October 11, 2013

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said Thursday that House Speaker John Boehner is trying to “hoodwink” Americans, using a recent proposal on debt ceiling negotiations to force the Obama administration to make steep concessions to conservatives later.

“He’s attempting to hoodwink the American people with this short term solution, which is totally unsatisfactory,” Sanders said to MSNBC’s Ed Schultz.

Sanders was commenting on the proposal put forward by House Republicans on Thursday to lift the debt ceiling, seeing it as the gambit that will lead to more aggressive conservative demands.

“Obamacare is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what these guys really want. It’s not just repealing Obamacare. They have an agenda put together by the Koch brothers,” Sanders said, referring to the recent New York Times expose that detailed how the Koch brothers and others plotted the shutdown “from the day after Obama was re-elected.”

On Day 10 of the government shutdown, House Speaker John Boehner again refused to do the one thing that could reopen government and put hundreds of thousands of furloughed federal workers back on the job. Boehner refused to let the House vote on the resolution that Democrats negotiated with him and that the Senate passed before the funds to run the government ran out at the end of the last budget year. Instead, the leader of the House Republicans on Thursday offered a six-week extension of the nation's borrowing limit in exchange for holding negotiations on Social Security and Medicare cuts. Much of the government would remain shuttered.

“The position of the Democrats has got to be to tell Boehner to end the government shutdown, have a vote and if you have a vote the government will reopen,” said Sanders.

Sanders also discussed the lingering shutdown on CNN with Wolf Blitzer.

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