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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y) and Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) stand together during his campaign event at the Whittemore Center Arena on February 10, 2020 in Durham, New Hampshire.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and then-Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) stood together during his campaign event at the Whittemore Center Arena on February 10, 2020 in Durham, New Hampshire. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Sanders to Host "What's in the Damn Bill" Online Panel Discussion About Democrats' Package

The Senate Budget Committee chair will be joined by other progressive lawmakers and leaders at 8:00 pm Wednesday.

Common Dreams staff

As a couple of right-wing Democrats continue to block President Joe Biden's Build Back Better agenda despite the party's full control of Congress, progressive lawmakers are planning to come together Wednesday evening to discuss key policy proposals for the budget reconciliation package at a livestreamed event hosted by Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Watch:

Sanders (I-Vt.), who chairs the Senate Budget Committee, will be joined by the Rev. Dr. William Barber II of Repairers of the Breach and the Poor People's Campaign, Mary Kay Henry of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Alex Lawson of Social Security Works, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), and Varshini Prakash of the Sunrise Movement.

The event—entitled "What's in the Damn Bill: A Panel Discussion with Progressive Leaders on the Reconciliation Bill"—will be livestreamed at live.berniesanders.com and on Sanders' social media pages at 8:00 pm ET.

Progressives' plans to publicly discuss the package come amid reports that the White House has agreed to slash the topline number to between $1.75 trillion and $1.9 trillion—down from $3.5 trillion over a decade, which was already a compromise—in a bid to win over key holdouts, particularly Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.).

While Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said Tuesday that "we feel progress is being made toward an agreement that will make transformational investments" in major priorities—specifically the care economy, climate action, housing, healthcare, and a path to citizenship for immigrants—Democrats continue to express frustration with Manchin and Sinema's obstruction of Biden and their party's policy goals.


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