By Jake Johnson
In his first speech on the Senate floor since officially becoming chairman of the chamber’s budget committee on Wednesday, Sen. Bernie Sanders reminded Republican senators complaining about the Democratic majority’s effort to pass coronavirus relief through the filibuster-proof reconciliation process that the GOP used the same tool to unilaterally ram through tax cuts for the wealthy just over three years ago.
“There has been some discussion here, the media seems fixated, on the issue of partisanship,” the Vermont senator said. “Oh my god, we’re being so partisan. So let me remind everybody… under the Trump administration, massive tax breaks were passed that went to the top 1% and large corporations — 83% of the benefits of the Trump tax plan went to the 1% and large corporations. And you know how bipartisan that bill was, passed in reconciliation? There was not one Democrat that voted for that bill. It was [passed] just with Republican votes.”
“Then outrageously, as part of reconciliation, Republicans came forward and said, ‘Hey, we think it’s a brilliant idea to repeal the Affordable Care Act and throw up to 32 million people off the healthcare that they have,” Sanders said, recounting the GOP’s failed 2017 effort. “Not one Democrat voted for that bill. My point is that it’s one thing for my Republican friends here to be talking about the need for bipartisanship, which all of us support. But the reality is they used exactly the same process to pass — or at least try to pass — major, major pieces of legislation.”