Bernie Sanders introduces the BEZOS Act, slamming Amazon's low wages 

  • Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., introduced legislation on Thursday aimed at shaming large, profitable corporations like Amazon and Walmart.
  • The "BEZOS Act" would tax corporations for every dollar that their low-wage workers receive in government assistance.
Chief Executive Officer of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, tours the facility at the grand opening of the Amazon Spheres, in Seattle, Washington on January 29, 2018. 
Jason Redmond | Getty
Chief Executive Officer of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, tours the facility at the grand opening of the Amazon Spheres, in Seattle, Washington on January 29, 2018. 

Sen. Bernie Sanders' criticism of Amazon peaked Wednesday as he and Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., introduced legislation to tax corporations for every dollar that their low-wage workers receive in government health-care benefits or food stamps.

The bill, pointedly called the Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies, or BEZOS, Act, is aimed at shaming companies like Amazon and Walmart, whose workers rely on public assistance.

For months, Sanders has targeted Amazon, juxtaposing the wealth of CEO Jeff Bezos with reports that Amazon warehouse workers are paid less than industry averages and rely on food stamps.

Bezos is the richest man in the world, with a net worth of more than $168 billion.

"Our legislation gives large, profitable employers a choice: Pay workers a living wage or pay for the public assistance programs their low-wage employees are forced to depend upon," Sanders said of the proposed law.

For example, if an Amazon worker received $2,000 in food stamps, Amazon would be taxed $2,000 to cover that cost.

Amazon has previously called the Vermont independent's claims about working conditions in its fulfillment centers "inaccurate and misleading" and a spokesperson declined to further comment on the bill.

You can watch the announcement from Sanders and Khanna here:



Correction: Sen. Bernie Sanders is an independent from Vermont. An earlier version misstated his party affiliation.