Democratic Sen. Mark Warner Responds to Bernie Sanders’ Criticism of Covid Relief Proposal: ‘Characterization Is Just Not Accurate’


With Congress still negotiating over desperately-needed covid relief, Senator Bernie Sanders made it clear he opposes the $900 million package currently under consideration because of what it leaves out.

In a Twitter thread Friday, the Vermont senator said, “Despite strong Democratic opposition, this proposal provides 100% legal immunity to corporations whose irresponsibility led to the deaths of hundreds of workers. It would continue to provide a get-out-of-jail free card to companies that put the lives of their workers at risk.”

He added, “Every working class American needs at least $1,200 to pay the rent and feed their families. Manchin-Romney provides nothing for them.”

Senator Mark Warner joined CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday to talk about the proposal.

“In October,” Tapper said, “the White House reportedly offered Congress a 1.8 trillion dollar deal but Democratic leaders said no, they wanted a 2.2 trillion dollar deal. Now you’re looking at about half of what the White House offered and we don’t even know if you can get that passed. It seems as though the negotiating strategy of the Democratic leaders, Schumer and Pelosi, blew up in their face to the detriment of the American people.”

Warner responded, “There is lots of what if’s, what we should have done, could have done. Where we are right now in early December, the clock is ticking. We’ve got to make sure we pass legislation to make sure that government continues to be funded. A defense authorization bill. And I think potentially the most critical component is 908 billion dollars that will give targeted relief for the unemployed, for people in food insecurity, rental assistance, small businesses that have run out of their PPP funds.”

Tapper brought up Sanders’ tweets, particularly the comment about legal immunity to corporations.

“Senator Sanders respectfully is not involved in these negotiations,” Warner responded, “and his characterization is just not accurate.”

He said stimulus checks “will be something a President-elect Biden will grapple with” and added, “I would say to any politician in either party, they’re going out and tell the tens of millions of unemployed workers who lose their unemployment check on the day after Christmas, people that will be kicked out of their apartments without rental assistance come January 1st, the small businesses, the restaurants who, have been trying to struggle through as the weather gets colder, won’t be able to do as much outside dining, that somehow 908 billion dollars… is not enough for a four-month emergency extension?”

Sanders has continued to push for stimulus checks and tweeted Sunday afternoon, “We cannot turn our backs on families who are struggling through this pandemic. Congress must include, at the least, a $1200 direct payment to any COVID proposal which is passed.”

You can watch above, via CNN.

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac