State Senator Bernie Sanders called on President-elect Joe Biden to respond to the coronavirus crash and ongoing pandemic in an “unprecedented manner” earlier this week, shortly after the former vice president introduced the key players in his economic team.
in a video released in social media on tuesday, Senator Sanders, in an address to his supporters, called on Biden to work for the passage of another bill in support of COVID-19, as well as an expansion of Medicare and an increase in the minimum wage, in the first 100 days of his presidency.
He also railed against the increased wealth of billionaires since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak and compared their experience with that of Americans, who had been struggling with unemployment and falling wages since March.
“I don’t want to bore you with a bunch of numbers here, but the people at the top [are]doing phenomenally well,” Sanders said. “The lower half of America [is]experiencing a decline in prosperity.
After calling for Congress and the new Biden administration to pass a flood of progressive policies, the Vermont senator added: “These are unprecedented times, and Congress and the Biden administration must respond in an unprecedented way.
Washington Newsday has contacted the Biden transition team and will update this article with any responses.
Earlier this week, the President-Elect unveiled members of his top economic team, including former Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen and Jared Bernstein, a former Biden economic advisor when he served as Vice President. Several of them have spoken out in favor of additional stimulus measures.
Sanders most recently called on the Biden administration to push for another COVID-19 stimulus package as Democratic and Republican legislators continued to negotiate the draft of a second stimulus package after months of delay.
In a statement on Wednesday evening, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) stated that a bipartisan $908 billion stimulus plan should be the “basis” for further talks.
“Of course, we and others will offer improvements, but the need for action is immediate and we believe that by negotiating in good faith we could reach an agreement,” the Democratic legislators said.
“Given the imminent availability of the vaccine, it is important that additional funds are allocated for distribution so that the vaccine can be brought to market.
The majority leader of the Republican Senate majority, Mitch McConnell (R-KY), is pushing for a smaller relief bill, backed by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and the Trump administration.
“The Republicans have spent months proposing more COVID assistance. Yesterday I put forward another proposal that would invest many billions in workers, laid-off Americans, small businesses and vaccine distribution,” McConnell twittered on Wednesday. “I hope the Democrats will finally let us get a bipartisan result soon.