Twenty-one senators, including 11 Republicans, detailed a bipartisan proposal that costs about $ 973 billion over five years or $ 1.2 trillion over eight. The plan would have $ 579 billion in new spending and reallocate unspent Covid relief funds, impose a surtax on electric vehicles, and expand the use of state and local funds for coronavirus relief.
Sanders hit back at measures such as the gasoline tax and additional charges on electric vehicles, but added that the proposal was “generally good.”
“What’s in the bipartisan bill in terms of spending is, from what I can see, mostly good,” Sanders said. “One of the concerns I have about the bipartisan bill is how they’re going to pay for their proposals, and they’re not clear yet. I don’t even know yet, but some speculation is raising a tax on it. gasoline, which I do not support, a levy on electric vehicles, the privatization of infrastructure, these are proposals that I would not support. “
Sanders’ pullback comes as Senate Democrats continue to weigh up to $ 6 trillion through the reconciliation process on their own infrastructure package if bipartisan chamber talks fail – or even if the package fails. bipartite is approved. The Vermont senator added that key issues such as senior care, climate change and wealth disparities need to be addressed.
“It’s time we paid attention to the needs of workers,” Sanders said. “And when we do that, when we deal with climate, when we deal with infrastructure, when we deal with home health care, when we deal with child care, we can create millions of high paying jobs, that’s what. that the American people is what we need to do.
Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio), one of the leaders of the group proposing the bipartisan proposal, responded to Sanders’ comments, saying the $ 6 trillion proposal was a “bag of progressive priorities.”
“It’s not about infrastructure. It’s kind of a $ 6 trillion purse of progressive priorities,” Portman said on “Meet the Press.” “Ours is for basic infrastructure, and it’s paid for.”