Bernie Sanders congratulates Joe Biden for shedding his moderate past

Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders gave President Joe Biden credit for having the “courage” to “act boldly” in a time of multiple crises.

Speaking to The New York Times on The Ezra Klein Show podcast about the passing of the $1.9tn Covid-relief bill dubbed the American Rescue Plan, Mr Sanders said: “I think the moment was ready and then you had a president who, to his credit, as everybody knows, was a moderate Democrat throughout his time in the Senate, who had the courage to look at the moment and say, ‘you know what? I have got to act boldly’.”

Mr Sanders added: “What I hope very much is that understanding of the need to act [boldly] goes beyond the American Rescue Plan and that is the path that Biden continues during his administration.”

Comparing ARP to the 2009 stimulus bill aimed at combatting the recession, a bill that was over a trillion dollars smaller than ARP, Mr Klein asked Mr Sanders: “Why are 50 Senate Democrats in 2021 legislating so much more progressively and ambitiously than 59 did in 2009?”

“I think the conclusion from the White House and from Congress is, now is the time to do what the American people need us to do. Let’s do it. And it turned out to be a $1.9 trillion bill which, to my mind, was the single most significant piece of legislation for working-class people that has been passed since the 1960s,” Mr Sanders said.

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