‘Some may freeze to death’: Sanders confronts Mulvaney over Trump Budget that would kill ‘tens of thousands’

The Vermont senator demanded that the White House budget chief explain "the morality of a budget which supports tax breaks for billionaires" while slashing the safety net

Just 24 hours after denouncing President Donald Trump’s newly-unveiled budget as “morally bankrupt,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) took full advantage of his chance to grill Trump budget chief Mick Mulvaney directly during a Senate hearing on Tuesday, calling the White House’s 2019 blueprint “the budget of the Koch brothers” and arguing thousands would die if the plan became law.

Highlighting the Trump budget’s call for repeal of the Affordable Care Act (Act), Sanders asked Mulvaney to explain “the morality of a budget which supports tax breaks for billionaires, throws 32 million people off of the health insurance they have, resulting in the deaths of tens of thousands of fellow Americans.”

“Do you really think this is something we should be doing?” Sanders, who is ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, asked.

Mulvaney insisted in response that he doesn’t “think it’s something that we’re actually doing,” but Sanders continued to rattle off the budget’s proposed cuts to Medicaid—which would amount to more than $300 billion over the next decade—and other crucial domestic programs.

Implementation of Trump’s budget proposals would create “a situation where people will get cold, some may freeze to death,” Sanders said, pointing to the Trump budget’s elimination of the Low Income Heating and Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). “That’s not what we should be doing.”

“The good news is this budget is going nowhere,” Sanders added.

Sanders also called attention to Trump’s promises on the campaign trail to not cut Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid, and concluded that his 2019 budget demonstrates that he is doing “exactly the opposite.”

“President Trump ran for office and he said, ‘I’m a different type of Republican, I’m not the Mick Mulvaney type of Republican. I’m different. I’m gonna stand with working families. We’re gonna take on the establishment,’” Sanders said. “Well it turns out he did exactly the opposite, and this budget is a clear manifestation of him doing exactly the opposite.”

Watch a clip of Sanders’ exchange with Mulvaney:

Why does Mick Mulvaney think it’s OK to cut heating assistance for low-income Americans while giving massive tax breaks to the Koch brothers? pic.twitter.com/ZEdLYNBc00
—Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) February 13, 2018

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Jake Johnson is a staff writer for Common Dreams where this was originally published. Follow him on Twitter: @johnsonjakep.

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