Leading Democratic lawmakers publicly distanced themselves from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders this week after the ultra-liberal legislator called for a universal employment program; promising a federal job for “anyone who wants one.”
While some prominent Democrats supported Bernie’s socialist platform -such as Senators Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand- many threw cold water on the idea, saying it would prove far too expensive and unmanageable.
“I’m anxious for Bernie to show me how it’s going to be done,” said Sen. Dick Durbin. “He’s had some good ideas, but sometimes when it gets down to the actual cost of the idea, they need to be worked on a little bit.”
“I don’t know how he has in mind to pay for it,” added Sen. Richard Blumenthal. “I really would like to see the details. I’ve seen some headlines, but I haven’t seen a summary even.”
The plan was widely lampooned by Republicans throughout the Senate Wednesday, including many who saw the jobs program as a possible party platform heading into 2018 and 2020.
“If you’re a red-state Democrat, you’ve got to defend why a mass federal expenditure on a basic government takeover of the employment sector is appropriate,” said Sen. Gardner, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.