Sanders slams GOP for seizing on his 'out of context' compliment on tax bill

Sanders slams GOP for seizing on his 'out of context' compliment on tax bill
© Greg Nash

Independent Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersRahm Emanuel: Bloomberg, Patrick entering race will allow Democrats to have 'ideas primary' Feehery: Pivoting to infrastructure could help heal post-impeachment wounds Jayapal hits back at Biden on marijuana 'prohibition' MORE (Vt.) on Wednesday said that Republicans are taking partially complimentary comments he made about the new tax law "completely out of context" and continued to blast the measure as a boon for the wealthy.

"The Trump-Republican tax plan is one of the worst pieces of legislation in the modern history of our country," Sanders said in a statement.

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In an interview with CNN on Sunday, Sanders said that next year's tax cuts for the middle class under the new law are a "very good thing" but should have been made permanent.

To comply with Senate budget rules that allowed the bill to pass with only Republican votes, most of the tax cuts for individuals expire after eight years, while the cuts for corporations are permanent.

Republicans took interest in Sanders's comments, with Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOvernight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Stopgap spending bill includes military pay raise | Schumer presses Pentagon to protect impeachment witnesses | US ends civil-nuclear waiver in Iran Cruz, Graham and Cheney call on Trump to end all nuclear waivers for Iran Pompeo: US ending sanctions waiver for site where Iran resumed uranium enrichment MORE (R-Texas) suggesting on Twitter Wednesday that the two senators work together on legislation to permanently extend the middle-class tax cuts. 

But Sanders said that Republicans are taking his remarks out of context because they "are so desperate to spin their disastrous tax plan." He criticized the new tax law for providing the largest benefits for the wealthy, repealing ObamaCare's individual mandate and increasing the deficit.

"Instead of this grossly obscene piece of legislation, let's pass tax reform that permanently benefits all middle-income and working-class families without giving tax breaks to the top one percent," he said. "Instead of providing huge tax breaks to the rich and large corporations that explode the deficit, which this bill does, millionaires, billionaires and large, profitable corporations must begin paying their fair share of taxes."

"Then, among other things, we can permanently double the standard deduction, expand the Earned Income Tax Credit, re-instate the personal exemptions and make the Child Tax Credit fully refundable – without increasing the debt future generations will inherit," he added.