Senate Budget Committee ranking member Bernie Sanders has become one of the loudest voices in opposition to the Republican tax reform plan. Sanders called Thursday's tax bill conference committee meeting a "farce" and warned that after cutting taxes Republicans are going to "come back and cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid."
BERNIE SANDERS: This legislation, which will have a major impact on our economy has not had one public hearing, not a hearing from economists, mayors, governors, the business community, from ordinary Americans, as to what the impact of the legislation will be.
This is legislation written for wealthy campaign contributors, and I want to congratulate some of my Republican colleagues for being honest about that. What they said publicly is if they don't pass this bill, their wealthy friends will stop contributing. I appreciate that honesty.
This legislation, in fact, not only had no public hearings, but it did have six thousand Washington D.C. lobbyists working on it behind closed doors.
Mr. Chairman, every poll that I have seen shows that by overwhelming numbers, the American people do not want this bill to pass. They know that in the Senate bill, in the midst of massive income and wealth inequality, 62% of the benefits go to the top 1%, and 42% of the benefits go to the top one-tenth of one percent.
In America today, the very wealthy are becoming much more wealthy, while the middle class continues to shrink. And your solution is to give 62% of the benefits to the top one percent. The American people also understand that at the end of ten years, 83 million middle-class families will see their taxes go up under the Senate bill.
They know that with 13 million Americans losing their health insurance healthcare premiums on the individual market will increase by ten percent. And they know that despite the Republicans telling us how concerned we are about the deficit, the deficit is going to go up by $1.4 trillion over the next ten years.
And what the American people also are deeply concerned about is what House Speaker Ryan is talking about. And what he is talking about is that after you raise the deficit by $1.4 trillion, you're going to come back and cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, education, and the needs of working families.
What kind of decency is there when we have legislation giving massive tax breaks to billionaires, and then comes back and wants to cut Social Security and Medicaid. This bill must not pass.