Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders admitted Sunday that he has “concerns” over President Joe Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion relief bill, but that it will pass through Congress.
Sanders discussed the bill while appearing on ABC’s “This Week” alongside host Martha Raddatz, who asked him if the legislation had enough votes to pass if the Democrats decide to use the budget reconciliation process.
“I believe that we do because it’s hard for me to imagine any Democrat, no matter what state he or she may come from, who doesn’t understand the need to go forward right now in an aggressive way to protect the working families of this country,” Sanders responded.
Biden released the details of his proposed package on Jan. 14 and has expressed his desire for a bipartisan approach to its passage. A number of Republicans, and a few Democrats, have expressed concern over the high cost of the package, as well as its inclusion of certain Democratic policy points, such as an increase in the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. (RELATED: ‘What Is Wrong With Them?’: Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono Says Republicans ‘Don’t Seem To Give A Rip’ About ‘Millions’ Of Suffering People)
Democrats have stated they are willing to pass the bill through the budget reconciliation process if they cannot get enough bipartisan cooperation. Budget reconciliation is a legislative process that allows the Senate to pass certain tax and budgetary measures with a simple majority, rather than the 60-vote majority that is normally needed to pass legislation.
“Look, all of us will have differences of opinions. This is a $1.9 trillion bill. I have differences and concerns about this bill,” Sanders continued. “But at the end of the day, we’re going to support the president of the United States and we’re going to come forward and do what the American public overwhelmingly want us to do.”
Sanders did not point to what specific concerns he has over the bill, but he joins West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin and Maine Independent Sen. Angus King, who have also expressed some of their negative views on the bill.