Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said Sunday “there is a real danger” congressional Democrats could fail to deliver on two major pieces of legislation furthering President Biden’s domestic agenda if moderates like Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., cannot agree on the price tag.
Sanders has repeatedly said he would support progressive House Democrats who have vowed to block the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill that passed in the Senate last month, if the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package that passed the House stalls in the Senate.
Asked by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos whether Democrats could wind up with “nothing,” Sanders responded, “That is a possibility and I think that would be a disaster for the American people.”
“There is a real danger that this bill will lose, that the infrastructure bill will lose in the House,” the senator added. Manchin of West Virginia said earlier Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that he will not vote in favor of the budget reconciliation package, which is a central part of President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda.
“He will not have my vote on 3.5 and Chuck [Schumer] knows that,” Manchin said, adding that it should be more like $1 trillion-$1.5 trillion. “It’s not going to be three and a half I can assure you.”
Manchin said there is “no way” the reconciliation bill will pass this month, and he said progressives are making a big mistake if they follow through on their threat to kill the infrastructure bill in retaliation.
“They have to do what they have to do,” he said. “If they play politics with the needs of America, I can tell you America will recoil.” Sanders scoffed at Manchin’s $1.5 trillion price ceiling during an appearance on the same CNN show, saying most Democrats would have even supported his earlier suggestion of $6 trillion.