Sanders warns all 50 governors about effects of GOP budget

Sanders warns all 50 governors about effects of GOP budget
© Greg Nash

Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersOvernight Health Care: DOJ charges doctors over illegal opioid prescriptions | Cummings accuses GOP of obstructing drug pricing probe | Sanders courts Republican voters with 'Medicare for All' | Dems probe funding of anti-abortion group Ex-Obama campaign manager: Sanders can't beat Trump Booker calls for sweeping voting rights reforms MORE (I-Vt.), who is considering a 2016 White House run, on Monday warned all 50 governors about how a GOP federal budget would affect their states.

In letters addressed to each governor and the mayor of Washington, D.C., Sanders offered brief outlines of how many people in each state could lose health insurance coverage and how many jobs could be eliminated, according to data his team compiled.

“At a time of massive income and wealth inequality the Republican budget will make the very rich even richer, while causing increased pain and suffering for the middle class and the most vulnerable people in your state as a result of draconian cults to important programs,” wrote Sanders, the ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee, in each letter.

Sanders is mulling a presidential run and is already using his platform on the Budget panel to attack Republicans who are running. On Wednesday, he kicked off a series of budget town halls that he’s holding in several East Coast cities.

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In Ohio, Sanders told Gov. John Kasich (R) that approximately 234,000 of his constituents could lose health coverage next year under the GOP budget plan. About 84,000 jobs would be eliminated in the education and transportation sectors by 2017, and cuts to food stamps could put 1.8 million people at risk of losing nutrition assistance, Sanders added.

Sanders told Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) that approximately 1.6 million people would lose health coverage next year. About 141,000 jobs could be eliminated by 2017, and 3.5 million people could be at risk of losing nutrition assistance because of food stamps cuts, Sanders said.

The data was based on analyses of the GOP budgets from the White House Office of Management and Budget, the Economic Policy Institute and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.

The letters come as congressional Republicans are expected to strike a joint conference agreement this week between the House and Senate budgets that were adopted in March. While the budget is nonbinding, it sets guidelines for lawmakers who determine government spending and triggers a process that could result in major policy changes.

To balance the federal budget within a decade, each GOP blueprint called for cutting at least $5.1 trillion over a 10 year period.

Both called for the repeal of ObamaCare, which Republicans might try to do using the budget reconciliation procedure. The tool would instruct specific authorizing committees to produce deficit-cutting legislation. President Obama can veto any bills passed under the maneuver.