bubble in Orlando.NBA Photos/NBAE via Getty Images

February 27, 2021 (

By Connor Letourneau

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr lauded Santa Cruz guard Jeremy Lin for his impassioned Instagram post Thursday railing against the wave of anti-Asian American violence across the country.

“I just saw the … post just now, really powerful,” Kerr said before Friday night’s game against the Hornets at Chase Center. “I applaud Jeremy for his words and echo his sentiments regarding racism against the Asian American community. It’s just so ridiculous. And obviously, spawned by many people — including our former president, as it relates to the coronavirus originating in China.

“It’s just shocking. I don’t know, I just can’t wrap my head around any of it. But I can’t wrap my head around racism in general. I mean, we’re all just flesh and blood. We’re all just people. As (Spurs coach Gregg Popovich) once said to me, ‘We’re all accidents of birth.’ We were born, we come out the way we are and we don’t have a say in it. We do have a say in how we treat people, and it’s just shocking to me that we can treat people so poorly based on the color of their skin.”

Lin, who joined Santa Cruz — Golden State’s G League affiliate — at the G League bubble near Orlando in hopes of resuscitating his NBA career, took to social media in response to a recent surge in violence against Asian Americans. Attacks on elderly Asian Americans, recently seen in the Bay Area, are now happening in New York.

“Something is changing in this generation of Asian Americans,” Lin wrote on Instagram. “We are tired of being told that we don’t experience racism, we are tired of being told to keep our heads down and not make trouble. We are tired of Asian American kids growing up and being asked where they’re REALLY from, of having our eyes mocked, of being objectified as exotic or being told we’re inherently unattractive.

“We are tired of the stereotypes in Hollywood affecting our psyche and limiting who we think we can be. We are tired of being invisible, of being mistaken for our colleague or told our struggles aren’t as real. I want better for my elders who worked so hard and sacrificed so much to make a life for themselves here. I want better for my niece and nephew and future kids. I want better for the next generation of Asian American athletes than to have to work so hard to just be ‘deceptively athletic.’

“Being an Asian American doesn’t mean we don’t experience poverty and racism. Being a 9 year NBA veteran doesn’t protect me from being called ‘coronavirus’ on the court. Being a man of faith doesn’t mean I don’t fight for justice, for myself and for others.”

Asked whether he’d support an investigation into Lin’s allegation that he’s been called “coronavirus” during a game, Kerr said, “Oh yeah. For sure, for sure. … The reference was a little bit vague, so I think it’d be good to know what happened.”

Roughly an hour after Kerr’s comment, the G League announced that it’s opening an investigation into Lin’s statement that he has been called “coronavirus.”

In five games with Santa Cruz at the G League bubble, Lin, 32, has averaged 19.6 points on 48.3% shooting (48.4% from 3-point range), 2.8 rebounds, 7.2 assists and 1.6 steals.More for you

Connor Letourneau moved to the Golden State Warriors beat in September 2016 after a year covering Cal. Previously, he spent two years covering the Oregon State Beavers for The Oregonian. Letourneau is a University of Maryland alum who has interned for The Baltimore Sun and blogged for The New York Times. A Portland, Ore., native, he is interested in telling the stories that extend beyond the field or court.VIEW COMMENTSTop of the News

HEARST newspapers logo

©2021 Hearst

Share This Item

Parliamentarian Cuts Minimum Wage From Stimulus Due To Obscure Rule Requiring Poor Citizens To Needlessly Suffer

Friday 2:40PM (

WASHINGTON—Citing the long-standing practice of maintaining boundaries between the classes, Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough asked Democrats to cut a minimum wage increase from their stimulus package Friday due to an obscure rule requiring poor citizens to needlessly suffer. “Raising the minimum wage would violate an 1834 statue put in place to inflict arbitrary pain on the nation’s most vulnerable groups,” said MacDonough, explaining that the rule was used as precedent to stop the 95th Congress from increasing the minimum wage to $2.50 in 1977. “There’s only one interpretation of this rule as it clearly states that providing relief for impoverished Americans is not to be included in any budgetary legislation. These policies exist for a reason. Punishing the lower class is a non-partisan issue. There’s no need to be frustrated with either party—take up your gripes with the Andrew Jackson administration and the 23rd United States Congress.” At press time, the stimulus package was in limbo while the Senate Parliamentarian determined if it was within the country’s purview to help the unemployed.

Share This Item

House Dems Demand Harris Advance $15 Minimum Wage

In a new letter, nearly two dozen House Dems are pressing Vice President Kamala Harris to ignore the Senate parliamentarian and fulfill her minimum wage promise.

Julia Rock and Andrew Perez Mar 1, 2021 (Daily Poster)

This report was written by Julia Rock and Andrew Perez.

Progressive House lawmakers are demanding Vice President Kamala Harris use her power as presiding officer of the Senate to immediately advance the $15 minimum wage that she has long said she supports.

“Eighty-one million people cast their ballots to elect you on a platform that called for a $15 minimum wage. We urge you to keep that promise,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter to Harris and President Joe Biden, pressing the White House to raise the wage for workers as part of Biden’s American Rescue Plan. “We must act now to prevent tens of millions of hardworking Americans from being underpaid any longer.”

The letter released Monday was signed by 23 Democrats, including Reps. Ro Khanna, Pramila Jayapal, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Jamal Bowman, and Cori Bush.

Raising the federal minimum wage from its current level of $7.25 an hour to $15 an hour would increase the wages of 32 million workers, a majority of whom currently live below the poverty line.

“We believe that the bill the President signs must include the House-passed minimum wage legislation,” Khanna told The Daily Poster. “This is the moment to get this done and it is within our control.”

The Senate Presiding Officer Is The Decider, Not The Parliamentarian

Last Thursday, Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough, the body’s nonpartisan adviser on all procedural matters, issued an opinion advising Democrats that she believes the minimum wage increase is subject to a point of order, allowing it to be stripped out of a COVID bill under the budget reconciliation process. Democrats are using that process so they can pass the legislation by a simple majority vote. 

The parliamentarian’s advice is non-binding. The presiding officer of the Senate is the ultimate decision maker and can ignore the parliamentarian, as The Daily Poster previously reported and as indicated by a recent Congressional Research Service (CRS) report. If the minimum wage is included in Democrats’ COVID relief bill and Republicans raise a point of order to try to strip it out, the presiding officer can reject the point of order.

As vice president, Harris is the chamber’s presiding officer, though if she decides to avoid being present in the chamber, another Democratic senator can issue rulings on parliamentary questions. The CRS report notes that 60 votes are needed to overrule a presiding officer’s ruling, though Republican senators could try to change that longstanding rule with a simple majority vote.

Democrats also have another option to advance the minimum wage: They could follow Republican precedent and replace the parliamentarian with a different adviser with a different interpretation of the so-called Byrd Rule, a three-decade-old rule requiring measures in budget legislation be related to federal spending. A Congressional Budget Office report said the minimum wage is related to spending, but the parliamentarian ignored that report.

While Democratic Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin backed a minimum wage increase in 2014, they have said they oppose including a $15 minimum wage in the COVID bill. It’s unclear whether they would vote to sink the entire relief package if Democrats include the measure and overrule the parliamentarian. 

White House Is So Far Trying To Preemptively Surrender

President Biden campaigned on a promise to enact a $15 minimum wage and presented himself as the guy who knows “how to make government work,” but his White House has suggested it wants Democratic senators to accept the parliamentarian’s opinion and allow the minimum wage measure to be pulled out of the COVID relief bill. 

“The vice president’s not going to weigh in,” Biden National Economic Council Director Brian Deese said Friday on CNBC. “The president and the vice president both respect the parliamentarian’s decision and the process.”

House Democrats included the minimum wage measure in the COVID relief legislation they passed on Saturday.

The new letter from the House Democrats heightens the pressure on Harris, who has backed a $15 minimum wage for years.

Exactly one year ago today, Harris reiterated her support for the wage increase.Kamala Harris @KamalaHarrisIn 2009, the federal minimum wage was set at $7.25/hour. More than 10 years later and it’s still $7.25. We need a $15 minimum wage to be the national floor. Now.March 1st 20206,232 Retweets36,965 Likes

She is now letting White House aides speak for her on the issue, however. Harris, should she want to run for president, could be seen as the candidate who killed a major party priority while in the White House. Alternately, she could play a high-profile role in advancing the minimum wage increase.  

The letter notes that Vice President Hubert Humphrey twice overruled the Senate parliamentarian, as did Vice President Walter Mondale. In 2001, Republicans fired the parliamentarian after he made two rulings that impeded their policy goals.

Days before the presidential election, Harris appeared in a virtual town hall with Sen. Bernie Sanders and committed to raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Biden and Harris both backed a $15 minimum wage during the Democratic primaries.

“The outdated and complex Byrd rule, rooted in restricting progress, must not be an impediment to improving people’s lives.” the House Democrats said in their letter. “You have the authority to deliver a raise for millions of Americans.”

This newsletter relies on readers pitching in to support it. If you like what you just read and want to help expand this kind of journalism, consider becoming a paid subscriber by clicking this link.

Subscribe now

Share This Item

Oscar Wilde’s visit to San Francisco sent the city into a bitter, clamoring frenzy

Oscar Wilde, Irish writer, wit and playwright, 1882.
Oscar Wilde, Irish writer, wit and playwright, 1882.Heritage Images/Getty Images

February 28, 2021 (

San Francisco today is a city passionately divided on many issues, from the naming of schools to whether the Ferris wheel in Golden Gate Park should keep spinning. But in 1882, the city’s chief cause of furor was the arrival of a 28-year-old Irish dandy.

More than a century before gay marriage was legalized in the city, Oscar Wilde visited in lavender pants and seal fur cuffs and wowed the city with his biting wit and ivory cane, though many tried to tear him down from the moment his Italian brogues stepped foot off the ferry.

The year-long trip across America — ostensibly a lecture tour on aesthetics and interior design — got off to a memorable start when he famously told New York City customs agents that he “had nothing to declare, except his genius.” This Kanye-type egotism was a gift to newspapermen, and arguably birthed the concept of the modern celebrity.

The Irish poet and playwright has been described as the most sardonic wit in the history of the English language. And as word followed Wilde from New York to Chicago, Detroit, Minnesota and finally to California, San Franciscans readied themselves for the arrival of the one-man show.

Oscar Wilde in New York City, 1882.
Oscar Wilde in New York City, 1882.

Thousands gathered at the (since-demolished) Platt’s Hall on Montgomery Street to hear Wilde’s musings on the artistic world, though most just wanted to get an eyeful of the flamboyant poet.

Everyone in San Francisco seemingly had an opinion, as the San Francisco Chronicle observed, “The city is divided into two camps, those who thought Wilde was an engaging speaker and an original thinker, and those who thought he was the most pretentious fraud ever perpetrated on a groaning public.”

While in the city Wilde stayed in the Palace Hotel, at the time the biggest hotel in California. At night, he drank everyone under the table (absinthe being his drink of choice) at the Bohemian Club — the secretive fraternity also known for ceremonial owl sacrifices and unending conspiracy theories. “I never saw so many well-dressed, well-fed, business-looking Bohemians in my life,” he later wrote of the society.

Between lectures he rode the ferry from San Francisco to Oakland and back and was met everywhere by thunderous crowds, adoring women and bitter newspapermen.

Most of the criticism against Wilde came from reporters and their barely hidden homophobia.

As writer Bill Lipsky wrote in the San Francisco Bay Times, old American archetypes at the time of the sturdy farmer and the hardy pioneer were starting to give way to a more urbane “tender ideal” of manliness. But Wilde’s aesthetic values — a love of artistry, beauty, taste and pleasure — was still a little too much for American men, and promoted a “dreaded effeminacy.”

In a maelstrom of scathing commentary, reporters outdid themselves in gleefully ridiculing him. Stories of the era reveal that while women adored him, educated men saw his new style with contempt. The Museum of the City of San Francisco writes that long tight trousers, high stiff collars and full mustaches were the order of the day in 1880s San Francisco, and Wilde’s radical short breeches, long silk stockings and shoulder-length haircut were seemingly an affront to American society.

While sexuality could not be discussed in newspaper inches in the 1880s, reporters deliberately chose their words to convey that Wilde was “unmanly” and “unnatural.” A Newark paper described his eyebrows as “the sort coveted by women,” while the New York Times referred to him as a “mama’s boy” with “affected effeminacy.”

Even the turn of phrase of one of the English language’s greatest speakers was mocked in the press. Reporters were horrified by Wildean expressions such as “too utterly utter,” “just too too” and “do you yearn?”

This cartoon published in the San Francisco Wasp during his visit takes some explaining, but it’s not flattering to the Irish poet.

“The Modern Messiah,” The San Francisco Wasp, March 31, 1882.The San Francisco Wasp

The scathing artwork published in the now-defunct satirical weekly magazine during his visit is entitled “The Modern Messiah,” and depicts many well-known members of S.F. society who attended his first lecture in the city.

The sunflowers represent the symbol of Wilde’s Aesthetic movement. The bag of money alludes to the $5,000 fee he received for his American tour, and the padlock depicts the theater manager responsible for booking the poet’s lectures in the city, Charles E. Locke.

Amid this cruel barrage of slander, Wilde may well have objected to his own famous words, “There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.”

On April 8, 1882, Wilde left San Francisco after his two-week visit and would never return. After seeing huge success and adulation over the next decade for the publication of his masterpieces “The Picture of Dorian Gray” and “The Importance of Being Earnest,” Wilde’s life would take many cruel turns and end in incarceration and poverty.

In 1895, he was sentenced to two years imprisonment in Reading jail for gross indecency with men, a story which made front-page news in San Francisco.

He would never live freely in England again and spent his final years in poverty in France before dying of meningitis at the age of 46. 
Oscar Wilde’s visit to San Francisco — a city he described as “the most lovely surroundings of any city except Naples” — did leave a mark on the author.

As he later wrote in “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” “It’s an odd thing, but anyone who disappears is said to be seen in San Francisco. It must be a delightful city and possess all the attractions of the next world.”More San Francisco History

SFGATE Local Editor Andrew Chamings grew up in Devon, England and moved to San Francisco in 2007. He was formerly Senior Editor at The Bold Italic and has written for The Atlantic, Vice and McSweeney’s. Follow him on TwitterEmail:

Share This Item

Sanders Warns Biden Attack on Syria Puts US on ‘Path of Continuing the Forever War Instead of Ending It’

February 26, 2021 by Common Dreams (

“Our Constitution is clear that it is Congress, not the president, who has the authority to declare war,” the senator asserted.

by Brett Wilkins, staff writer


Senate Budget Committee Chairman Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., arrives for a hearing on Capitol Hill examining wages at large profitable corporations February 25, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Susan Walsh-Pool/Getty Images)

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on February 26, 2021 expressed his serious concerns over the legality and consequences of U.S. airstrikes ordered by President Joe Biden against Iran-backed militants in eastern Syria. (Photo: Susan Walsh—Pool/Getty Images)

Sen. Bernie Sanders on Friday added his voice to a growing chorus of concern and condemnation after President Joe Biden ordered an attack Thursday on Iran-backed militants in eastern Syria without seeking congressional approval. 

“For far too long administrations of both parties have interpreted their authorities in an extremely expansive way to continue military interventions across the Middle East region and elsewhere.”
—Sen. Bernie Sanders

In a statement, Sanders (I-Vt.) said he was “very concerned” that the U.S. attack—which according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights killed 22 Iraqi Hezbollah and Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces fighters—”puts our country on the path of continuing the Forever War instead of ending it.” 

“This is the same path we’ve been on for almost two decades,” said Sanders. “For far too long administrations of both parties have interpreted their authorities in an extremely expansive way to continue military interventions across the Middle East region and elsewhere. This must end.” 

Sanders noted that “in 2019 Congress passed the first War Powers Resolution in history to end U.S. participation in the war in Yemen,” and that lawmakers passed another resolution last year to prevent former President Donald Trump “from starting a war with Iran.” 

“These were important and historic steps by Congress to reassert constitutional authority over the use of force, and we must continue to built on these efforts,” Sanders said. “Our Constitution is clear that it is Congress, not the president, who has the authority to declare war.” 

Earlier, other lawmakers said Biden should have sought congressional authorization for the strikes, which some legal experts say violated international law. While calling attacks by Iran-backed militants on Iraqi bases hosting U.S. troops “unacceptable,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) stressed that “retaliatory strikes, not necessary to prevent an imminent threat, must fall within the definition of an existing congressional authorization of military force.”

“Congress should hold this administration to the same standard it did prior administrations, and require clear legal justifications for military action, especially inside theaters like Syria, where Congress has not explicitly authorized any American military action,” said Murphy.

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) tweeted Friday that Democrats “ran on ending wars, not on escalating conflicts in the Middle East.” It was the Democratic administration of then-President Barack Obama that first intervened in the Syrian civil war in 2014. 

While U.S. airstrikes have decreased dramatically since Biden took office, Thursday’s attack—which followed a joint U.S.-Iraqi assassination of an Islamic State leader on January 27—was the second reported bombing of his tenure.

On Thursday, Common Dreams reported on a new study and interactive map from the Brown University Costs of War Project and USA Today detailing the U.S. military’s so-called “counterterrorism” operations in 85 nations, part of the open-ended post-9/11 “War on Terror” that has seen over half a dozen countries attacked or invaded, hundreds of overseas American military bases built, hundreds of thousands of lives lost, and trillions of dollars spent—with no end in sight.Our work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Feel free to republish and share widely.

Share This Item