Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is ready to get President Biden's infrastructure package passed, and doesn't think the public cares whether Republicans are part of the process.
"The American people want results," Sanders, the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, told Axios on HBO during an interview that aired Sunday. "And frankly, when people got a ... $1,400 check or $5,600 check for their family, they didn't say, 'Oh, I can't cash this check because it was done without any Republican votes.'"
White House aides told Axios that the broad infrastructure package is different from the recent COVID-19 relief package because it is not labeled as an emergency measure, and as such, it shouldn't be pushed through in the same way. The goal would be to get Republicans to support a smaller plan focusing on roads, bridges, and ports — securing a bipartisan victory ahead of the 2022 midterm elections — and then passing a bill with just the Democrats that would enact tax increases on corporations and the country's wealthiest families. The tax hikes, popular with most of the public, would cover repairing infrastructure.
Sanders said because the Senate is "a very slow-moving process," he would start working on getting the infrastructure package passed "immediately. If Republicans want to come on board, seriously, great. If not, we're going to do it alone."