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Author Topic: Profiles in Courage  (Read 20789 times)

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    • Renwable Revolution
“If I were to pick the movie that feels most emblematic of my life story,” Jeffords began his 2003 autobiography, “I would choose ‘Mister Smith Goes to Washington,’ or some other wholesome film that shows what life was like before we became so obsessed with speed and consumption, a time when your word meant something and people were driven by ethics more than money.” -- Senator Jim Jeffords of Vermont

U.S. Sen. James Jeffords of Vermont, pictured on television in a Burlington hotel ballroom, announces he was leaving the Republican Party on May 24, 2001.

‘Way ahead of his time’ : Jim Jeffords’ 2001 political switch back in the spotlight

By Kevin O'Connor

May 23 2021


Following President 🐘🦖 George W. Bush’s inauguration on Jan. 20, 2001, Jeffords’ party controlled all branches of the federal government for the first time in 40 years. That allowed the Vermonter to anticipate passage of several pet projects as chair of the powerful Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

U.S. Sen. James Jeffords, Rep. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Patrick Leahy offer a “milk toast.” Office of Sen. Patrick Leahy photo

But by February, Jeffords faced growing differences with Bush and his conservative colleagues, especially over the administration’s proposed $1.6 trillion tax cut. The senator said he’d vote for the plan if Bush set aside $180 billion to cover the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, a longstanding special-education law that traditionally lacks enough funding.

The president balked. Jeffords, feeling his peers had rejected one too many of his priorities, began talking privately about bolting from the party.

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Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Ps. 97:11


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