'Rapidly moving toward oligarchy': Bernie Sanders lays out reasons he voted against debt ceiling bill

'Rapidly moving toward oligarchy': Bernie Sanders lays out reasons he voted against debt ceiling bill

On Thursday night, June 1, the U.S. Senate voted, 63-36, to pass a bill raising the United States' debt ceiling. The bill was sent to President Joe Biden's desk to be signed into law.

Economists have been breathing a sigh of relief, as the U.S. was dangerously closing to defaulting on its debt obligations — which, according to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, would have been an "economic and financial catastrophe."

But not all the Democratic senators who joined Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) in voting for the bill liked everything about it. Many of them would have much preferred a more liberal or progressive budget but reasoned that they were taking what they could get in order to avoid a default.

READ MORE: How Manchin and Sinema quietly influenced debt ceiling negotiations: report

In an op-ed published by The Guardian on June 2, progressive Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) lays out some reasons why he voted against it.

"The best thing to be said about the current deal on the debt ceiling is that it could have been much worse," the progressive senator argues. "Instead of making massive cuts to healthcare, housing, education, childcare, nutrition assistance and other vital programs over the next decade, this bill proposes to make modest cuts to these programs over a two-year period. This bill will also prevent a global economic catastrophe by extending the debt ceiling until January 1, 2025 — when we will have to go through with this absurd process once again."

Sanders continues, "Having said that, on Thursday night, I voted against the bill. At a time when this country is rapidly moving toward oligarchy, with more wealth and income inequality than we've ever experienced, I could not, in good conscience, vote for a bill that cuts programs for the most vulnerable while refusing to ask billionaires to pay a penny more in taxes…. I could not, in good conscience, vote for a bill that makes it harder for working families to afford the outrageously high price of childcare, housing and healthcare while, by cutting IRS funding, actually make it easier for the wealthiest people and most profitable corporations in America to cheat on their taxes."

READ MORE: Why House Freedom Caucus were the biggest 'losers' of all in the debt ceiling battle

Read Sen. Bernie Sanders' full op-ed for The Guardian at this link.

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