San­ders Ap­pointed to Bud­get Con­fer­ence Com­mit­tee

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS -

Sen. Bernie San­ders (I-Vt.) has been ap­pointed to a Se­nate and House bud­get con­fer­ence com­mit­tee to cre­ate a longterm bud­get plan by Dec. 13 to avert another gov­ern­ment shut­down.

A mem­ber of the Se­nate Bud­get Com­mit­tee, San­ders said he looks for­ward to de­vel­op­ing an al­ter­na­tive to the stop­gap, se­ques­tra­tion-level bud­get that Congress ap­proved late Wed­nes­day as part of an agree­ment to re­open the gov­ern­ment.

“I am ex­cited about be­ing a mem­ber of the bud­get con­fer­ence com­mit­tee and I look for­ward to work­ing with my Demo­cratic and Repub­li­can col­leagues to end the ab­sur­dity of se­ques­tra­tion and to de­velop a bud­get which works for all Amer­i­cans. In my view, it is im­per­a­tive that this new bud­get helps us cre­ate the mil­lions of jobs we des­per­ately need and does not bal­ance the bud­get on the backs of work­ing peo­ple, the el­derly, the chil­dren, the sick and the poor,” San­ders said.

The con­fer­ence com­mit­tee was as­signed to try to rec­on­cile dif­fer­ences be­tween sep­a­rate bud­gets passed ear­lier this year by the Se­nate and the House.

The Se­nate bud­get pro­tects Medi­care while the House ver­sion would end Medi­care as we know it by pro­vid­ing coupons for pri­vate health insurance. Un­like the House bud­get, the Se­nate res­o­lu­tion does not re­peal the Af­ford­able Care Act, which would pre­vent more than 20 mil­lion Amer­i­cans from get­ting health insurance. The House ver­sion would elim­i­nate grants for up to 1 mil­lion col­lege stu­dents while the Se­nate plan pro­tects Pell grants. The House ver­sion would kick up to 24 mil­lion Amer­i­cans off of Med­i­caid while the Se­nate bud­get would pro­tect their ben­e­fits. The Se­nate bud­get calls for new rev­enue while the House ver­sion would pro­vide tril­lions of dol­lars in tax breaks mainly for the wealth­i­est Amer­i­cans and prof­itable cor­po­ra­tions off­set by in­creased taxes on the mid­dle class.

The con­fer­ence com­mit­tee in­cludes 14 Democrats, 14 Repub­li­cans and two in­de­pen­dent se­na­tors who cau­cus with Democrats: San­ders and Sen. An­gus King (I-Maine).

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