Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT), Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, on Friday slammed President Joe Biden’s proposed budget, saying he has some “serious concerns.”
Biden, Friday morning, released his budget proposal that outlines his priorities as Congress prepares to start the annual appropriations process later this spring. The budget calls for $1.52 trillion in spending and, if passed, would drastically increase domestic spending on health care, coronavirus-related programs, and other social welfare programs.
Sanders said he has “serious concerns” with Biden’s proposed budget request for $753 billion for “the bloated Pentagon.” He said this is a $12.3 billion increase compared to the last year of the Trump Administration.
Sanders criticized Biden by saying, “at a time when the U.S. already spends more on the military than the next 12 nations combined, it is time for us to take a serious look at the massive cost over-runs, the waste and fraud that currently exists at the Pentagon.”
Sanders also said currently there is a “massive wealth and income inequality.” Furthermore, “tens of millions of Americans continue to recover from the worst economic and public health crisis in modern history.”
The Senator said, “Biden has presented a discretionary budget that begins to address the urgent unmet needs of working families, the elderly class, the children, the sick and poor.”
Sanders noted Biden also included a “substantial increase in funding for education, affordable housing, health care, environmental protection and the needs of our veterans.”
Currently, Sanders’ words carry extra weight, as he is now the Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee since the Democrats took control of the Senate, and a progressive caucus member. He said, “I look forward to carefully reviewing the President’s request and working with my colleagues to write a budget that works for all of our people, not just the wealthy and well-connected.”
On Friday, another progressive caucus member, Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), said Biden’s budget proposal fails to return to the Obama-era defense spending levels. The budget would provide a 1.7 percent boost to military spending.