Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Drug prices

A new video out of Sen. Bernie Sanders' office on Friday features numerous polls that show widespread support for policies contained in the Democrat's $3.5 trillion "Build Back Better" proposal that is being held up by just a small number of corporate-backed members. (Photo: Screenshot/Sanders.senate.gov)

Top Bernie Sanders Aide Details Just How Popular the $3.5 Trillion Package Truly Is

"Opposing these policies doesn't make you a moderate," said Warren Gunnels. "It doesn't make you a centrist. It makes you an extremist."

Common Dreams staff

A video out Friday featuring numerous polls showing the popularity of the programs included in the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package that Democrats are trying to push through Congress—and narrated by one of Sen. Bernie Sanders' top aides—offered a scathing indictment of those within the party who continue to oppose the sweeping investments in childcare, Medicare expansion, housing, higher education, and climate.

Warren Gunnels, the longtime staff director and policy advisor for Sanders (I-Vt.) who is sometimes referred to as the "keeper of receipts," argues in the video that corporate Democrats like Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona are blocking an agenda that is widely supported by the American public.

Watch:

As The Nation's John Nichols noted, the video shows Republican pundit Meghan McCain repeatedly claiming aspects of the plan—including "expanding Medicare, paid family leave, tuition-free community college, ending child poverty and saving the planet didn't poll well"—but that Gunnels masterfully "explains that she is scorchingly wrong."

"I'm not quite sure what planet Meghan is living on, but right here on planet Earth the overwhelming majority of the American people—including 'independent centrists'—support the $3.5 trillion... plan," Gunnels says in the video.

He then runs through a list of surveys—including an August 12 Fox News poll that found a majority of likely voters favor spending $3.5 trillion on priorities including combating the climate crisis, health care, and childcare—to underscore the package's popularity.

Noting the overwhelming support for some of the bill's individual components, Gunnels says: "When 84% want to expand Medicare to cover dental, vision and hearing, and 81% want Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices, opposing these policies doesn't make you a moderate. It doesn't make you a centrist. It makes you an extremist."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Fears of Escalation as Ukraine Answers Russian Missile Onslaught With Strike Deep Inside Invader's Territory

Ukrainian drones bombed two air bases more than 300 miles inside Russia, reportedly killing three soldiers, wounding four others, and damaging multiple warplanes.

Brett Wilkins ·


Patient Groups Push Congress to Combat Big Pharma Greed in Spending Bill

"As Congress works toward finalizing an end-of-year budget package, we urge the chambers to include bipartisan legislation to address abuse of the Food and Drug Administration's citizen petition process in order to reduce drug prices and save the government hundreds of millions of dollars."

Brett Wilkins ·


10,000+ Sign Open Letter Demanding Biden Order Paid Sick Leave for Railway Workers

"No one, especially in the world's richest nation, should have to choose between forgoing pay or working through severe illness and family emergencies," says The Lever's letter.

Jessica Corbett ·


Right-Wing SCOTUS Majority Signals Support for Anti-LGBTQ+ Reactionaries

"It does not bode well for the future of civil rights law that Gorsuch believes a state imposes 'reeducation training' on employers when it reminds them how to comply with nondiscrimination rules," said one court observer.

Julia Conley ·


Report Reveals Corporate Capture of Global Biodiversity Efforts Ahead of Summit

"Their 'solutions' are carefully crafted in order to not undermine their business models; ultimately they do nothing for the environment," said one Friends of the Earth campaigner.

Jessica Corbett ·

Common Dreams Logo