Sanders calls for national priority realignment

08/31/07 12:15PM By Ross Sneyd

(Host) Senator Bernie Sanders says most middle-class Americans have little to celebrate this Labor Day.

Sanders says he comes to his conclusion after looking at an array of economic statistics.

Since 2001, five million Americans have moved from the middle class to poverty and 8.5 million have lost their health insurance.

Sanders says IRS records indicates that annual average income in the United States dipped 1% since 2000 to a little more than $55,000.

That data has brought Sanders to the conclusion that he needs to focus on health care and trade policies when Congress reconvenes next week.

(Sanders) "We have to realign our national priorities so that instead of giving tax breaks to billionaires we adequately fund education from preschool to graduate school, we take care of our veterans, we rebuild our infrastructure and we pay attention to the needs of ordinary Americans."

(Host) Sanders lays much of the blame for those issues with President Bush.

That's why Sanders has blocked the president's appointment of former Iowa Congressman Jim Nussl as director of the Office of Management and Budget.

(Sanders) "My concerns are that Bush needs somebody at his side to talk to him about the reality of the American economy, what is, in fact, happening to the shrinking middle class, the increase in poverty, the fact that more and more Americans lack health insurance. He does not need somebody as OMB director to continue to tell him how great the economy is doing."

(Host) Sanders says the Senate will be voting next week whether to allow that appointment to move forward.

Sanders will continue to oppose Nussl.

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