Bernie Sanders Blames Joe Manchin For ‘Sabotaging’ Biden’s Agenda
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) called out centrist Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) over the weekend after Manchin said last week that he was unable to support climate and tax provisions in the Democrats’ economic package citing concerns over high inflation.
“He has sabotaged the president’s agenda,” Sanders said during an appearance on ABC’s This Week. “If you check the record, six months ago, I made it clear that you have people like Manchin, Sinema 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,” Sanders continued. “The problem was that we continued to talk to Manchin like he was serious. He was not.”
Manchin had been in talks with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) for months after he torpedoed President Joe Biden‘s Build Back Better social spending bill late last year. Throughout negotiations, he had signaled support for the climate and tax sections.
Though the West Virginia senator said he couldn’t currently support the provisions with sky-high inflation rates topping out at 9.1% in June, which is the highest level in over 40 years, he said he may be willing to open the conversation up again if July numbers look better.
“All of our efforts should be: How do we reduce the gas prices, the high prices of energy, the high prices of food, all of these things: that’s everyday living. And everyone’s talking about everything except tough things,” Manchin told reporters last week. “Unless you can get your financial house in order, you’re not going to get inflation under control.”
Manchin did, however, express support for a bill that would focus on healthcare measures and lowering prescription drug prices.