“I think everyone wants bipartisanship,” Sanders, the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, told NPR. “But what is most important is that at a time when this country is facing unprecedented health crises, economic crises, educational crises, mental health crises, we’ve got to move. And if the choice is doing it without Republican support and moving aggressively or spending, you know, month after month after month debating and discussing and not doing anything, to me the choice is pretty clear: We do it.”
“And when the American people get those $1,400 checks, they’re not going to be sitting around saying, ‘Oh, my goodness, this is not good, we didn’t have any Republican support,'” the Vermont senator continued. “I think they’re going to be understanding that finally, that the United States Congress, the president, are beginning to respond to their needs.”
Sanders’ contention is borne out by polling data showing that the American Rescue Plan—the $1.9 trillion relief package President Joe Biden signed into law on Thursday—drew majority support from self-identified Democrats, Republicans, and Independents even as GOP lawmakers in Congress united against the measure. The bill won final approval from the House on Wednesday without a single Republican vote.
With the new relief money starting to make its way out the door, the Democratic majority is kicking off discussions on another legislative package focused primarily on infrastructure and green jobs—legislation that will, like the American Rescue Plan, likely have to go through the filibuster-proof reconciliation process as Republicans balk at additional spending.
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