Sanders: Trump Should Pledge to Veto Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid Cuts

BURLINGTON, Vt., Dec. 11 – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) challenged President-elect Donald Trump Sunday to keep the campaign promises he made not to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Trump should pledge to veto legislation cutting those programs that Republicans in Congress plan to pass in the new session of Congress, Sanders said on the CBS News program Face the Nation.

“I challenge Mr. Trump today: tell the American people you are going to keep your campaign promises. Tell the Republicans to back off. No cuts for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and go forward with your campaign promise to lower the cost of prescription drugs,” Sanders said. 

During the campaign, Trump said, “I am not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican. And I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid. Every other Republican is going to cut [them].”  On May 7, 2015, Trump sent out a tweet stating: "I was the first & only potential GOP candidate to state there will be no cuts to Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid." On another occasion speaking at the New Hampshire Republican Leadership Summit, Trump scolded Republicans for trying to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. 

But as president-elect, Trump has picked Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), who advocated steep cuts in Medicare and Social Security, to lead the Department of Health and Human Services.

“All that Mr. Trump has got to do today is tell his Republican colleagues in the House and the Senate, ‘Back off. It ain't going to go anywhere. I will veto any legislation that will cut Social Security because I promised the American people that I would not do that.’”

Sanders supports expanding Social Security benefits by lifting the cap on all income above $250,000 a year. “If we do that we can extend Social Security for 50 years. The top 1.5 percent of people in this country will pay more in taxes. That's the right thing to do.”