Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) predicted that progressives would look to move Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden toward their priorities if he wins the White House this November and Democrats sweep Congress.
“If you want a progressive agenda to come out of the United States Congress, we’re going to have to rally the American people by the tens of millions to demand that we have a government that represents all of us and not just wealthy campaign contributors. We’re going to have to correct and deal with a very corrupt election system where massive voter suppression that exists every single day right now,” he said on Hill.TV’s “Rising” Thursday.
Sanders said Democrats should tackle legislation he plans to introduce to “begin the process of moving toward Medicare for All,” raising the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour, and a “massive” infrastructure plan.
“We have got to lay out an agenda that speaks to the struggles and the desperation of working-class Americans,” he said.
Sanders recognized that Biden, a well-known centrist steeped in old traditions of bipartisanship in Congress, does not share many of his progressive policies but argued his plans would still move the country forward.
“[I]f you look at Biden’s economic proposals, they’re not Bernie Sanders’s proposals. Don’t want to suggest they are. But they will raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, equal pay for equal work, making it easier for workers to join unions, $2 trillion investment in combatting climate change and creating millions of good paying jobs in energy efficiency and sustainable energy, paid family and medical leave. No small things,” he said.
Sanders and other progressives have been on a campaign to persuade liberals who may be skeptical of Biden’s centrist brand of politics to back the former vice president, with the Vermont lawmaker maintaining that the first step to moving the country in a more progressive direction is defeating President Trump this November.
“You know what, if Trump is reelected, all that we’re going to be on for the next four years is defensive, defensive, defensive procedures. I want to get on the offensive,” he said. “And that is why, in my view, every progressive, every person in this country who thinks for two minutes about what’s at stake, should be voting for Joe Biden.”