Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont said Monday night that Republicans in Congress were likely to continue pushing for tax cuts after Election Day, despite the upcoming fiscal cliff.

"It is very clear that virtually all of the Republicans are going to fight not only to extend Bush's tax breaks for the wealthy, but also to lower tax rates for large corporations and wealthy individuals," Sanders said, adding that GOP lawmakers wanted to cut Medicare and Social Security. "My fear is there are some conservative Democrats who may want to go along with that effort."

Automatic budget cuts, also known as sequestration, are set to go into effect if Congress does not come up with a plan to reduce the federal deficit by December 31, 2012. The looming budget cuts, which neither Democrats nor Republicans want to see happen, means both sides will likely be forced to make a "grand bargain" deal.

Democrats are likely to push for tax hikes on the wealthiest Americans -- something Republicans vocally oppose. Republicans, on the other hand, are expected to push to reform entitlement programs and for cuts to other government services.

"Bottom line is — and this is going to be a huge struggle — there are those people who are going to want to go after working families," Sanders said. "They want austerity for the middle class and they want more tax breaks for the rich. And I and other members of Congress are going to fight very hard against that approach."

Watch video, courtesy of Current TV, below: