WASHINGTON, March 15 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, today urged Republicans to work with the Democratic Caucus to produce a budget which represents the needs of the American middle class and not just the wealthiest and most powerful people in the country.
Sanders said a sensible budget must lay the groundwork for:
- Rebuilding crumbling infrastructure and creating millions of new jobs.
- Raising the minimum wage, improving overtime pay and addressing pay equity for women workers.
- Preventing cuts to Social Security and Medicare.
- Making college education affordable and ending the huge student debt crisis.
- Creating a tax system which is fair for working families and ends tax loopholes for large corporations.
“As the Senate moves to the debate over the budget, I hope very much that my Republican colleagues will not release a document that stands for the Robin Hood principle in reverse – as the House Ryan Republican budget did last year. We must not take from the poor to give to the rich. We must not cut programs that the elderly, the children, the sick, the poor and working families desperately depend upon, in order to give more tax breaks to large, profitable corporations,” Sanders said.
Sanders added that he and the Democratic members of the committee would vigorously oppose Republican ideas to:
- Continue mindless austerity with across the board cuts in all programs.
- Convert Medicaid and Food Stamps into a block grant program.
- Repeal the Affordable Care Act.
- Provide large tax cuts for the wealthy with incomes above $1 million a year and continued tax cuts for large corporations.
- Massive cuts to the social safety net over the next 10 years.