Aug 28, 2021
Addressing more than 2,300 people in West Lafayette, Indiana Friday night, Sen. Bernie Sanders made the case for the $3.5 trillion spending plan to invest heavily in human infrastructure, explaining how the proposed budget currently being written by Senate and House committees following passage in the House is "the most consequential legislation for working people since the New Deal."
"When more than 2,300 people come out in the middle of the hottest summer on record in West Lafayette, Indiana to hear Bernie Sanders talk about the $3.5 trillion Senate reconciliation bill, you're doing something right."
--Misty Rebik, Sanders' chief of staff
The event was one of two town halls the Senate Budget Committee chairman is holding in Republican and swing districts this weekend, aimed at talking directly with working people who stand to gain from the legislation and its investments in child care subsidies, free community college tuition, paid family and medical leave, and a transformation of the U.S. energy system in a push to rapidly shift away from planet-heating fossil fuel production while creating jobs.
While the chair of the Senate Budget Committee typically works within the halls of Congress, the senator said ahead of the event, "I think really, the function of a budget chairman is to get out among the people."
Sanders drew applause as he opened the event by describing the Civilian Climate Corps, plans for funding "more low-income affordable housing than at any other time in this country," the inclusion of a "massive investment in home healthcare," and other provisions in the bill.
\u201cUnder reconciliation, we will lead the world in transforming our energy system away from fossil fuels, make our homes and buildings more energy efficient, make agriculture greener, and we will establish a Civilian Climate Corps, providing good wages and benefits for young people.\u201d— Bernie Sanders (@Bernie Sanders) 1630116689
"What is fair to say about this legislation, which again, is going to be funded by demanding that the wealthy and corporations start paying their fair share of taxes," said the senator, "is that never in our lifetime has there been a piece of legislation which goes as far as this does to address the long-neglected needs of the working class and the middle class of this country."
Sanders then invited several community members to talk to the crowd about how their lives had been improved by President Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan, which included investments that would be continued in the spending bill.
After receiving unemployment assistance and the child care tax credit in the relief package, single father Cody Kenney said, he was able to afford hockey equipment for his son, which he had never been able to buy during his own childhood in a trailer park.
"Having that to provide for my son and...having dignity around other parents really affected my life and my kid's life," Kenney said. "When I received the pandemic unemployment assistance I was able to provide... This was the first time I had any type of government invest in me."
\u201c"After receiving support from the American Rescue Plan, I felt a sense of hope, and it echoed through my children and the people around me. Our government finally invested in me." - Cody, a dad living in Indiana\u201d— Bernie Sanders (@Bernie Sanders) 1630117118
Mary McCloskey, a single mother, also said the enhanced unemployment assistance that Sanders fought to include in Covid-19 relief legislation last year helped sustain her family.
\u201c"Investing in human infrastructure is one of our most valuable assets to aid Hoosiers and other Americans rebuild after the pandemic. We have to stop thinking about the world we once had, and start thinking about the world we're leaving our kids." - Mary, a single mom in Indiana\u201d— Bernie Sanders (@Bernie Sanders) 1630158420
"When more than 2,300 people come out in the middle of the hottest summer on record in West Lafayette, Indiana to hear Bernie Sanders talk about the $3.5 trillion Senate reconciliation bill, you're doing something right," tweeted Misty Rebik, the senator's chief of staff.
Watch the whole town hall event below:
\u201cI'm LIVE in Indiana to talk about how we are finally going to address the long-neglected needs of working families, the elderly, the sick and the most vulnerable among us. https://t.co/Y0NfOmbEJ4\u201d— Bernie Sanders (@Bernie Sanders) 1630105197
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