Please select your state
so that we can show you the most relevant content.

Hoosiers shut down Senator Bernie Sanders’ bid for budget bill support

Sep 9, 2021 by AFP

Logo for Americans for Prosperity's End Washington Waste: Stop the Spending Spree campaign

Indiana basketball fans know that when an opponent scores an easy layup, it’s important to quickly sink a shot of your own. Basketball is a game of momentum. 

Just days after the U.S. House approved his $3.5 trillion budget boondoggle, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) was riding high and headed to West Lafayette, Indiana, to build support among skeptics.  

The momentum stopped as soon as the senator hit the heartland.  

After learning about Sanders’ planned trip, Americans for Prosperity-Indiana State Director Josh Webb, who had been on the job for just a week, planned three events to counter Sanders’ one. 

The message: Sanders’ wasteful spending would lead to tax hikes on all Americans, reduce growth by imposing costly new regulations, and add trillions to the deficit while doing little to improve American infrastructure 

According to Webb, “every media story” that mentioned Sanders’ visit touched on these points.  

Activists listen to Senator Mike Braun and others as they warn of the dangers of Washington's wasteful spending, as represented by Bernie Sanders' budget bill.

West Lafayette, Ind. (August 27, 2021) AFP-Indiana activists listen to Senator Mike Braun, State Attorney General Todd Rokita, and Congressman Jim Baird warn of the dangers of Washington’s wasteful spending

Hometown lawmakers preempt Sanders

AFP activists were suited up before Sanders spoke.  

About three hours prior to Sanders’ August 27 remarks, AFP-Indiana hosted an event with three leading Hoosier policymakers: U.S. Senator Mike Braun, U.S. Rep. Jim Baird, and state Attorney General Todd Rokita.  

Webb said AFP was able to attract such star power because of the relationships and trust it has built with lawmakers.  

Braun called Sanders’ budget bill “a debt bomb and an inflation bomb.” 

The event garnered ample media coverage and ensured that Hoosiers’ concerns about Washington’s wasteful spending were heard before Sanders even took the stage.  

“You can’t just keep printing money. Everything is not free and there will be a day of reckoning,” said activist Terry Young.

His wife, Jennifer, said she is concerned how the debt-financed bill would affect her grown children and future grandchildren.

AFP-Indiana activists at an End Washington Waste event, where they called on Congress to pull the pork and stop wasteful spending.

West-Lafayette, Ind. (August 27, 2021) Activists gathered outside the amphitheater where Senator Sanders spoke to make sure Hoosiers knew how they could send a message to their lawmakers: Pull the Pork!

Activists concerned about out-of-control wasteful spending

Braun kept up the drumbeat once Sanders started to speak. 

As the local newspaper Journal & Courier reported, on social media, Braun said Sanders’ budget bill includes “out of control spending and tax hikes on hardworking Americans.” 

AFP activists, meanwhile, assembled at the amphitheater where Sanders held his event. They displayed signs asking Hoosiers to text WASTE to 46262 to send a message to their senators and member of Congress.  

In addition to concerns about tax increases, State Director Webb said assembled activists were concerned that Sanders’ spending will harm the post-COVID recovery.  

If costs are going up faster than wages, it’s a recipe for taking our economy backward,” said Webb.   

Sanders’ trip unsuccessful, but AFP momentum grows

The Chicago Tribune said Sanders’ venture into Hoosier territory was unsuccessful:

“Absent from the two-hour event was any overt appeal from Sanders to those who may not have supported his movement previously … the stated purpose of his trip.” 

The Tribune noted Sanders’ recent trip to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where AFP also was present, also did not generate new support for his budget bill.  

While Sanders’ trips failed to generate momentum for Democrats’ spending plans, team AFP-Indiana hasn’t let up.

U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Indiana) joined AFP President Tim Phillips in Fort Wayne on September 2 to discuss how Hoosiers can continue to make their voices heard.   

Senator Todd Young holds up one of Americans for Prosperity's End Washington Waste t-shirts at an event with activists and AFP President Tim Phillips

Fort Wayne, Ind. (September 2, 2021) Senator Todd Young holds up one of Americans for Prosperity’s End Washington Waste t-shirts.

Interested in getting involved? Take action online now or text WASTE to 46262.  

Click here to End Washington Waste and Stop the Spending Spree