USA

Sanders hails ‘progressive’ Joe Biden for largely moderate ‘unity’ proposals

Sen. Bernie Sanders’ most progressive ambitions will largely be bypassed in the next Democratic party platform, but he stands by the largely moderate proposals regardless.

The Biden-Sanders Unity Task Forces, which was created to combine the platforms of the two Democratic primary frontrunners, unveiled its list of policy recommendations for the party Wednesday.

Those recommendations do not include “Medicare-for-all,” arguably Sanders’ (I-Vt.) most widely known policy proposal, tuition-free public college or the Green New Deal.

The Democratic socialist acknowledged the differences between himself and Biden as it related to the platform in a statement Wednesday, saying, “While Joe Biden and I, and our supporters, have strong disagreements about some of the most important issues facing our country, we also understand that we must come together in order to defeat Donald Trump, the most dangerous president in modern American history.

“Though the end result is not what I or my supporters would have written alone, the task forces have created a good policy blueprint that will move this country in a much-needed progressive direction and substantially improve the lives of working families throughout our country,” Sanders added.

Progressives were able to score some wins in the 110-page document, which featured hundreds of policy recommendations across six policy areas.

The task forces agreed to back eliminating carbon emissions for power plants by 2035, implementing new use-of-force guidelines for police, banning for-profit charter schools, blocking the federal government from approving contracts to companies that pay below the $15 minimum wage as well as a myriad of immigration policies.

The immigration-focused task force will center on reversing the Trump administration policy that denies protected entry to asylum seekers

“We will reverse Trump Administration policies that prevent victims of gang and domestic violence, as well as LGBTQ+ people who are unsafe in their home countries, from being eligible to apply for asylum. Democrats will end Trump Administration policies that deny protected entry to asylum seekers, put them at great risk, and destabilize our neighbors and the broader region,” the document reads, “And we will end prosecution of asylum seekers at the border and policies that force them to apply from ‘safe third countries,’ which are far from safe.”

In a blow to progressives, however, the platform does not call for abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement, as many in that wing of the party had wanted.

Though Sanders did not get all of his progressive goals met with the task force, he felt confident about the compromise platform that was settled on.

Speaking to MSNBC Wednesday night, Sanders said, “These folks, needless to say, represented the progressive movement have a different perspective on things than the Biden’s people, but there was serious discussion. And I think a real honest effort to come up with a compromise. And I think the compromise that they came up with, if implemented will make Biden, the most progressive president since FDR.”

Biden has long wanted to avoid a repeat of the 2016 Democratic primary, where the party was left completely fractured after the tense battle between Hillary Clinton and Sanders.

Immediately after defeating Sanders for the party’s nomination, Biden began making inroads with Sanders’ coalition of progressive voters as part of a larger effort to unite the party to defeat Trump.

In the two weeks leading up to the Democratic socialist’s announcement that he was withdrawing from the race, Biden and his allies were in quiet contact with Sanders’ team, trying to find common ground on policy in an effort to unite the party, according to the New York Times.

Conversations were conducted over “intense” conference calls, The Times reported, and topics included health care and climate change among other policy matters.

Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ top political adviser, and Faiz Shakir, his campaign manager, negotiated on the candidate’s behalf. Anita Dunn and Ron Klain, two longtime Biden surrogates, represented the Democratic frontrunner.

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