Bernie Sanders and Joe Manchin reportedly fight on conference call over stimulus checks
Things reportedly got testy on Wednesday during an internal conference call as lawmakers tried to iron out a bipartisan agreement for a coronavirus relief bill, The Washington Post reports.
Multiple aides told the Post that tensions flared specifically between Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), who reportedly got into a heated exchange over how big stimulus checks should be. Checks were initially left out of the $900 billion proposal before reportedly being added as part of a compromise. Sanders argued for more robust direct payments, while Manchin advocated for a lower amount, instead preferring to emphasize unemployment benefits.
Reports the Post, members trying to rush the $900 billion proposal into law are "infuriated" by the potential for Sanders' opposition to blow up the whole deal.
Sanders, for his part, has called the inclusion of $600 checks a "good start," but is vowing to keep fighting "for more." Read more at The Washington Post.