Bernie Sanders just spent 15 minutes lambasting Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema for holding up the Democrats' reconciliation bill, accusing them of 'sabotage'

After a vote on October 5, 2021, Bernie Sanders, an independent senator from Vermont, speaks with reporters after he has left the US Capitol. Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images
Bernie Sanders attacked his co-workers Joe Manchin, Kyrsten Sinema and at a Wednesday news conference.

Sinema and Manchin are the Senate's omissionists on the Democrats' $3.5 Trillion social spending bill.

Sanders stated that "Two people don't have the right to sabotage 48 people's desires." "This, to me is wrong."

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Senator Bernie Sanders is willing to fight for the $3.5 Trillion infrastructure package. He made a fiery press conference Wednesday and blasted the moderates who are holding back the spending plan.

He stated that 48 of 50 senators from the Democratic caucus supported the bill, along with 210 members of Congress: "And, by and large, the president of United States supports the bill."

"Two people don't have the right of sabotage the 48-member group, or the president of the United States. Sanders later added that this was wrong.

He was referring specifically to moderate Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Silena both stated that a price tag of $3.5 trillion is too high. Manchin is asking for $1.5 trillion, while Sinema's exact size goal is not clear.

Sanders stated that he is unsure of what Manchin meant by declaring that he doesn't want the country to be an "entitlement nation." Sanders pointed out that child poverty has been reduced by $300 per year through direct tax payments. These payments would be extended by the Democrats through 2025, according to their proposal.

"Is it an entitlement to protect working families and reduce childhood poverty? Sanders asked.

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The reconciliation package would also allow Medicare to include vision and dental care, as well as hearing aids. Kimberly Leonard, Insider's reporter, reports that seniors currently have to either add these benefits or enroll in the private version of Medicare.

"Does Senator Manchin really think that seniors don't have the right to digest their food and that they don't have the right to hear and see? Sanders said. Sanders said.

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Sanders called out Manchin's use of 'vague phraseology' and said, "It's not good enough for me to be vague."

Sanders compared Sinema and Manchin's intransigence to his beliefs about expanding healthcare.

Sanders stated that "I believe our current healthcare system has been totally dysfunctional" and that he supports a Medicare for All single payer program. He said that he could not withhold support for the bill because it does not include Medicare for All "but that I am not going to."

Sanders stated that if half or more of the caucus don't support this provision, it would be "irresponsible to act that way."

Sanders also criticized Manchin's vagueness about climate change. He asked Sanders how "in this moment in world history, can you not talk about climate change and then tell us what we want to do?" This is truly inexcusable."

Senator Joe Manchin seen at Capitol, Washington, DC on June 8, 2021. Samuel Corum/Getty Images

The press conference was primarily focused on Manchin. He was then asked if he would like more details from Sen. Sinema. He responded, "absolutely."

Sanders stated that Sen. Sinema has said that she does not, quote-unquote "negotiate publicly". "And I don’t know what that means. We don't know from where she is coming."

Sanders said that "I have heard she is against Medicare negotiating prescription drug prices with pharmaceutical industry and lowering prescribed drug prices." Sanders said that she was opposed to large and wealthy corporations paying their fair share of taxes. This is what I have heard. Maybe I am wrong. To answer your question, yes, I would love for her to come to my house."

This is the latest in a series of intra-party talks about infrastructure. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi attempted to put forward a bipartisan bill that would be up for a vote when moderates were hesitant about the larger spending bill. Sanders asked House Democrats to vote no on the standalone bill and it was eventually pulled.

Biden has supported progressives in a two-track approach while suggesting that the bill should be reduced to $2 trillion.

Sanders made it clear his position. "I look forward working with Senator Manchin and all others to pass a strong reconciliation and bipartisan infrastructure bill."

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