Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) admitted that Democrats walked away from a coronavirus bill that the Republicans had put on the table.
Sanders made the comments during an interview with Jake Tapper on his CNN show Monday. He also voiced his opposition to a compromise bill to which Democrats had signaled approval.
“Well, you talked about that $1.8 trillion bill that the White House, Steve Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary, was working on with the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) um, the Democrats walked away from that bill,” Tapper said.
“Thats right!” interrupted Sanders.
“…because they wanted $2.2 trillion and they walked away from $1.8 trillion. Was that a mistake?” Tapper asked.
“Thats what I’m saying! That’s exactly what I’m saying!” exclaimed Sanders.
“Here was a proposal much much larger, Democrats are, ‘no that’s not good enough,’ and now we’re prepared to accept a proposal that has I think $350 billion dollars in new money?” Sanders continued.
Sanders argued that the bill being negotiated didn’t have enough of what Democrats and progressives wanted, and that the Democrats were going to give the Republicans “everything they want” in the proposed bill.
“I don’t think this is much of a compromise, I think the Republicans have probably gotten 90% of what they want. Our job is to fight and get at least a 50-50 deal,” Sanders said in the interview. “We gotta do a lot better and negotiate a lot harder.”
Others have questioned the Democrats’ rationale behind their acceptance of a bill that had far less than a previous bill that they rejected. On Friday, Pelosi snapped at a CNN reporter for asking her to explain why they were accepting the compromise bill.
“Let me tell you something!” Pelosi scolded CNN’s Manu Raju.
“Don’t characterize what we did before as a mistake, as a preface to your question, if you want an answer!” she added.
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“That was not a mistake!” Pelosi exclaimed. “It was a decision, and it’s taking us to a place where we can do the right thing, without other, shall we say, considerations in the legislation that we don’t want.”
Pelosi went on to say that the big difference between the previous bill and the current bill was that former Vice President Joe Biden was going to govern according to the guidance of the scientific community. President Donald Trump is still contesting the results of the Nov. 3 election.
Here’s more of the interview with Sanders on CNN:
“What we need is a compromise. I know I can’t get everything that I want, but this bill really isn’t a compromise. It gives Republicans almost everything that they wanted,” Sen. Bernie Sanders says on the current Covid-19 relief proposal. We need to "negotiate a lot harder.” pic.twitter.com/lzuPqgohBc
— The Lead CNN (@TheLeadCNN) December 7, 2020