Speed Reads

coronavirus relief

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.