October 4, 2023

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks to reporters on the Senate subway during a roll call vote in Washington, DC on April 13, 2021.

Stefani Reynolds | Getty Images

Senator Bernie Sanders is on his way again.

The Vermont Independent will travel to Indiana and Iowa later this month to unveil the $ 3.5 trillion spending plan that the Democrats intend to enforce through Congress this year. As chairman of the Committee on Budgets, Sanders plays a central role in drawing up the proposal, which the Democrats want to pass through a budget vote without a Republican vote.

The self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist will campaign for the measure in the Hoosier and Hawkeye Congressional districts, where former President Donald Trump received more votes in the 2020 election than in 2016. Sanders said in a statement he hoped the public support it contained Politics to highlight the plan – even in areas that are represented by Republicans.

“Within the next few months, Congress will be voting on the most momentous bill for workers, old, children, sick and poor since Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the New Deal of the 1930s,” said the Senator.

“While Washington will not have Republican support, Democrats, Independents, and working class Republicans across the country support our plan to finally invest in the long-neglected needs of working-class families. I’m really looking forward to hearing from some of them, “he continued.

Sanders will be holding town halls on August 27th in West Lafayette, Indiana and on August 29th in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

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Sander’s trip to the Midwest comes as the Democrats struggle to unite behind a strategy to pass two plans that they hope will renew U.S. infrastructure, strengthen the social safety net, and contain climate change. A bipartisan bill passed by the Senate would put $ 550 billion in new spending on transport, broadband, and utilities, while the Democratic plan would put up to $ 3.5 trillion in childcare, paid vacation, education, and climate policy and an expansion of Medicare would invest.

The Senator’s events in Indiana and Iowa will take place ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. The Democrats hope to have their economic plans approved before next year and touted them in the election campaign as they try to hold narrow majorities in both houses of Congress.

In order to get support from progressives who see bipartisan infrastructure legislation as inadequate, House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi has announced that she will not adopt either bill until the Senate passes both of them. A group of centrists has urged them to hold a standalone vote on the bipartisan plan when the House of Representatives briefly returns from its August hiatus next week.

Pelosi, a California Democrat, plans to follow the Senate in approving a budget resolution. Once both houses have approved the measure, the process will begin whereby the Democrats can pass a bill without a GOP vote.

The Democrats would then draft their $ 3.5 trillion bill in the coming weeks. The party may have to make adjustments to win the centrists in the Senate, where democratic apostasy would ruin the plan.

Sanders presented the budget as a transformative investment in American families. It would expand access to childcare and paid vacation, lower Medicare eligibility ages and widen benefits, expand increased household tax breaks, create universal pre-K, and use incentives to encourage clean energy adoption.

Republicans in Congress have voted against the proposal. You have criticized the $ 3.5 trillion price tag and tax hikes for wealthy individuals and businesses that the Democrats are planning to offset the spending.

Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Has also tried to tie the proposal to Sanders’ political identity as a democratic socialist.

While the GOP has spoken out against the plan in Washington, polls suggest wider public support. Americans support the $ 3.5 trillion proposal with a margin of 62% to 32%, a Quinnipiac poll found in late July and early August.

Among Republican respondents, 27% supported the plan while 67% opposed it. Independents said they supported the measure with a margin of 62% to 32%.

Sanders’ first stop in West Lafayette, Indiana, is in the 4th Congressional District of the state represented by Republican James Baird. According to Daily Kos, Trump occupied the seat by almost 30 percentage points last year.

Indiana has two Republican senators, Todd Young and Mike Braun. Both lawmakers voted against the bipartisan infrastructure bill and are likely to join their party to oppose the Democrats’ budget.

Sanders will host its event in Iowa at Cedar Rapids, located in the state’s 1st Congressional District. Trump took the seat about 3 percentage points last year when GOP MP Ashley Hinson defeated incumbent Democrat Abby Finkenauer.

Iowa also has two Republican senators, Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst. Grassley voted for the infrastructure plan, while Ernst was against. Both lawmakers are expected to vote against the Democratic proposal.

Every member of the House of Representatives must run to keep their seats in 2022. Young and Grassley will both be re-elected, and Republicans will be preferred in both Senate races.

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