Sanders, Biden meet as infrastructure bill swells past $3.5T
WASHINGTON (AP) — Emerging from a private meeting at the White House, Sen. Bernie Sanders said Monday that he and President Joe Biden are on the same page as Democrats draft a “transformative” infrastructure package unleashing more than $3.5 trillion in domestic investments on par with the New Deal of the 1930s.
Sanders and Democratic senators on the Budget Committee will huddle privately late Monday at the Capitol during a consequential time for Biden's top priority. Congress is racing to put together a sweeping infrastructure proposal for initial votes later this month. He and Biden had a “very good discussion,” he said.
“He knows and I know that we’re seeing an economy where the very, very rich are getting richer while working families are struggling,” Sanders told reporters at the White House.
Sanders said he and the president did not discuss a topline figure, but the Vermont senator mentioned his own more far-reaching $6 trillion proposal, which includes expanding Medicare for older adults. Later at the Capitol, he told reporters that the Democrats' package would be bigger than $3.5 trillion, an amount floated as in line with Biden's initial proposal.
"The end of the day we’re going to accomplish something very significant," Sanders said.
Biden's big infrastructure proposals are moving through Congress on various tracks — each potentially complementing or torpedoing the other.
A bipartisan group of 10 senators unveiled a nearly $1 trillion package of traditional infrastructure for roads, bridges, broadband and some climate change investments in electric vehicles and resiliency for extreme weather conditions.
Senators in the bipartisan group are struggling to draft their proposal into legislation but hope to have a bill ready as soon as this week. Disagreements...