Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) recently expressed his frustration that a Democrat has dared to stand in the way of another $3.5 trillion in U.S. government spending.
Sanders said Sunday that it was “absolutely not acceptable” for Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) to refuse to back the Democrats’ proposed spending bill, which they could pass through budget reconciliation with 50 votes plus Vice President Kamala Harris to break the tie, the Washington Examiner reported.
Manchin’s refusal to support the bill means it is basically dead on arrival, however.
“Chuck knows that”
Manchin has said he would consider a $1 trillion to $1.5 trillion plan but made clear that he believes $3.5 trillion is irresponsible in the current economic environment.
“He will not have my vote on $3.5,” Manchin said when he was asked whether Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) would have his vote. “And Chuck knows that. And we have talked about this. We have already put out $5.4 trillion. And we have tried to help Americans in every way we possibly can. And a lot of the help that we put out there is still there, and it’s going to run clear until next year, 2022.”
The bill dramatically expands entitlements and doesn’t do anything to pay for the proposals, which could be a serious problem as Republicans refuse to raise the debt ceiling to accommodate the massive spending desired by most Democrats.
The bill has been projected to add $1.75 trillion to the already crippling U.S. deficit over the next decade. Historically, most entitlements are never rolled back, only added to future spending bills.
Sanders: Bill is “urgent”
Sanders, who just missed becoming the Democrats’ presidential nominee in 2020, countered Manchin’s resistance by saying that the $3.5 trillion was already a compromise from the $6 trillion some Democrats wanted to spend.
He also took issue with Manchin’s contention that the bill isn’t “urgent,” arguing that the rich are getting richer under the current system while the poor struggle — a common Sanders talking point.
“There is a sense of urgency,” Sanders said. “We live in a country today where the wealthiest people and the largest corporations are doing phenomenally well while working-class people are struggling all over this country in terms of healthcare. You got 90 million people uninsured or underinsured.”
But many believe Sanders is being disingenuous about his intentions for the American healthcare system. He could resolve a healthcare imbalance by mandating employers provide healthcare for workers, but instead, he wants to completely remake the system with freebies until it no longer resembles anything close to capitalism.
Thank goodness there’s at least one person left in the Democrat party who can still see clearly and rationally discuss such an enormous proposal.