Senate Dems Have a New Role for Bernie Sanders

He vows to hold Trump accountable for campaign promises
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 17, 2016 3:12 AM CST
Senate Dems Have a New Role for Bernie Sanders
Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington Wednesday after Sen. Chuck Schumer was elected minority leader for the upcoming 115th Congress.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

(Newser) – Bernie Sanders is back on the political scene and he's more powerful than ever. After Chuck Schumer was elected Senate minority leader Wednesday, he announced that the independent Vermont senator will be Senate Democrats' new chair of "outreach." USA Today reports that this will make Sanders the first independent to hold a party leadership position in at least a century. In a speech at DC's George Washington University Wednesday, Sanders said he plans to take the new role very seriously—and he also plans to hold Donald Trump to account for all his campaign promises to the working class, Politico reports. He said we will soon find out whether Trump was being sincere.

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Sanders said the Democratic Party needs "major, major reforms" and rejected suggestions that his candidacy might have cost Hillary Clinton the election. "You can argue the exact reverse, that maybe I would have been elected president of the United States," he said, adding that his candidacy brought millions of people into the political process, and that he stumped for Clinton in her campaign's final weeks, NBC News reports. "Very few people in this country worked harder for Hillary Clinton than I did," he said. Asked about whether he would run for president in 2020, Sanders didn't rule it out, but he said that election is "the last thing the American people are worried about." (Read more Bernie Sanders stories.)

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