WASHINGTON, July 15 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) Thursday issued the following statement after Democrats announced a sweeping $3.5 trillion budget deal:
At a time of massive wealth and income inequality and when half our people are living paycheck to paycheck, what this reconciliation bill will finally do is address the needs of our working families by asking the wealthy and large corporations to pay their fair share of taxes.
In many ways, it is the most consequential piece of legislation for working families since the Great Depression.
This legislation will aggressively reduce childhood poverty by extending the Child Tax Credit to deliver direct monthly payments of up to $300 per child to working families.
It will guarantee that no family pays over 7 percent of their income for child care. It will, finally, provide paid family and medical leave for working people.
It will make higher education affordable by allowing everyone to attend community college tuition-free.
It will take on the greed of the pharmaceutical industry and the reality that our people pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs by having Medicare negotiate prescription drug prices with drug companies.
It will ensure our seniors can live in dignity by expanding Medicare to cover eyeglasses, hearing aids, and dental care.It will take on the existential threat of climate change by creating millions of good-paying jobs transforming our energy systems away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy.
Finally, it is my hope that this legislation will restore the American people’s faith in their government by proving that it works for them, not just the wealthy and powerful and their lobbyists.