Sanders vows to end ‘absurdity’ of sequestration in budget conference

“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,” Sanders said Friday. 

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Conferees have their work cut out for them with a nearly $90 billion difference between the House and Senate budget resolutions.

Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray’s (D-Wash.) budget replaced sequestration with an equal amount of targeted cuts and revenue by raising taxes on the wealthy and corporations. Her House counterpart, Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), kept the sequestration spending level of $967 billion, but restored defense cuts by cutting domestic programs.

Republicans are expected to request cuts to entitlement programs to reduce the debt. Sanders has said he wants the budget to invest in job creation and infrastructure and not cut programs that help the poor, elderly and sick — such as Social Security and Medicare.

“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 has until Dec. 13 to report back to both chambers and pass a budget.