WASHINGTON, March 17 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, today dismissed the House Republican budget as an attack on the middle class and seniors and a gift to millionaires, billionaires and high-powered tax lobbyists. And he predicted the Senate budget plan would be similar in most respects.
“The House budget is the Robin Hood principal in reverse. It takes from the poor and working families and gives it to the rich and multi-nationals corporations. It is a budget proposal that must be defeated. At a time when so many people are struggling and we have grotesque levels of wealth inequality, this budget cuts nutrition programs for kids, Medicare for seniors and education opportunities for young people. And then to add insult to injury, this budget plans offers huge tax breaks to the rich and large corporations,” Sanders said.
Sanders added: “I and other Democratic members will be offering a strong series of amendments in committee and on the Senate floor to change these disastrous proposals.”
The Republican plan released in the House takes aim at ordinary American families by:
- Slashing Medicaid
- Repealing the Affordable Care Act
- Voucherizing Medicare, harming seniors
- Eliminating the Medicaid expansion, which helped millions get affordable insurance
- Freezing Pell grants and undermining Wall Street reform
Sanders noted several significant flaws in the House plan, including the use of taxes. For instance, if the top rates were cut to 25 percent as proposed last year, the total tax cuts would exceed $5.7 trillion and nearly half that – or $2.75 trillion – would go to households with income exceeding $1 million.
Moreover, their plans would allow the expiration of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit after 2017, meaning 13 million families and a total of 25 million children would lose part or all of these tax credits in 2018. In Vermont alone, more than 15,000 families with nearly 25,000 children would lose part or all of these tax benefits in 2018.
Sanders said his goal is to have Senate Republicans, who are expected to release their budget plan tomorrow, to vote on a series of amendments spelling out priorities from the American people, including: Rebuilding infrastructure, raising the minimum wage, improving overtime pay, addressing pay equity for women workers, preventing cuts to Social Security and Medicare, making college education affordable and reforming the tax system.