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.) said on Sunday that it is not his "understanding" that 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 suggested lowering the price of a massive reconciliation spending bill during a closed-door meeting with House Democrats.
Appearing on NBC News's "Meet the Press," Sanders was asked by host Chuck ToddCharles (Chuck) David ToddArkansas governor backs employer vaccine mandates Paid family leave is 'not a vacation,' Buttigieg says Grisham thinks Trump will run in 2024 and have no 'guardrails' MORE if he had accepted that the reconciliation bill will likely be lower than the $3.5 trillion that Democrats had originally aimed to pass, as Biden is reported to have said to lawmakers.
"That is not my understanding of what he said," Sanders replied. "What he said is there's going to have to be give and take on both sides. I'm not clear that he did bring forth a specific number."
"But what the president also said, and what all of us are saying, is that maybe the time is now for us to stand up to powerful special interests who are currently spending hundreds of millions of dollars trying to prevent us from doing what the American people want," he added.
Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by Raytheon Technologies — Navy probe reveals disastrous ship fire response GOP rep leaves committee assignments after indictment Under pressure, Democrats cut back spending MORE (D-Calif.) has set an Oct. 31 deadline for voting on the infrastructure package after progressive Democrats and moderates were unable to come to a compromise on the two key pieces of legislation. 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 (D-W.Va.) said last week that he would not vote on any reconciliation bill larger than $1.5 trillion, angering progressives.
Todd asked Sanders on Sunday what measures within the bill he preferred, noting that the $3.5 trillion amount had already been lowered from an initial $6 trillion. The NBC host asked if Sanders believed a certain number of items on the "wish list" should be prioritized or if he was aiming to pass as many as possible.
"Chuck, this is not a wish list. Climate change and cutting carbon emissions has everything to do with whether or not we leave this planet to future generations that is healthy and is habitable," said Sanders.
"You have to have a skilled workforce. We can't have a skilled workforce and do the good jobs that are out there unless we train young people. That's why we want to make community colleges tuition-free. So this is not a wish list. This is what the working families of this country want and what the economy needs."