Sen. Bernie Sanders is continuing his pressure campaign against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to get him to bring legislation upping the value of stimulus checks from $600 to $2,000 to the floor for a vote.
In a rare Fox News appearance Wednesday, Sanders (I-Vt.) explained how he was working to turn up the heat on McConnell (R-Ky.), who said Wednesday that he would not hold a vote on the $2,000 checks unless it was packaged with language repealing Section 230, which provides legal shields to social media companies, and set up an election fraud commission.
The Vermont senator began by highlighting the rare moment of political agreement between himself and President Trump on the issue of direct payments.
“He happens to be right on this issue,” the left wing lawmaker told the network.
“I think he is correct in saying that we are living in a terrible, terrible economic moment for tens of millions of working-class families. We fought very hard to get the $600 direct payment. Trump is right in saying that’s not enough. We need to go to $2,000.”
Sanders was then asked about concerns among fiscally conservative lawmakers about the deficit, something he conceded that he too worried about.
“In terms of the debt, the debt is a serious issue. And you’re right. We’re talking about a whole lot of money, but I always find it amusing that, sometimes, the very same people who voted for a trillion-and-a-half-dollar tax break for the one percent and large corporations, they didn’t have a worry about the deficit at that point,” he argued.
Sanders went on to discuss the defense authorization bill vetoed by Trump which Congress planned to override.
As part of his effort to get McConnell to bring $2,000 checks up for a vote in the upper house of Congress, Sanders filibustered the veto, delaying but not completely blocking it.
McConnell slammed Sanders for the move Wednesday, though that did not stop the Vermont lawmaker from critiquing the budget to support his direct payments point.
“We just voted, working on right now, the largest military budget in the history of this country, $740 billion. The Pentagon can’t even do an independent audit,” he said, “There’s an enormous amount of waste and duplication in that budget. But no one worries about that.”
“But when it comes to working families, for the mom and dad who are struggling to put food on the table for their kids, oh, my God, we are worried about the deficit. So, deficit is an issue. But I think this — at this moment, we have got to do the right thing for working families.”
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