A Cliff Hanger

The Senate scheduled a New Year’s Eve session on Monday as negotiations continued on a possible eleventh-hour agreement to head off tax increases and spending cuts that take effect on Tuesday. Sen. Bernie Sanders said on Sunday that he still hoped agreement could be reached to avert tax increases for working families and to extend unemployment benefits that expired Saturday for 2.1 million Americans. Over the weekend, Republican senators demanded cuts in benefits for Social Security recipients and disabled veterans. They withdrew that proposal but, while professing concern about deficits, argued for a huge tax break to a small group of heirs to America’s super-rich. Sanders analyzed the state of the negotiations an interview Sunday with Chris Jansing on MSNBC.

Watch the interview

“People have got to understand what the so-called chained CPI is. it sounds like a technical term. In real life it means that if you're 65 years of age today on Social Security, by the time you're 75, it will be a $600 a year reduction. By the time you're 85, it will be over $1,000. that is a huge cut. In addition, what the chained CPI could do is significantly cut benefits for disabled veterans and for the thousands of those people who died in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

“That is not how you balance the budget,” Sanders said.