Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) Sets Out Budget Priorities ...1 of 1 >
Jan. 16, 2015 -- Speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, said that if Republicans advance a budget like that passed by the House last year he will do everything he can to oppose it.  He said the budget should address the realities of income inequality and the declining middle class.

Sanders drew attention to a procedural rule adopted by House Republicans on the first day of Congress which would prevent shifting of funds between the Social Security Trust Fund and the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Trust Fund.  The disability fund is projected to run out of reserves in 2016 (>), while the Social Security Trust Fund has assets of more than $2.6 trillion (>).  Republicans say their aim is to "find a long-term solution" to protect both funds; Democrats worry that the maneuver could lead to cuts in Social Security.  Sanders noted that transfers between the two funds have been done 11 times in past on a bi-partisan basis, and he warned that the House rules change "could lead to a 20 percent cut in Social Security disability benefits for 11 million Americans."   He argued that rather than cutting Social Security benefits, Congress should work to  expand benefits. [statement]
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After finishing his news conference on the budget, Sanders did an interview with CBSN (CBS News live streaming video news channel) on his proposed climate change amendment to the Keystone XL Pipeline bill (S.1).  Sanders' proposed amendment states:

It is the sense of Congress that Congress is in agreement with the opinion of virtually the entire worldwide scientific community that—
(1) climate change is real;
2) climate change is caused by human activities;
(3) climate change has already caused devastating problems in the United States and around the world;
(4) a brief window of opportunity exists before the United States and the entire planet suffer irreparable harm; and
(5) it is imperative that the United States transform its energy system away from fossil fuels and toward energy efficiency and sustainable energy as rapidly as possible.