Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders blasted reporters Wednesday in the Capitol for not talking about key provisions in the $3.5 trillion Build Back Better Act.
“Why don’t we talk about what’s in the bill and the importance of what’s in the bill?” the Budget Committee chairman asked, according to a Politico recording. “What we are trying to do is end or significantly reduce childhood poverty. We’re trying to deal with the existential threat of climate. Trying to make sure that old people have teeth in their mouths. We’re trying to make sure that people are not homeless.”
— Matthew Kaminski (@KaminskiMK) September 29, 2021
Sanders wrote large portions of the social spending package, which he has urged Democrats to pass through the reconciliation process since July. In recent days, he has called for the House of Representatives to vote down the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), scheduled for a vote Thursday, if Democrats can not come to an agreement on the Build Back Better Act. (RELATED: ‘Don’t Make This A Bernie Sanders Versus Joe Manchin Issue: Sanders Pushes Back On Dana Bash)
However, reporters should not ask Sanders about the dates, he said, since the provisions are “a little bit more important than worrying about whether it is tomorrow or the next day.”
“This is tough stuff,” he added.
During the 2016 presidential primary, Sanders snapped a reporter who asked him about his hair, asking if she had “serious questions.” He has claimed that The Washington Post is unfair in its coverage of him due to his criticisms of owner Jeff Bezos, who founded Amazon.
During the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, Sanders’ campaign manager, Faiz Shakir, complained that the campaign only received negative press coverage, calling the described phenomenon a “Bernie Blackout.”