Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Senate Budget Committee ranking member Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) speaks during a news conference critical of the Republican tax and budget plan with Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) at the U.S. Capitol October 4, 2017 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Sanders, Democrats Rip GOP Plan to 'Erode' Safety Net With $5 Trillion in Cuts

The GOP budget, they concluded, is a "massive transfer of wealth from working families, the elderly, children, the sick, and the poor to the top one percent."

Jake Johnson

In a new report unveiled on Wednesday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Democrats on the Senate Budget Committee offered a scathing assessment of the Senate GOP's recently unveiled budget blueprint, which they said would result in "a massive transfer of wealth from working families, the elderly, children, the sick, and the poor to the top one percent."

"This budget takes the safety net and erodes it in a way that we have never seen before."
—Rep. Barbara Lee

The report highlighted in particular the Republicans' plan to slash funding for Medicare and Medicaid by $470 billion and $1 trillion respectively over the next decade—a move that would have devastating consequences for tens of millions of Americans.

The analysis also points to deep cuts the GOP budget would impose on other crucial safety net programs, including:

  • A $37 billion cut to affordable housing programs, which would "eliminate" housing assistance for over a million families.
  • A $6.5 billion cut Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
  • A $3 billion cut to Head Start, which the report says would strip educational assistance from 25,000 children per year.
  • A $37 billion cut to the National Institutes of Health, "which would cut funding for Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and other critical medical research."

In total, the report estimates that the Senate GOP's budget would slash $5 trillion from non-defense spending over the next decade.

"Meanwhile, at a time when the U.S. already spends more on defense than the next 12 countries combined," the analysis notes, "the Republican budget lays the groundwork for an increase of $91 billion to the Pentagon for Fiscal Year 2018 alone—more than enough to provide free tuition at every public college and university in America."

During a press conference unveiling their analysis, Sanders and congressional Democrats slammed the Republicans and President Donald Trump for "misleading the public about their tax plan" and attempting to ram through a gift to the rich while claiming to help the working class.

"This is, like Yogi Berra said, déjà vu all over again," said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). "Republicans used their Trumpcare bill to sneak in tax cuts for the rich. Now they're using their tax cut plan [to] sneak in cuts to Medicaid and Medicare. But it's the same playbook."

"This budget takes the safety net and erodes it in a way that we have never seen before," added Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.).

Watch the full press conference:


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Indignation as Michigan Judge Drops Flint Water Charges Against GOP Ex-Gov Snyder

"The people of Flint deserve justice—and it's unacceptable that the people responsible for Flint's water crisis aren't being held accountable," said Food & Water Watch in response to the development.

Brett Wilkins ·


70+ Lawmakers Tell Biden 'You Can and You Must' Provide Rail Workers Paid Sick Leave

"As president, you and your administration have a number of tools at your disposal to make sure rail workers are guaranteed paid sick leave," wrote the lawmakers.

Julia Conley ·


COP15 Biodiversity Summit Highlights 'Deadly' US Attitude Toward the World

"While others play by the rules, the most powerful nation refuses," writes George Monbiot. "If this country were a person, we'd call it a psychopath. As it is not a person, we should call it what it is: a rogue state."

Jessica Corbett ·


Final House Covid Panel Report Exposes 'Reckless' Trump Pandemic Response

The publication accuses top Trump officials of "failed stewardship" and a "persistent pattern of political interference" that undermined the nation's response to a pandemic that has killed more than a million people in the United States.

Brett Wilkins ·


As NYT Staffers Strike, Sanders Calls for 'New Ways to Empower' Workers Battling Industry Giants

"We need to rebuild and protect a diverse and truly independent press so that real journalists and media workers can do the critical jobs that they love, and that a functioning democracy requires," said the Vermont progressive.

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo