A congressional committee faced a Thanksgiving deadline to come up with a plan to cut deficits by $1.2 trillion over the next decade. Sen. Bernie Sanders rallied against cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. To help balance the budget, he also called for higher taxes on the wealthiest Americans. In an interview on Friday with CNN, he bluntly declared that no deal would be better than a bad deal.
Sanders said the 12-member panel should not balance the budget by targeting working families. At a Capitol Hill rally on Thursday, he insisted that there be no cuts in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. His advice to the committee, Listen to the American people. If no agreement is reached, automatic spending cuts would not begin to take effect until January 2013. That gives Congress a full year to come up with a better plan. It also would give American voters a big say in the eventual outcome, because there is a national election next year.
Congress on Thursday approved crucial post-Irene disaster aid for Vermont. Sanders said Vermont is entitled to federal help to rebuild after the natural disaster. "There is no doubt that Vermonters will pick up the pieces and restore our homes, businesses and communities, but the simple fact is that we cannot do this alone. Vermont, like every other state that experiences a disaster, is entitled to federal help to rebuild our communities. I am glad that in a significant way we were able to accomplish that with this bill."
Tar Sands Pipeline
Sanders on Thursday urged Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to find an independent company to conduct a new environmental impact study of a proposed oil pipeline from Canada's tar sands oil fields to refineries in Texas along the Gulf of Mexico. Read the letter.
Health Care Reform
The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to review the health care reform law that Congress passed. Lower courts have reached different conclusions about whether a provision in the law is constitutional. A decision is expected to be announced by next June. Meanwhile, what's your opinion? Take our poll