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Manchin Slams AOC: 'Continue To Divide, Divide, Divide'

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Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is criticizing Rep. Alexandria-Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) for suggesting his opposition to a $3.5 trillion spending bill is due to the influence of fossil fuel lobbyists.

During an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, Manchin was asked about the New York Congresswoman’s claim that he has “weekly huddles [with] Exxon” and “gives lobbyists their pen to write so-called ‘bipartisan’ fossil fuel bills.”

“I keep my door open for everybody. It’s totally false,” Manchin responded. “And those type of superlatives it’s just awful and continue to divide, divide, divide.”

He continued, “I don’t know that young lady that well. I really don’t. I have met her one time, I think, between sets here. But that’s it. So we have not had any conversations. She’s just speculating and saying things because she wants to.”

The senator went on to say he opposes the spending bill because “it mays no sense at all.”

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Earlier this month, Manchin wrote an op-ed published in The Wall Street Journal where he said he would not vote for Democrats’ $3.5 trillion spending bill as he cited concerns about inflation and the national debt.

Ocasio-Cortez criticized him in a tweet, writing, “Manchin has weekly huddles [with] Exxon & is one of many senators who gives lobbyists their pen to write so-called ‘bipartisan’ fossil fuel bills.

“It’s killing people. Our people. At least 12 last night. Sick of this ‘bipartisan’ corruption that masquerades as clear-eyed moderation,” she added.

Her tweet appeared to be in reference to a report from Unearthed, which is affiliated with Greenpeace, where a senior lobbyist for Exxon said, “I talk to [Manchin’s] office every week.”

Exxon’s CEO Darren Woods said in a statement, “Comments made by the individuals in no way represent the company’s position on a variety of issues, including climate policy and our firm commitment that carbon pricing is important to addressing climate change.”

“We condemn the statements and are deeply apologetic for them, including comments regarding interactions with elected officials. They are entirely inconsistent with the way we expect our people to conduct themselves. We were shocked by these interviews and stand by our commitments to working on finding solutions to climate change,” he added.

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Ocasio-Cortez reacted to Manchin’s appearance on CNN on Twitter, “In Washington, I usually know my questions of power are getting somewhere when the powerful stop referring to me as ‘Congresswoman’ and start referring to me as ‘young lady’ instead.”

“Imagine if every time someone referred to someone as ‘young lady’ they were ask responded to by being addressed with their age and gender? They’d be pretty upset if one responded with ‘the old man,’ right? Why this kind of weird, patronizing behavior is so accepted is beyond me!” she added.

The exchange comes as Democrats are hoping to use a process known as budget reconciliation which would let them pass their spending bill with just 51 votes, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote.

For the bill to succeed in the Senate, all 50 Democrats would have to vote for it.

Progressives hope the final bill will include provisions to address climate change as well as child care, immigration, and a change to the tax code.

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