Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders told ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday morning that President Donald Trump should sign the coronavirus stimulus bill in its current form.
Just one day after the latest COVID-19 aid package passed Congress on Dec. 21 after months of negotiations, the president posted a video demanding that direct payments to Americans included in the bill be expanded to $2,000.
While Sanders reiterated his agreement with increased payments, which he suggested could be negotiated after the bill is signed, he also criticized the president as “pathologically narcissistic” for coming in at the last minute to demand something he hadn’t suggested before.
“Everybody assumed, everybody, that Mnuchin was representing the White House,” Sanders told guest-host Jon Karl. “I talked to Mnuchin a couple of week ago, and that was the assumption that everybody had.”
“Well, I want $2,000,” Sanders continued. “The American people want $2,000. They need it, given the economic crisis. What we need to do is have the president needs to sign that bill today, right now, or else the suffering in this country will be immense and then we can immediately deal with the $2,000.”
Sanders went on to describe the potential ramifications to suffering Americans if the bill isn’t passed, including hunger, home evictions, and a looming government shutdown. (RELATED: Pat Toomey: Trump’s Legacy Will Be ‘Chaos And Misery And Erratic Behavior’ If He Doesn’t Sign COVID Bill)
“You’re not gonna have all the protections the working people need,” he concluded. “On top of that, you may be looking at a government shutdown in the midst of the most difficult moment in modern American history. It is insane. It is really insane, and this president has got to finally do the right thing for the American people and stop worrying about his ego.”