Bernie Sanders: We’re not going to negotiate against ourselves on $1.9T plan


Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont, the soon-to-be chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, says Democrats aren’t going to negotiate against themselves in talks over President Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief proposal.

“Tell me the Republicans we have onboard right now,” Mr. Sanders said when asked if Democrats might drop their demands for a $15-per-hour federal minimum wage to win GOP support. “I have not heard one Republican.”

“What we’re not going to do is negotiate with ourselves,” Mr. Sanders said late Monday.
Mr. Biden had said Monday that he doesn’t want to start picking and choosing individual items, but that he’s open to compromise on which households could qualify for direct payments of up to $1,400 per person.

“There’s legitimate reason for people to say, do you have the lines drawn the exact right way?” Mr. Biden said. “Should it go to anybody making over X number of dollars or why? I’m open to negotiate those things.”

Lawmakers in both parties have raised concerns that the package isn’t sufficiently targeted toward combating the coronavirus and directing help to people who need it most.

Some on the left say the check amounts should be increased to $2,000 per person.
Democrats are weighing when they should pull the trigger on passing a budget resolution.
That could unlock a fast-track tool known as reconciliation that could allow them to pass parts of the package without needing any Republican support.

Mr. Sanders said his timeline for moving a budget and using reconciliation is “yesterday.”

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