After months of difficult talks with moderate Democrats, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) took to Twitter to call for a $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill.
Sanders, the author of the detailed budget, initially wanted a bill with a $6 trillion price tag, but it was eventually reduced to $3.5 trillion in his final draft of the budget. For some Senate moderates, this low price was too high, and leading Democrats have promised not to vote for the $3.5 trillion bill.
Sanders, on the other hand, has long indicated that he and other progressives feel they have already reached a great deal of agreement. After a meeting on the bill, the senator complained that “the top line has come down. It started with $6 trillion.” Still, Sanders did not outright reject a smaller bill, as talks between moderates and progressives continued.
On Tuesday, just two days before the scheduled vote on a hastily drafted reconciliation bill, Sanders came out publicly against any bill worth less than $3.5 trillion.
Feather Twitter, Sanders wrote: “No infrastructure bill should pass without a $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill. This is the agreement that was made and this is the agreement that must be kept. Physical infrastructure is important, but functioning The needs of families and combating climate change are more important.”
Sanders Seeks Contrary to Democratic Leadership’s Expectations
This position conflicts with the intentions of Democratic leaders who have indicated the need to lower the bill’s price tag in order to garner moderate support.
The two main Democratic opponents of the bill are Censor Joe Manchin (DW. Va.) and Kirsten Cinema (D-Ariz.).
In an opinion article for the Wall Street Journal, Manchin explained that his main concern was that the bill would lead to inflation, which has risen steadily under the Biden administration. Because of this, Munchkin said he “cannot support the bill without more clarity on why Congress ignores the serious implications and debt of existing government programs.”
He called for a “strategic pause” to consider these factors, as well as “to reduce the size of any potential reconciliation bill to just what the US can and needs to spend.”
A Spokesperson Cinema, who has said little about the bill, simply said that “Kirsten will not support a budget reconciliation bill costing $3.5 trillion.”
Since then, Democratic leaders, including President Joe Biden, have been holding high-stakes talks with the two moderate Democrats.
According to Munchkin, Biden was ready to cut spending. 22 meeting with Biden, Munchkin said Biden “just basically said find a number you’re comfortable with.” He reported the president saying, “Give me a number.” While the self-styled “conservative Democrat” has remained silent on what that amount may sound like, he expressed confidence about the direction of the talks.
After one such meeting, Manchin said, “The president is fully committed to doing the work and we remain committed to working with him to find the way forward.”
Pelosi, like Biden, considered it acceptable to lower the top price of the budget. The speaker said on Monday that it “seems self-evident” that the bill will cost less.
“Everyone is overwhelming, and I think even those who want lower numbers support the president’s approach,” Pelosi said. “Joining our priorities should take us to the number where we find common ground.”
Under budget conciliation, legislation directly related to government revenue and spending can be passed through the Senate by a simple majority, thus bypassing the threat of death by filibuster. But Democrats control only a very thin majority, and each member must have the support of a budget bill to pass.
Sanders’ demand threatens to derail the law, as moderates continue to oppose the $3.5 trillion bill. So far, no Republicans in the Senate have come out in favor of the bill, making the approval of each Democrat crucial for the bill’s passage.
Isabel van Bruggen contributed to this report.
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times