Bernard Sanders (born September 8, 1941) is an American politician from the U.S. state of Vermont. He has represented Vermont's at-large district in the United States House of Representatives since 1991.
Sanders is an independent, but caucuses with the Democrats and is counted as a Democrat for the purposes of committee assignments. He is the only independent member of the House, and is one of very few self-described democratic socialists elected to federal office in the United States in recent times. Sanders is currently serving his eighth two-year term, and is giving up his House seat to pursue the open Senate seat to be vacated by the retiring Jim Jeffords in the 2006 Senate election in Vermont. He is a populist with widespread support in Vermont.