Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said on Thursday that another “unprecedented” emergency relief measure is coming down the pike — a declaration that comes after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to “stand down on the notion that we’re going to go along with taking advantage of the crisis to do things that are unrelated to the crisis.”
The presidential hopeful said on Thursday that he is actively working on the next phase of relief, or what he refers to as an “unprecedented piece of legislation to deal with this unprecedented crisis.”
Sanders said it will be “more effective to prevent the collapse of our economy than to pick up the pieces once the economy collapses.” His broad ideas include guaranteed paychecks to workers throughout the pandemic, a freeze on rents and mortgages, emergency food assistance, and help for individual states.
Sanders, a major advocate for Medicare for All, admitted that a total healthcare overhaul cannot be done in a piece of emergency legislation but said “the guarantee that everybody in America will have all the health care they need during the crisis” should be in the next phase of relief.
“So if you’re uninsured or underinsured, Medicare will fill in the gaps. If you have private insurance but you have a deductible, you can’t afford to pay, Medicare will be there,” he said.
“Will it be expensive? Sure. But the alternative is worse,” he said of the plan before extending a warning to President Trump and Majority Leader McConnell.
“The goal right now, again, is to prevent the collapse of our economy and our healthcare system. And to do that, I’ve just laid out some of the necessities, some of what we absolutely need to have in it,” he said.
Now, obviously there is a ton more that has to be in it, but I will tell the president, tell Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell that if they think there is not another major emergency bill coming down the pike and coming soon, they are terribly wrong:
If the president and Mitch McConnell think there is not another major emergency bill coming soon, they are terribly wrong. The country is in crisis and we have got to respond to that crisis. pic.twitter.com/sFkQT2RNY6
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) April 3, 2020
Sanders’ declaration follows McConnell issuing a stark warning to Pelosi, urging her to “stand down” as she positions Democrats to use the next phase of relief to pursue a host of Democrat Party agenda items.
“She needs to stand down on the notion that we’re going to go along with taking advantage of the crisis to do things that are unrelated to the crisis,” McConnell told the Washington Post.
Pelosi recently signaled that she hopes to pursue changes to elections, like mail-in voting, in the next stage of relief. That follows her failed efforts to push ballot harvesting and same-day voter registration in the last emergency measure.
“For goodness sake, I’ve got a list, too,” McConnell told the Post.
“How about national right to work? How about Davis-Bacon reform? How about ending junk lawsuits against doctors and hospitals? You get the drift,” he added. “We both have agendas we’d like to see pass — and can’t pass in this current environment.”