Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and other progressive members of Congress are demanding another round of stimulus checks for all Americans, and Sanders is threatening to oppose compromise legislation if it doesn’t include direct assistance.
The bipartisan proposal currently gaining momentum among both Republicans and Democrats would allocate $908 billion dollars in COVID-19 relief, including funding for unemployed Americans, financial aid to states and localities with massive budget holes and additional funds for business loans.
It notably does not include a second round of the extremely popular $1,200 stimulus payments.
Sanders said he would vote against the current proposal, which was the outcome of negotiations between centrist lawmakers Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), among others, without significant revisions.
“Given the enormous economic desperation facing working families in this country today, I will not be able to support the recently announced Manchin-Romney COVID proposal unless it is significantly improved,” Sanders said in a statement, adding that he could support the bill with serious revisions, including direct payments to Americans.
“At a time when the COVID crisis is the worst that it has ever been in the U.S. with record-breaking levels of hospitalization and death, the Manchin-Romney proposal not only provides no direct payments to working families, it does nothing to address the health care crisis and has totally inadequate financial assistance for the most vulnerable. That is wrong morally and it is wrong economically if we hope to rebuild the economy,” Sanders continued.
Sanders also balked at the “liability shield” provision in the bill, designed to protect businesses from coronavirus-related lawsuits — something Republicans have long pushed for. Other progressives, including Reps. Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) positioned...