U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) announced today that a petition he helped organize in opposition to cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid has collected almost a half-million names.
Sanders is a member of the special Senate and House committee appointed in the wake of last month's partial government shutdown to come up with a budget blueprint for the coming year.
Sanders said he and the groups working with him on the petition drive are demanding that Congress not balance the budget on the backs of the most vulnerable people in this country: working families, the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor.
Some of the groups working with Sanders on the petition are CREDO, Daily Kos, Campaign for America's Future, Social Security Works, Democracy for America, Progressives United, MoveOn, Other98, USAction and the Alliance for Retired Americans.
"The success of this petition drive makes it very clear to me that the American people want deficit reduction to be done in a way that is fair and not by cutting programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid," said Sanders.
"At a time when the number of people living in poverty in our country is at an all-time high, we must not cut programs which provide basic security to tens of millions of our people who are struggling economically," the senator said.