Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) warned President Joe Biden that he will not throw his support behind a bipartisan infrastructure bill which excludes a reconciliation provision.
“Let me be clear: There will not be a bipartisan infrastructure deal without a reconciliation bill that substantially improves the lives of working families and combats the existential threat of climate change,” Sanders wrote Sunday on Twitter. “No reconciliation bill, no deal. We need transformative change NOW.”
Let me be clear: There will not be a bipartisan infrastructure deal without a reconciliation bill that substantially improves the lives of working families and combats the existential threat of climate change. No reconciliation bill, no deal. We need transformative change NOW.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) June 27, 2021
Sanders’ demand further complicates Biden’s efforts to make good on his promise to sign an infrastructure bill into law. On Saturday, the president walked back a Thursday pledge in which he suggested he would only support bipartisan agreement if a reconciliation package also reached his desk.
“At a press conference after announcing the bipartisan agreement, I indicated that I would refuse to sign the infrastructure bill if it was sent to me without my Families Plan and other priorities, including clean energy,” Biden said in a statement, acknowledging that his comments “also created the impression that I was issuing a veto threat on the very plan I had just agreed to, which was certainly not my intent.”
Meanwhile, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said Sunday that he was open to a Democrat-backed infrastructure package with the reconciliation process.
“I’m willing to step forward to make the adjustments. I’ve been clear about that. But we also have to take into account where we are in this country. What our debt structure is. We’re $28.5 trillion. We cannot continue to add on things that we can’t pay for. I’ve always said this,” Manchin told ABC’s This Week.
“We’re writing checks our kids can’t ever cash. This is going to put a heck of a burden on the next generation. We have to be aware of that. There’s a lot of need of that,” the senator added. “Whether it’s child tax credits or helping the kids have a start in life, whether it’s fixing a lot of the human infrastructure that has fallen by the wayside of helping middle-class hardworking people have a chance to get ahead and enjoy the American dream, I’m all for that. To what degree we’ll see what we’re able to pay for.”