Senate Budget Committee chair Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is signaling impatience with the White House’s efforts to cut a deal with Republicans on President Joe Biden’s sweeping infrastructure plan, which GOP lawmakers have slammed as too broad and expensive.
Sanders told Axios in a pre-taped interview that he doesn’t agree with senior White House aide Steve Ricchetti’s comment to the Washington Post that the administration has “a little more time for the consideration of this, and the percolation of these proposals, to have broader consultation and dialogue” with Republicans on the plan.
“The bottom line is the American people want results,” Sanders said.
The senator argued that the average American didn’t care whether the stimulus payments they received under Biden’s COVID-19 relief package came from a bipartisan deal or not.
“Frankly, when people got a $1,400 check or $5,600 check for their family, they didn’t say, ‘Oh, I can’t cash this check because it was done without any Republican votes,'” he told Axios.
With the Senate being “a very slow-moving process,” Democrats and the Biden administration ought to be “starting this work immediately,” Sanders said.
“If Republicans want to come on board, seriously, great. If not, we’re going to do it alone,” he added.
Biden is slated to meet with Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), who crafted the GOP’s $568 billion counterproposal to the president’s multi-trillion dollar infrastructure plan, along with Sens. John Barrasso (R-WY), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) on Thursday to discuss their proposal.
The President’s negotiations with Republicans come as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) vows to put “one hundred percent” of his focus on “stopping this new administration.”