Last week it was reported that Manchin told Democratic leaders he was not on board with a package that included sweeping climate change provisions and raising taxes on wealthy Americans.
During an appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” the Vermont senator was asked by host Martha Raddatz about Manchin reportedly scaling back his support of parts of the measure.
“No, Martha…he didn’t abruptly do anything,” Sanders interjected. “He has sabotaged the president’s agenda.”
He went on, “If you check the record six months ago, I made it clear that you have people like Manchin, [Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.)] to a lesser degree, who are intentionally sabotaging the president’s agenda, what the American people want, what a majority of us in the Democratic caucus want — nothing new about this.”
When the host noted that Manchin argued he was doing what’s best for his state, Sanders, with a mocking tone, responded, “Really? Really?”
“Look, same nonsense that Manchin has been talking about for a year. West Virginia is a beautiful state. I’ve had the pleasure of being there. Great people. It is one of the poorest states in this country,” he added.
The senator also suggested that voters in West Virginia would support a wide array of progressive policies.
Watch the exchange below:
Bernie Sanders unloads on Manchin: "He didn't abruptly do anything. He has sabotaged the president's agenda…you have people like Manchin, Sinema to a lesser degree, who are intentionally sabotaging the president's agenda, what the American people want…nothing new about this." pic.twitter.com/mnpp3lOoz4
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 17, 2022
For his part, Manchin denied that he had pulled the plug on the climate and tax provisions.
Per the Washington Examiner, Manchin said, “I said, [Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)], until we see the July inflation figures, until we see the July Federal Reserve interest rates — then let’s wait until that comes out so we know that we’re going down the path that won’t be inflammatory to add more to inflation.”
“He took that as no, I guess, and came out with this big thing last night,” he added.
Democrats are furious with Manchin for what seems to be his decision to kill major parts of their agenda.
They were hoping to pass the package with just 51 votes — with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote — but without Manchin’s support, the package would essentially be dead.
While Sanders and the Democrats are raging about the West Virginia senator for dealing a blow to their agenda, they should be pointing the finger at progressives.
However, once Democrats won the two Senate seats in Georgia they seem to have adopted the mistaken belief that with a nominal majority, every Democrat in the chamber would band together to support massive, transformational legislation that has no input from the minority party. And now, rather than having a bunch of wins and an energized base, they look incompetent and like they can’t get anything done.
Had Democrats focused on infrastructure, maybe a bipartisan policing reform bill, and trying to get the country back to work and rolling again after the pandemic, they probably would be in a much better position politically than they are now.
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