Sen. Bernard Sanders said Sunday that Democrats face a potential wipeout in the 2022 midterms if they don’t use their full control of Washington to push forward with a bold agenda on coronavirus relief and other issues.
“If we do not respond now, yes, I believe two years from now the Republicans will say hey, you elected these guys. They did nothing. Vote for us. And they will win,” Mr. Sanders, Vermont independent, said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
President Biden has expressed hope at winning Republican support for his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, but there have been few takers so far.
Mr. Sanders said he is prepared to use a budget tool that would allow Democrats to muscle through parts of the package without Republican support if the GOP holds out for too long.
“If Republicans are willing to work with us to address that crisis, welcome — let’s do it,” he said. “But what we cannot do is wait weeks and weeks and months and months to go forward.”
Mr. Sanders is in line to chair the Senate Budget Committee once leadership in both parties can strike a deal on organizational issues.
The Senate is split 50-50 between the two parties. Vice President Kamala Harris’s tie-breaking vote gives Democrats effective control.