“I always get a kick,” Sanders told MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle. “Here in Washington, when we go to war, there’s endless amounts of money. Tax breaks for billionaires: endless amounts of money. Corporate welfare: endless amounts of money. But when children are going hungry in America today, suddenly we don’t have the money. That’s crap, that’s wrong.”
Sanders, along with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) in the House, has demanded another round of $1,200 stimulus checks and critiqued a $908 billion bipartisan bill backed by Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and other centrists for not including direct assistance to Americans suffering from the coronavirus pandemic.
The Vermont senator called plans pushed by Republicans, like the $500 billion package supported by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), “grossly unsatisfactory,” and said that a proposal from the White House earlier this week to distribute one-time $600 payments for most Americans ― but nothing for the unemployed ― was “unacceptable.” Sanders added that negotiations over an appropriate relief package would go on through Christmas if necessary.
“The question now is whether Mitch McConnell is going to turn his back … on the incredible suffering that the American people, the working people, are now experiencing,” Sanders said, calling on Congress to “respond aggressively” to assist families impacted by the pandemic.
Sanders also pointed out that the U.S. was severely lacking in paid family and medical leave and took a moment to promote his “Medicare for All” proposal.
“If there’s anything that I hope this terrible, terrible pandemic is showing the American people, it’s how far behind we are other countries around the world in taking care of our children, taking care of the unemployed, taking care of the elderly, taking care of the sick. We’re the richest country in the history of the world. Ninety-two million people today are uninsured or underinsured. That is beyond belief.”
Watch Sanders’ remarks below: