‘Chairman Sanders is turning America socialist’: Mitch McConnell slams Bernie and says current inflation will look like ‘small potatoes’ if Democrats jam through spending spree in Senate floor speech
- Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders met with President Biden Monday
- He and other progressives are pushing a ‘go big’ approach
- Sanders wants to clear way for $6 trillion package, which some Democrats may not swallow
- The ‘reconciliation’ package could be the last major part of Biden’s program to get through the Senate this year with its special protections
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell seized on a report Tuesday showing inflation surged last month, blasting Democratic plans for a large-scale budget package that is ballooning in size.
‘What Democrats say they want to force through this summer through reconciliation would make our current inflationary mess look like small potatoes,’ the Kentucky Republican said in remarks on the Senate floor Tuesday.
‘Nobody serious thinks our country needs another gigantic overdose of over-borrowing, overspending, and over-taxing,’ said McConnell.
He pointed to his ‘distinguished colleague,’ Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is helping to craft the budget plan for the Democratic majority, and who McConnell pointed out has been ‘very transparent about his socialist ideology for decades.’
Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) pointed to new data showing a jump in inflation Tuesday and blasted Democratic budget plans
‘But the country did not elect a 50-50 Senate and a president who claimed to be a moderate so that Chairman Sanders could turn America into a socialist country,’ said McConnell.
Sanders calls himself a Democratic Socialist, and caucuses with Democrats.
McConnell is rallying Republicans against emerging plans for a large budget ‘reconciliation’ package, which would be protected from filibuster and could pass on a simple-majority. It’s a tactic McConnell knows well, having used it to jam through President Trump’s $2.3 trillion tax cuts in 2017.
Inflation jumped 5.4 per cent in June compared to last year – the largest spike in 13 years as the economy emerges from the pandemic slump.
McConnell’s blasts come as Democratic lawmakers on their party’s left flank in Congress are scrambling to jam programs into a catch-all spending bill that Sanders says he wants to come in at $6 trillion.
Sanders could come out with his mark for the budget plan this week – after calling for spending levels that exceed President Biden’s by as much as $1.4 trillion. The budget ‘reconciliation’ package will enjoy special protections – and is now attracting all kinds of legislative proposals from lawmakers who want their ideas on a fast-track.
‘What Democrats say they want to force through this summer through reconciliation would make our current inflationary mess look like small potatoes,’ McConnell said amid a report showing June inflation rates rose 5.4 per cent compared to last year
Among the proposals being touted by progressive lawmakers is legislation to provide free meals for public school students, tax breaks, and changes to immigration policy.
The White House is keeping quiet on the size of the package it would back, but Sanders, who met with Biden Monday, is calling for a ‘transformative’ package.
‘There are 50 Democrats in the caucus, I suspect there are different points of view. As you know, I introduced a proposal for $6 trillion. I’m going to fight to make that proposal as robust as it can be,’ he said at the White House Monday.
Sanders chairs the Senate Budget Committee, which has jurisdiction over the budget resolution, which will include instructions with a top-line figure.
The reconciliation package will include Biden’s ‘human infrastructure’ plan, plus items from his more traditional bill that didn’t make it into an infrastructure compromise with Republicans in the Senate.
Lawmakers are pushing to include their own ideas, including a tax break for renewable energy, Politico reported. Democratic leaders are pushing to include a path to citizenship for DACA recipients, according to the report – although items deemed by the Senate parliamentarian not to have a primary budget impact could get ejected. The so-called Byrd Rule bars ‘extraneous measures’ from being included.
Said Sen. Banking Chair Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio): ‘The most important thing is we go big. The public wants us to go big. We make a difference for a generation on some of these issues.’
Sanders told DailyMail.com that ‘we’re talking about something transformative’ – although other Democrats are warning against a package that gets freighted-down even amid signs the economy is heading up – with inflation jumping in June at an annualized rate that is the highest in 13 years.