Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersUnder pressure, Democrats cut back spending The Memo: Cuts to big bill vex Democrats Democrats say they're committed to reducing emissions in Biden plan MORE (I-Vt.) is among the lawmakers who are set to meet with President BidenJoe Biden White House: US has donated 200 million COVID-19 vaccines around the world Police recommend charges against four over Sinema bathroom protest K Street revenues boom MORE on Wednesday at the White House as the administration works with Democrats in Congress to pass the president's sweeping spending pitch.
Sanders, a leading voice from the party's progressive wing, has suggested the $3.5 trillion spending package is already a compromise and Democrats should go bigger.
“This bill, that $3.5 trillion, is already a major, major compromise,” Sanders said earlier this month. "At the very least this bill should contain $3.5 trillion.”
Sanders's planned attendance at the White House meeting was confirmed to The Hill on Wednesday morning. Biden is reportedly slated to meet with a group of lawmakers to discuss the spending deal and his agenda.
Moderate Democrats like Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinK Street revenues boom Biden champions economic plan as Democrats scale back ambitions On The Money — Democrats eye tough choices as deadline looms MORE (W.Va.) have suggested the current $3.5 trillion bill is too large and that Democrats should make a "strategic pause" and focus on creating a more bipartisan bill before the end of the year.
"I, for one, won’t support a $3.5 trillion bill, or anywhere near that level of additional spending, without greater clarity about why Congress chooses to ignore the serious effects inflation and debt have on existing government programs," Manchin said.
Sanders, during a recent appearance on ABC's "This Week," called those statements "unacceptable."
"I don't think it's acceptable to the president, to the American people or to the overwhelming majority of the people in the Democratic caucus," Sanders said of Manchin. "This is a consequential bill. It is hard to put a bill like this together. At the end of the day, I believe we will."