Senate should improve House coronavirus package: Sen. Bernie Sanders

The House passed $3 trillion coronavirus relief package last week.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said that the Senate should improve a House coronavirus package spearheaded by Democratic leadership.

“Now I think what Pelosi did in the house, it is significant. It is important. I have some disagreements with it, and I want to see the Senate, improve on it,” Sanders told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos.

“Among other things I happen to believe that we should go in the direction of a paycheck security process similar to what has been done in Europe,” he added.

Sanders appeared on ABC’s “This Week” days after the House passed a $3 trillion coronavirus relief package.

Fourteen Democrats voted against the measure, including several of the Vermont senator’s political allies.

Former Sanders’ campaign surrogate, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., told reporters Friday she voted “no” on the bill because it did not include provisions to expand Medicare or extend $2,000 monthly direct payments to Americans — two plans that Sanders supports.

He told Stephanopoulos on Sunday, “I also believe that during this crisis, instead of funding the COBRA program, what we should do is make sure that all people in this country, including 87 million who are uninsured or underinsured before the pandemic have access to health care. And you do that by allowing Medicare, to fill in the gaps for the uninsured and the underinsured.”

The bill backed by the Democrats only secured one Republican vote, and is widely considered unable to pass in the GOP-controlled Senate.

“I think, Pelosi — at least unlike the Republican leadership — said you know what, we have terrible suffering in this country. We need to get money out to the cities and towns for the hospitals, we need to protect for the people. And I would hope that the Republicans wake up and understand the severity of the crisis that we’re facing,” Sanders said.

This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.

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