WASHINGTON, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Bernie Sanders urged his fellow Democrats in Congress not to obstruct but to challenge the incoming Trump administration, including on appointments and healthcare.
"I don't think that's what we do," Sanders said. "I think where Trump has ideas that make sense that we can work with him on, I think we should."
He criticized the Republicans for "shamefully and outrageously" refusing to consider Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court last year. Sanders, now a member of the Democratic Senate leadership, said Senate Democrats discussed Monday whether to flatly oppose any Supreme Court nomination. But he admitted Democrats might not "do the right thing."
"I think the solution of the problem would be if Mr. Trump in fact nominated someone who is not, you know, an extreme right-winger, as I fear he might," he said.
And Sanders noted he has doubts about two Cabinet nominees -- Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions for attorney general and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt for Environmental Protection Agency administrator.
He mentioned he won't outright vote against them before hearing what they say in confirmation hearings, which start Tuesday.
"All that I am doing here is trying to be polite," Sanders said.
Regarding Republicans' plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act -- known as Obamacare -- Sanders said he hopes they have a solution.
"We damn well aren't going to see it repealed and have no replacement there at all," he said.
In an op-ed in The Washington Post on Monday, he wrote, "Let me be absolutely clear: The impact of repealing large pieces of the Affordable Care Act, which Republicans are planning to put on Donald Trump's desk on his first day in the White House, would be devastating."