Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) both made the network rounds on Sunday, and though they appeared separately, their words amounted to a bit of indirect, civil sparring over Democrats’ $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill.
Manchin was very clear about the fact that he won’t support the bill, which would effectively kill it, since all 50 Democratic senators need to be on board for passage. Manchin indicated that his opposition stems as much as much from the speed at which his colleagues are pushing the bill as the price tag (though he thinks the current figure is far too high, as well), and he reiterated that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is aware of his stance.
Sanders, meanwhile, bluntly stated that the $1 trillion or so alternative Manchin briefly posited is “absolutely not acceptable.” He also dismissed Manchin’s claim that there isn’t urgency to get the bill out the door, pointing to both socio-economic struggles in the United States and the threat of climate change. That said, he thinks Manchin will eventually get on board.