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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Sanders: ‘Not my understanding’ that Biden called for lower price on reconciliation bill

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersTop GOP senator: ‘Far-left Democrats are driving the bus and Joe Biden is just along for the ride’ Sanders says there may be ‘give and take’ on reconciliation price tag No silver bullet for crisis at the Southern border MORE (I-Vt.) said on Sunday that it is not his “understanding” that President BidenJoe BidenTop GOP senator: ‘Far-left Democrats are driving the bus and Joe Biden is just along for the ride’ Political study should give Democrats a jolt Fauci says it’s a ‘false narrative’ to think COVID-19 vaccine not needed if Merck drug approved MORE suggested lowering the price of a massive reconciliation spending bill during a closed-door meeting with House Democrats.

Appearing on NBC News’s “Meet the Press,” Sanders was asked by host Chuck ToddCharles (Chuck) David ToddVaccines, abortion, Trump dominate final Virginia governor’s debate Virginia governor’s debate interrupted by third-party candidate Lawmakers gear up for spending bill, infrastructure votes MORE if he had accepted that the reconciliation bill will likely be lower than the $3.5 trillion that Democrats had originally aimed to pass, as Biden is reported to have said to lawmakers.

“That is not my understanding of what he said,” Sanders replied. “What he said is there’s going to have to be give and take on both sides. I’m not clear that he did bring forth a specific number.”

“But what the president also said, and what all of us are saying, is that maybe the time is now for us to stand up to powerful special interests who are currently spending hundreds of millions of dollars trying to prevent us from doing what the American people want,” he added.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiBattling over Biden’s agenda: A tale of two Democratic parties Senior White House adviser says Biden ‘expects to get’ both infrastructure and reconciliation bills Sanders says there may be ‘give and take’ on reconciliation price tag MORE (D-Calif.) has set an Oct. 31 deadline for voting on the infrastructure package after progressive Democrats and moderates were unable to come to a compromise on the two key pieces of legislation. Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinDurbin says he supports .5T reconciliation bill price tag, but he is a ‘realist’ Jayapal: ‘We are going to deliver’ on infrastructure and reconciliation bills Battling over Biden’s agenda: A tale of two Democratic parties MORE (D-W.Va.) said last week that he would not vote on any reconciliation bill larger than $1.5 trillion, angering progressives.

Todd asked Sanders on Sunday what measures within the bill he preferred, noting that the $3.5 trillion amount had already been lowered from an initial $6 trillion. The NBC host asked if Sanders believed a certain number of items on the “wish list” should be prioritized or if he was aiming to pass as many as possible.

“Chuck, this is not a wish list. Climate change and cutting carbon emissions has everything to do with whether or not we leave this planet to future generations that is healthy and is habitable,” said Sanders.

“You have to have a skilled workforce. We can’t have a skilled workforce and do the good jobs that are out there unless we train young people. That’s why we want to make community colleges tuition-free. So this is not a wish list. This is what the working families of this country want and what the economy needs.”

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