Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders lashed out at Congress for approving a massive defense budget while opposing his Medicare for All proposal.
More than 180 House Democrats joined Republicans in approving a $738 billion military spending bill that includes the authorization of Trump’s “Space Force.”
Democratic Washington Rep. Adam Smith claimed that the bill was “the most progressive defense bill we have passed in decades.”
Democratic California Rep. Ro Khanna said "there are many things you can call the bill, but it's Orwellian to call it progressive."
"Let's speak in facts," he said. "This defense budget is $120 billion more than what Obama left us with. That could fund free public college for every American. It could fund access to high-speed, affordable internet for every American. But it's worse. The bipartisan amendment to stop the war in Yemen: stripped by the White House. The bipartisan amendment to stop the war in Iran: stripped by the White House."
Sanders agreed with Khanna, tweeting that “it is Orwellian for Congress to hand over billions of dollars worth of weapons and bombs to a president waging a horrific, unconstitutional war in Yemen—and call that progressive.”
Sanders blasts “deficit hawks”:
Sanders penned a scathing Washington Post op-ed slamming “deficit hawks” on both sides.
"I find it ironic that when I and other progressive members of Congress propose legislation to address the many unmet needs of workers, the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor, we are invariably asked, 'How will we pay for it?'" he wrote. "Yet we rarely hear that question with regard to huge increases in military spending, tax breaks for billionaires, or massive subsidies for the fossil fuel industry."
“Despite the fact that 87 million Americans are uninsured or underinsured, the establishment tells us every day that we cannot join the rest of the industrialized world and guarantee health care to all as a human right through a Medicare-for-all, single-payer system, “he added. “Even though roughly half of older Americans have no retirement savings and 20 percent of senior citizens struggle to survive on an income of less than $13,500 a year, we have been told by the corporate elite that we must cut Social Security.”
Sanders slams Congress for “deafening silence”:
“But when it comes to giving the Pentagon $738 billion — even more money than it requested — there is a deafening silence within Congress and the ruling elites about what our nation can and cannot afford. Congress will just authorize and appropriate all of this money without one penny in offsets, no questions asked,” Sanders wrote.
“When I talk about changing national priorities, I’m talking about the fact that the $120 billion increase in Pentagon spending — compared with the final year of the Obama administration — could have made every public college, university, trade school and apprenticeship program in the United States tuition free, eliminated homelessness and provided universal school meals to every kid in our nation’s public schools,” he added.