(Host) Congressman Bernie Sanders says the unexpected death of Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone on Friday is a tremendous loss for the entire country. Wellstone, his wife Sheila, and several members of his staff were killed in a small plane crash in northern Minnesota.
Sanders and Wellstone were both elected to Congress in 1990 and shared similar political philosophies. Sanders helped form the Congressional Progressive Caucus in the early 1990s and Wellstone was the only member of the U.S. Senate who was part of the caucus:
(Sanders) “It really is very difficult to contemplate that the United States Senate will not have Paul Wellstone, because in many ways his voice was unique. He was speaking out on issues that many other people have not spoken out on. And over the years he and I not only developed a personal relationship, but we worked together on a wide variety of issues. In many ways he was the conscience of the Senate and when you needed somebody to speak out on this or that issue, Paul would be there.”
(Host) Sanders says some of Wellstone’s most effective work involved efforts to expand mental health insurance coverage for millions of Americans.