by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Democratic lawmakers are asking questions about the cost of a federal jobs program being put together by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., that would guarantee a job to any American who “wants or needs one,” and those questions are keeping some Democrats from supporting the bill.
Democrats are generally receptive to job-generating bills. In recent weeks, two other Senate Democrats, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y,, have released similar plans.
But members are raising questions about how the former Democratic presidential candidate wants to pay for it and how much it would cost. …
… Sanders has yet to release the details of his plan and, in the process, has left many of his Democratic caucus colleagues in the dark and left to wonder about his plan to fund the proposal.
“I don’t know how he has in mind to pay for it,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. “I really would like to see the details. I’ve seen some headlines, but I haven’t seen a summary even.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., also told reporters Tuesday that he hasn’t seen the proposal yet, but that he is all for expanding job opportunities for individuals. Sens. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and Tom Carper, D-Del., had similar comments.
Since news of the plan emerged, Republicans have seized upon the expected proposal. The Republican National Committee declared Wednesday that the Democratic Party has officially been “Bernified.”