Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said on Sunday that his initial $6 trillion infrastructure plan was “probably too little,” and that the current $3.5 trillion social spending package “should be a minimum.”
“The $6 trillion that I originally proposed was probably too little. Three and a half trillion should be a minimum. But I accept that there’s going to have to be give and take,” Sanders said Sunday on ABC News’s “This Week,” referring to the $6 trillion infrastructure plan he pushed for this summer.
“Poll after poll shows what we are doing is exactly what the American people wants. It’s not what the big money interest wants, not what the lobbyist wants. It’s what the American people want,” he added.
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Moderates, progressives and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are battling over a $1 trillion infrastructure deal and a $3.5 trillion social spending package. The bill includes progressive programs such as tuition-free community college, expanded Medicare, a universal preschool program.
Two of Sanders’s Democratic colleagues in the Senate, Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, doubled down last week that they would not support the high price tag on the reconciliation bill, calling for it to be lowered to $1.5 trillion.
Despite the infighting, Sanders struck an optimistic tone in the interview, saying, “we’re going to win this thing,” and adding that the American people are “very, very strongly on our side.”
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“They want this reconciliation bill to be paid for by doing away with the loopholes that the wealthy and large corporations enjoy. So we have the American people, very, very strongly on our side. We’ve got the President of the United States on our side. Got 96 percent of the members of the Democratic Caucus in the House on our side. We got all but two senators at this point, and the Democratic caucus on our side. We’re going to win this thing. We’re going to pass a strong infrastructure bill to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. And we’re going to pass a reconciliation bill,” he said.
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Pelosi twice pulled a vote on the infrastructure bill last week, after progressives in the House flexed their power and held it up until they get a vote on the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill. Pelosi has now set an Oct. 31 deadline for an infrastructure vote.