Sen. Bernie Sanders heavily criticized the Senate Republicans' new budget plan, vowing to move it in a “radically different” direction from what’s currently being proposed.
Sanders, an independent from Vermont who generally caucuses with Senate Democrats on legislation, has listed significant changes he will propose as amendments to the Republican plan, including more spending on infrastructure and fewer cuts to Social Security and Medicare.
“I’m going to work as hard as I can with other progressive members of the Senate to do everything we can to make sure this budget is not balanced on the backs of working families and low-income Americans,” said the senator.
Despite already wanting changes to the Republicans’ agenda, Sanders has yet to see the GOP's proposed budget plan.
Some of the senator’s ideas involve implementing President Barack Obama’s desire for the federal government to pay for the first two years of higher education for any American at a community college. Sanders claims that doing this would lower student loan interest rates, which currently range from 6 to 10 percent.
Sanders is also proposing raising taxes on corporations and wealthy Americans, not allowing any cuts to Social Security and Medicare and spending a “significant” amount of funds on bridge and road repairs.
Senate Republicans released their budget plan on March 18, which would balance the nation’s out-of-control budget in a decade and trim spending by $5.1 trillion, although few specific details have been released. Leading the GOP Senate’s budget ideas is Sen. Mike Enzi.
“By spending responsibly and putting our fiscal books in order in a balanced and responsible way, we can restore the trust that we have broken with the American people. A balanced budget is essential for strong economic growth and job creation,” said Enzi.
Sanders doesn’t like the idea of Republicans focusing more of their ideas on cutting important entitlement programs rather than raising taxes.
“It really is very much a Robin Hood principle in reverse. They are going to take from working families and the poor and give to the wealthy and large multinational corporations. At a time when we have so much wealth and income inequality, when we have much-too-high unemployment, to go after programs that working families desperately need is to me unconscionable,” Sanders said.
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