Charles and David Koch, the billionaire brothers with the second biggest fortune in America, are threating to bankroll primary campaigns by Tea Party extremists challenging Republicans in Congress who don't go along with their crusade to undo the Affordable Care Act, Sen. Bernie Sanders said on Saturday during a 90-minute presentation at The New Yorker Festival. Then on Sunday The New York Times published a report detailing how the Kochs and others bankrolled a coalition of conservative activists pushing to repeal the health care law and threatening Republicans who won't go along with closing the government to try to get their way.
It's "a political crisis," Sanders said of the shutdown. It is part of a Koch-funded campaign to annul the law that passed Congress four years ago and was upheld by the Supreme Court and was a key issue in the 2012 presidential campaign that President Obama won by 5 million votes. And it is about more than trying to unwind what the American people decided through the democratic process, Sanders stressed. Their agenda is to end Social Security and Medicare, abolish the minimum wage, destroy the EPA and undo every other program enacted in the past half century to protect working families in America, Sanders added.