Sanders and Biden meet as infrastructure bill exceeds $ 3.5 million White House Congressional Democrats Bernie Sanders Joe Biden
Coming out of a private meeting at the White House, Senator Bernie Sanders said Monday that he and President Joe Biden were on the same wavelength as Democrats were drafting a “transformative” infrastructure package triggering more than 3 $ 500 billion in domestic investment on par with the New Deal of the 1930s.
Sanders and Democratic Senators on the Budget Committee will meet privately on Capitol Hill Monday night for a period back-to-back with Biden’s top priority. Congress is rushing to prepare a broad infrastructure proposal for the initial votes later this month. He and Biden had a “very good chat,” he said.
“He knows and I know we are seeing an economy where the very, very rich get richer while working families are struggling,” Sanders told reporters at the White House.
Sanders said he and the president had not discussed a turnover, but the Vermont senator mentioned his own more ambitious $ 6 trillion proposal, which includes extending Medicare for people. elderly. Later on Capitol Hill, he told reporters the Democrats’ package would be more than $ 3.5 trillion, a float amount according to Biden’s original proposal.
“At the end of the day, we’re going to accomplish something very important,” Sanders said.
Biden’s major infrastructure proposals travel through Congress on different tracks, each potentially complementing or torpedoing the other.
A bipartisan group of 10 senators unveiled a nearly $ 1 trillion package of traditional infrastructure for roads, bridges, broadband and some climate change-related investments in electric vehicles and resilience to extreme weather conditions .
Senators from the bipartisan group are struggling to draft their proposal into law, but hope to have a bill ready as soon as this week. Disagreements arise over how to pay for it.
“Payments are still pending,” said Sen. Mike Rounds, RS.D.
The rest of Biden’s ideas are pulled together in the much larger, multibillion-dollar package that could be approved by Democrats themselves in a special budget reconciliation process that allows passage with 51 votes in the Senate, rather than the typical 60-vote threshold that is needed to overcome a Senate obstruction.
Sanders, as chairman of the budget committee, led his colleagues into a series of private conversations. A former rival of Biden for the presidency, Sanders now occupies an influential position that shapes the president’s top priority.
“My job is to do all I can to get the Senate to come up with the strictest legislation possible to protect the needs of working families in this country,” Sanders told the White House.
Associated Press reporters Alan Fram and Kevin Freking in Washington contributed to this report.