During an interview aired on Thursday’s broadcast of CBS’ “Late Show,” incoming Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-VT) stated that Congress will likely have to tackle long-term issues like climate change and guaranteeing health care for all in the second budget reconciliation package.
Sanders said, “My first priority is to work on a comprehensive reconciliation bill…and I’m going to make that reconciliation bill as bold and aggressive as I possibly can. We face more crises today than any time in the modern history of this country. It’s not just the terrible pandemic, which has claimed almost 400,000 lives. It is massive unemployment, millions of people unable to feed their kids, people who are being evicted, people who can’t afford to go to the doctor because they have no health care. So, what we have got to do is respond to the pain that the American people are feeling, which is enormous right now. People are losing faith in government. We have to restore that faith by saying, you know what? We hear your pain, and we’re going to respond in a bold manner.”
He continued “And, in addition to that, probably in a second reconciliation bill, we have to deal with some of the systemic, long-term, ongoing problems facing this country. People can’t live on $10 an hour. We’ve got to raise the minimum wage to a living wage. Insane that we are the only major country on earth not to guarantee health care to all, or have paid family and medical leave. You know what? We’ve got to deal with climate change, with countries around the world, or we’re not going to leave much of a planet to our kids and our grandchildren. In other words, at this particular moment in history, Congress is going to have to rise up and be extremely bold in addressing major crises facing working families and the middle class, and I intend to be very active in that process.”
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