MSNBC's Ruhle challenges Sanders on push for $1,200 stimulus checks

MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle challenged Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden's bipartisan deal faces Senate gauntlet Angst grips America's most liberal city Democrats warn shrinking Biden's spending plan could backfire MORE (I-Vt.) on Wednesday over his push for $1,200 checks for most Americans amid the negotiations for the next COVID-19 relief bill. 

The host noted during an interview with Sanders on “MSNBC Live” that throughout the Vermont senator’s career, he has been the primary sponsor on 422 bills with only seven passing into law. 

“Given that record, and how dire things are, as you just laid out, do you need to find a different lane or take a different approach here?” Ruhle asked Sanders.


“I don’t think that’s the issue, Stephanie,” Sanders responded, saying other senators are in a similar position on their legislative records in recent years. 

“The issue right now is: Is the United States Congress going to stand for working people or not?” he said. “And I am doing my best to rally not only Democratsm but Republicans as well.”

“The proposal that came out of the White House just yesterday talks not about $1,200 per person but $600. That’s unacceptable,” he continued. “And by the way, they want to do away with all extended unemployment benefits, and that is also unacceptable.” 

Sanders said on Tuesday that he was pushing Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerSenate infrastructure talks spill over into rare Sunday session Senate holds sleepy Saturday session as negotiators finalize infrastructure deal An August ultimatum: No recess until redistricting reform is done MORE (D-N.Y.) to request a larger COVID-19 relief bill after Democratic leadership showed support for a $908 billion deal last week. 

“I think Democrats are going to have to stand up, fight for a working class in America today that is hurting in a way that we have not seen in recent years,” he said Tuesday.


He joined Democratic Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenCalifornia Democrats warn of low turnout in recall election Pelosi disputes Biden's power to forgive student loans Warren hits the airwaves for Newsom ahead of recall election MORE (Mass.), Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyHuman rights can't be a sacrificial lamb for climate action Nearly 140 Democrats urge EPA to 'promptly' allow California to set its own vehicle pollution standards Senate Democrats press administration on human rights abuses in Philippines MORE (Mass.), Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyHuman rights can't be a sacrificial lamb for climate action Senate Democrats press administration on human rights abuses in Philippines Bipartisan congressional commission urges IOC to postpone, relocate Beijing Games MORE (Ore.), Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenDemocrats warn shrinking Biden's spending plan could backfire Democrats release data showing increase in 'mega-IRA' accounts Senate Democrats press administration on human rights abuses in Philippines MORE (Ore.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandTreat broadband as infrastructure and we have a chance to get it right House panel looks to help military sexual assault survivors To make energy green, remove red tape MORE (N.Y.) in signing a “Dear Colleague” letter Tuesday condemning the compromise $908 billion agreement for its lack of direct payments.

Sanders is demanding a larger pandemic relief package, including the direct payment of $1,200 for adults and $500 for their children.

Stimulus talks between Democrats, Republicans and the White House stalled earlier this year as Speaker Pelosi (D-Calif.) called for a $2 trillion relief deal, while Republicans have proposed smaller bills.