Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), one of the only members of Congress who’s actually for the little guy, blasted the House’s omnibus spending bill. It didn’t have to do with the House’s decision to fund everything, except the Department of Homeland Security, through the end of fiscal year 2015. It had to do with throwing certain corrupt bankers on Wall Street a huge bone in the form of derailing Dodd-Frank.
How this budget waters down Dodd-Frank is of particular importance, since it was the very banks that Republicans want to de-regulate this way that caused the world’s economic crash in 2008. As it was, we only managed to pass a watered-down version of Dodd-Frank. Now, according to the National Priorities Project, Republicans want to remove some of the separation between derivatives trading and FDIC-protected accounts that Dodd-Frank put in place (when are we bringing back Glass-Steagall?).
What about the fact that separation exists to protect us from another meltdown, like the one that led to millions of middle-class and poor workers losing their jobs, do Republicans not understand? What’s sad is that they likely do understand it, but don’t care. Citizens United made it so they don’t have to even pretend to care.
There are other problems with the budget, too. Bernie Sanders also blasted the fact that it contains pension cuts, but doesn’t make it any easier for people to go to college so they can have a shot at all those better jobs that conservatives insist are just out there for the taking if we’d all just get off our lazy bums. It also doesn’t make it any easier for graduates to pay off the debt they accrue while they’re doing what they’re supposed to be doing to “get ahead” in this world.
The budget also contains cuts in military benefits, and includes a whole lot of budgeting for things the Pentagon still doesn’t want. Why are we funding things the Pentagon doesn’t want, but cutting military benefits? The defense contractors are worth it, but the people who actually go and risk their lives using the equipment the contractors build aren’t?
This budget also, for some unholy reason (like Republicans can’t get this to pass on its own, so they’ll stick it in a bills that must pass in order to pass it), contains changes to individual campaign contribution limits. Republicans snuck a provision in there that raises the amount any one person can contribute to political parties from $32,400 to $324,000. Of course Bernie Sanders is upset. By all means, let’s make it even easier for the rich to buy elections!
He’s not the only one that’s upset about this budget. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is upset, too, according to The Hill. She’s another one of the few that actually fights for the little people, and has been trying to lead the fight against the Wall Street juggernaut for years. The bailouts that Wall Street gets essentially lets them gamble away money for which we taxpayers must foot the bill, while they stay get to off the hook for it. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are two loud voices trying to get some of this stuff removed from the budget before the House passes it.
Let’s make no mistake; in one way, this budget does represent a positive departure from the last several years, where Congress has been funding the government almost entirely through continuing resolutions. But we still have Republicans who want to use the budget to further an agenda that has little to do with the actual budget. Pass a clean budget, and they’ll probably get bi-partisan support and pass it easily.
Watch Bernie Sanders rip the House.
H/T Politicus USA | Featured image via screengrab