The Trump administration released the president's new budget proposal on Tuesday, and boy is it something. In addition to containing an accounting flaw of $2 trillion ― about as far from a negligible mistake as it gets ― it also aggressively slashes the social safety net and funding for the poor, cutting Medicaid by $800 billion over the next decade, something President Trump promised during his campaign that he'd never do. And a certain senator from Vermont isn't letting anyone forget about that: here's Bernie Sanders' fiery response to the Trump Budget.
Sanders, 75, remains one of the most popular political figures in America today, and has been stumping for Montana congressional candidate Rob Quist, who's waging a tight race in a traditionally red district. Part of the reason he's so popular, of course, is his hard-charging and unapologetic economic justice platform, including the protection and expansion of social services for the poor and downtrodden.
Which means in moments like these, when Trump puts his name to a budget that flagrantly violates one of the key campaign promises he made to his supporters, Sanders rates as perhaps the strongest and most credible critic in Congress. In a lengthy statement sent out on Tuesday afternoon, Sanders blasted the proposal as "immoral," saying it'd cause "an enormous amount of pain for the most vulnerable people in our nation."
Here's Sanders' statement on the Trump budget, in full.
Needless to say, that's a very strong statement from a senator who knows precisely how much credibility and how strong a track record he has on the relevant issues. According to a Harvard-Harris survey in April, Sanders boasts an approval rating of 57 percent, and while that might not sound shocking, it's a lot higher than most. In fact, amid the 16 Trump administration officials and congressional leaders polled, Sanders came out on top, according to The Hill.
Sanders also commented on the budget on Twitter, describing it as "just cruel" that Trump would break such a core campaign promise and gut Medicaid funding.
Trump promised during the campaign that he would not cut Medicaid. Now he's trying to slash it in half. That is just cruel. pic.twitter.com/TVzpAmkCgw
Sanders has been needling and reminding Trump for months about his dramatic campaign promises about Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security ― he staunchly opposed entitlement cuts, something that set him apart from the GOP establishment in the early months of his campaign, and ostensibly earned him support from many white working-class voters (although other factors like racism played huge roles). Now, however, between cuts to Medicare in the American Health Care Act and cuts to Medicaid in his proposed budget, Trump seems to have totally betrayed those promises.