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Sanders Confirms Democrats Are Discussing $6 Trillion Spending Package

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) says Democrats are “absolutely” considering a $6 trillion budget reconciliation proposal to address climate change, the cost of prescription drugs, and expanding Medicare.

When asked whether Democrats are discussing a $6 trillion proposal, Sanders replied, “Yeah, absolutely.”

Sanders explained, “The president has given us a framework, I think it’s a comprehensive and serious framework. It is the function of the Congress now to take that framework and go with it.”

He continued, “I think it is absolutely imperative that we deal with the existential threat of climate change, that we lower the cost of prescription drugs, that we make sure elderly people can chew their food because we expand Medicare to dental care, hearing aids and eyeglasses.”

The senator indicated the the package would also address the “housing crisis.”

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Sanders added, “I think it’s unacceptable that we have a half a million people sleeping out in the streets in America because we have a major housing crisis. What the president has said is we ought to take a comprehensive look at the crises facing this country and that’s what we’re going to do.”

He suggested they are also considering including an aspect of immigration reform.

“Immigration reform and moving to comprehensive immigration reform [is] something that’s been talked about for a very long time. We’re working with the White House,” Sanders said.

CNN’s Manu Raju noted several moderate members of the Senate Democratic Caucus would not be embracing the price tag of the package.

Sen. Tim Kaine (Va.) said, “I think we all want to go big: Different people may have different ideas about what big means. We gotta get 50 out of 50.”

Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) added, “That’s not going to be what comes out ultimately.”

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) made it clear he has “told people that’s extremely large.”

In a response to a question about the price tag, Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) said, they are in the “early stages.”

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Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) said on Thursday, “I don’t think it’s the number that’s important. It’s what’s included, how it’s utilized and if it’s paid-for.”

Sanders was asked how Democrats arrived at the $6 trillion spending target.

He responded, “Don’t overthink it.”

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