BUSINESS
03/26/2014 02:06 pm ET | Updated Mar 26, 2014

Bernie Sanders Blames Republicans For 'A Very Ugly Moment In American History'

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) railed against Republicans who “stay up nights figuring out how” to grant billionaires tax breaks while cutting social programs such as Social Security and food stamps during an interview on MSNBC Tuesday.

“We’re living in very, very strange and disconcerting times. We have more people living in poverty today than in any time in the history of the United States of America,” Sanders said on MSNBC’s “PoliticsNation.” “And it is astounding to me from a moral perspective that folks in the Republican Party stay up nights figuring out how they can give more tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires and large corporations and then come back and try to cut food stamps for families who are hungry, for kids who are hungry, try to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. It is really a very ugly moment in American history.”

The farm bill enacted in February will slash $8.6 billion from food stamp aid over the next 10 years -- about one-fifth of the $40 billion cut sought by House Republicans.

Millions of Americans also lost unemployment benefits after the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program expired at the end of 2013.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) maintained his opposition to a Senate bill restoring long-term unemployment aid on Tuesday, calling the legislation “not implementable.”

"State directors are saying we don't know who went back to work ... we'd have to send checks to everybody," Boehner said during a news conference Tuesday. "I told the president I would consider this as long as it was paid for and as long as there are provisions that help improve the economy. Those conditions have not been met."

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