Following up on his demands on Monday that Congress must approve stimulus checks to Americans before it breaks for Christmas, Senator Bernie Sanders again slammed the Covid-19 relief negotiations in a TV appearance on Tuesday.
Speaking to MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle about the need for payments to help families and individuals pay their bills and afford food, the independent senator expressed his frustration at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell turning his back on the suffering of Americans.
“When we go to war, there’s endless amounts of money. Tax breaks for billionaires, endless amounts of money. Corporate welfare, endless amounts of money. When children are going hungry in America today, suddenly we don’t have enough money — that’s crap. That’s wrong,” he said.
The Vermont senator continues to fight for stimulus checks to Americans who are facing economic desperation.
On Monday he said: “Congress cannot go home for the Christmas holidays until we pass legislation which provides a $1,200 direct payment to working-class adults, $2,400 for couples, and a $500 payment to their children.”
He added: “This is what Democrats and Republicans did unanimously in March through the CARES Act. This is what we have to do today.”
He told Ms Ruhle on Tuesday: “This is an emergency and Congress must respond.”
Referring to a proposal that came out of the White House for payments of $600 per person, Mr Sanders described it as “unacceptable”.
The senator also railed about the lack of paid leave for sickness, and universal healthcare, even during a pandemic.
“If there is anything that I hope this terrible, terrible pandemic is showing the American people, it is how far behind we are other countries around the world in taking care of our children, taking care of the unemployed, taking care of the elderly, taking care of the sick.”
He called the current proposals from Republicans “grossly unsatisfactory” and advised Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to stand tall and fight for what Americans need as negotiations continue.
“This country is facing a crisis and we must act accordingly,” Mr Sanders concluded.
Later on Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that the Senate will stay “as long as it takes” to conclude the relief bill.