Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday acknowledged that Democrats stalled coronavirus relief in the past and agreed it was a mistake in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper.
Sanders lambasted the Democratic Party for looking to accept a $908 billion COVID-19 stimulus while having rejected a larger $1.8 trillion stimulus spearheaded by President Donald Trump earlier in the pandemic, according to Fox News. The bill which is currently in deliberation will not include $1,200 payments to all Americans as the previous relief package would have, Fox reported.
“Well you talked about that $1.8 trillion bill that the White House — Steve Manuchin the Treasury Secretary — was working on with the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi,” Tapper said. “The Democrats walked away from that bill…”
To which Sanders responded, “That’s right.”
Tapper continued, “…because they wanted $2.2 trillion and they walked away from $1.8 trillion. Was that a mistake?”
“That’s what I’m saying,” Sanders said. “That’s exactly what I’m saying. Here was a proposal much, much larger. Democrats say ‘no, that’s not good enough,’ and now we’re prepared to accept a proposal which has, I think, $350 billion in new money, and which has, we believe, I believe to the best of my knowledge, this corporate immunity language as well.”
The $908 billion package is set to give $240 billion in aid to states and respective localities, $300 billion to small business relief through the Paycheck Protection Program and $180 billion to extend increased unemployment payments, according to Fox.
Sanders, however, doesn’t see the bill as a compromise.
“What we need is a compromise,” he told Tapper. “I know I can’t get everything that I want. But this bill really is not a compromise. It gives the Republicans almost everything that they wanted.”
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