WASHINGTON, Jan. 1 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) issued the following statement after Congress approved legislation that extends green energy incentives as part of a bill to preserve tax cuts for working families:
“The ‘fiscal cliff’ agreement was not a ‘good’ piece of legislation but not passing the bill would have been much worse.
“In addition to making sure most Americans do not see an increase in their income taxes, and that 2 million workers will continue to receive their unemployment compensation, this legislation defeats efforts to cut benefits for Social Security recipients and for disabled veterans. Despite an eleventh-hour bid by Senate Republicans, the final bill does not include their proposed change in how cost-of-living adjustments are calculated. As the founder of the Defending Social Security Caucus and the incoming chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, I am proud that organizations representing seniors and veterans worked together to block the switch to a so-called chained CPI as a way to cut future benefits for more than 55 million Americans.
“Social Security has not contributed a nickel to the deficit, has a $2.7 trillion surplus and can pay all benefits owed to every eligible American for the next 21 years. At a time when so many Americans are hurting, it makes no sense to balance the budget on the backs of seniors and the disabled. I will continue fighting to make sure cuts in Social Security and benefits for disabled veterans are not part of any future budget deal.
“Further, as we continue our efforts to address the crisis in global warming, this bill extends the Production Tax Credit for wind. This is a win-win for our economy and our environment. In Vermont and across the country, hundreds of wind manufacturing plants already are producing wind turbines, and the industry is providing jobs for 75,000 American workers. The fact that we have doubled wind generation since 2008 is an American success story. Extending these tax credits means we can continue the tremendous growth in wind and other safe, clean, renewable sources energy that must be developed if we are to reverse global warming.”
Contact: Michael Briggs (202) 224-5141