WASHINGTON, Oct. 28 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) issued the following statement on the bipartisan budget deal, which also raises the national borrowing limit until March 2017.
“This is not the budget I would have written. It doesn’t ask the most profitable corporations and the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share in taxes and it increases Pentagon spending too much. But I will support it because it’s much better than across-the-board budget cuts, increased premiums for Medicare, cuts to Social Security and the constant threat we won’t pay our bills.
“In my view, a two-year deal gives us time to focus on providing an emergency cost of living adjustment for senior citizens, raising the minimum wage, ensuring equal pay for women, expanding Social Security, making college tuition-free, reforming our criminal justice system, bringing millions of new Americans out of the shadows and addressing the growing threat of climate change.”
The deal also includes a provision to curb skyrocketing drug prices by requiring drug companies to pay a rebate to Medicaid when prices of generic drugs shoot up at a rate steeper than inflation. The legislation was originally introduced as the Medicaid Generic Drug Fairness Act by Sanders and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) in the 113th Congress. The bill was reintroduced in May.