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Sanders concedes Dems held up relief, slams them for settling for less than Trump offered

Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on Monday spoke with CNN’s Jake Tapper and disparaged Democratic leaders for getting behind a smaller $908 billion coronavirus relief package after rejecting a $1.8 trillion proposal from President Trump in October. Sanders’ comments concede it was a mistake for Pelosi and the Democrats to hold up coronavirus relief by playing politics.

Tapper asked Sanders whether it was a mistake for Democrats to walk away from the White House’s $1.8 trillion relief bill. It would likely have included a second round of $1,200 direct payments to all Americans. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was proposing a $2.2 trillion bill at the time.

Sanders emphatically stated, “That’s right. … That’s what I’m saying.”

“What we need is a compromise. I know I can’t get everything that I want. But this bill really is not a compromise,” Sanders said referring to a $908 billion stimulus package that a bipartisan group of senators introduced last week. “It gives the Republicans almost everything that they wanted.”

The bill allegedly allocates approximately $300 billion in funding for small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program, $240 billion in aid for state and local governments, $180 billion to extend boosted unemployment benefits at $300 per week for four months, and a temporary moratorium on COVID-19 liability lawsuits to allow states enough time to design their own laws. It glaringly does not include a second stimulus check and Americans have taken note of that fact.

Sanders pointed out that some of the funds included in the new bill come from unused CARES Act money.

“Democrats talked about over $3 trillion in new money to help working families in this country, so I don’t think this is much of a compromise,” the senator intoned. “I think we have got to do a lot better and negotiate a lot harder.”

Sanders proclaimed in the interview that he has “real concerns about” the $908 billion bill because it does not include direct payments to all Americans which he said he would “fight” for.

“It is unacceptable that the proposal does not even do what the CARES Act did and provide, at the very least, a $1,200 direct payment to working-class Americans and $500 for their kids,” Sanders said in a statement last week. “Tens of millions of Americans living in desperation today would receive absolutely no financial help from this proposal. That is not acceptable.”

“We are, right now, in the worst economic shape since the Great Depression, and this proposal does not include that $1,200 direct payment per individual and $500 for kids that we desperately need in order to put working families back on their feet. It would be a real help. We don’t have it and I’m going to fight to see we get that included,” he said.

What Sanders did not mention was the fact that the pandemic has caused the economic downturn, not President Trump. Democratic economic policies are widely seen as exacerbating the financial catastrophe looming for America as well.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) has also said the relief bill needs to include direct payments for families and individuals.

The Missouri Republican lobbied Trump to veto any coronavirus aid bill that does not contain a second round of checks to Americans in a phone call on Saturday. And Hawley said the president listened intently as he flew home on Air Force One from a rally in Georgia.

“I said, ‘I think it’s vital that any relief include direct payments, and I’m not gonna vote for it if it doesn’t.’ And I also urged him to veto any bill that did not have direct payments in it,” Hawley said in an interview on Monday.

Fox News contributor Trey Gowdy shredded Nancy Pelosi Monday for owing her sudden flexibility on coronavirus relief to Joe Biden’s election win, calling it one of the “most despicable things” he’d ever heard a leader say.

“That’s one of the dumbest and also most despicable things I have ever heard an elected leader say,” Gowdy said on “The Daily Briefing.” “That because Joe Biden won it’s OK to do it … When you are suffering when you’re in economic self-defense mode, you don’t care about politics.”

During negotiations over a second coronavirus relief bill, Pelosi had refused to back anything less than $2 trillion that included unrelated liberal pet issues, such as a limit to tax breaks for affluent people. She then signaled her support last week for a bipartisan, $908-billion package, citing that “we have a new president” and vaccines are on the way.

Bernie Sanders did not miss that political play and evidently sees it as an affront to working people. He is joined in opposition to the bill as long as it does not contain money for workers by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).

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