“Bernie Sanders is like a human embodiment of shifting the Overton Window,” Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Virginia), who is on the Budget Committee, told Politico. “We wouldn’t be there without him putting out $6 trillion.”
Though Sanders had originally rejected a smaller price tag than the $6 trillion of his proposal, he has said that $3.5 trillion is still enough to fit everything he wanted to get passed — though for a shorter period of time than he would like. That means that there could still be future fights over renewing some of the proposals in the bill, writes Politico.
Over the past months, Sanders has been exercising a much stronger influence over the White House and Washington at large than he previously has. He has a close relationship with the White House and President Joe Biden, who is receptive and supportive of Sanders’s ideas.
Last week, the two had an extended meeting in which Sanders discussed the need for Biden to go bigger on his infrastructure bill. Biden’s original infrastructure proposal was $4 trillion — Sanders argued for his $6 trillion proposal, which the president was open to. The two also talked about uniting the party in support of the reconciliation bill.
Though Biden’s support doesn’t always lead to results (Sanders talked to the White House constantly during the $15 federal minimum wage fight earlier this year to no avail), it signals an openness from Democratic leadership to progressive ideals. It also signals a shift from Sanders being a political outsider to being a dealmaker within the Democratic caucus.
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction