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US House speaker scolds media for not 'selling' $3.5 trillion spending bill

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has reprimanded the media and urged journalists to do a better job of selling Democratic President Joe Biden's $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill to the American public. 

"You all could do a better job of selling this, to be frank. Every time I come here, I go through family medical leave, climate, the issues that are in there," she said on Friday.

Pelosi made the remarks during a press briefing when she was asked if she and the White House could better explain what's in the massive social spending bill to the American people.

US Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Friday also blamed the media for Americans not knowing what is in the sweeping social spending plan.

Sanders said it is "absurd" that many Americans don't know what is in Biden's plan.

"The reality that the mainstream media has done an exceptionally poor job in covering what actually is in the legislation," Sanders said.

"There have been endless stories about the politics of passing Build Back Better, the role of the president, the conflicts in the House and the Senate, the opposition of two senators, the size of the bill, etc. – but very limited coverage as to what the provisions of the bill are and the crises for working people that they address," he added.

The massive spending bill is opposed by Republicans. So, Democrats are trying to pass it through a budgetary process called reconciliation. But this process would require a "yes" vote from every Democratic Senator. However, two Democratic Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin are opposed to it.

Moderate Democratic lawmakers wanted an immediate vote on a $1 trillion infrastructure bill in the House of Representatives that has already passed the Senate, while progressives want to wait until there is agreement on the sweeping $3.5 trillion bill to bolster social spending and fight climate change.

Republicans in Congress are opposed to the reconciliation bill, which has been twinned with an infrastructure package in the legislative process.

Even many of those Republicans who previously supported the infrastructure bill are now opposing the reconciliation bill.

Independent US Senator Bernie Sanders has said Republicans are “bought and paid for” by large corporations that are spending loads of money to prevent lawmakers from doing what the American people want. 

He also slammed lobbyists who are battling the progressive priorities built into the $3.5 trillion bill.

“Poll after poll shows what we are doing is exactly what the American people want. It's not what the big money interest wants, not what the lobbyists want. It's what the American people want, and we got to do it,” Sanders said on October 3.


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