WASHINGTON - Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) issued the
following statement today on the agreement announced Monday between the
White House and congressional Republicans:
"In my view, it is a moral
outrage that at a time when this country has a $13.8 trillion national
debt, a collapsing middle class and a growing gap between the very rich
and everybody else that the Republicans would deny extended unemployment
benefits to 2 million workers who are desperately struggling to pay
their bills and maintain their dignity. It is also beyond comprehension
that the Republicans would hold hostage the entire middle class of this
country so that millionaires and billionaires would receive huge tax
breaks. In my view, that is not what this country is about and it is not
what the American people want to see. Our job is to save the
disappearing middle class, not lower taxes for people who are already
extraordinarily wealthy and increase the national debt that our children
and grandchildren would have to pay.
"The immediate political
task in front of us is to rally the American people so that in the next
several weeks we can find at least a few Republicans who will join us in
saying no to increasing the deficit by giving tax breaks to the wealthy
and no to holding the unemployed and the middle class hostage.
believe that we have the American people on our side on this issue. My
office, and I come from a small state, has received more than 600 calls
today, 99 percent of them in opposition to this so-called compromise
that the president negotiated with the Republicans.
"I will do everything in my power to stand up for the American middle class and defeat this agreement."