In an interview with ABC This Week, Vermont Senator and progressive leader Bernie Sanders ripped into West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin (D) for what he said was a move to “sabotage” President Joe Biden’s agenda last week when he refused to support climate and energy investments as part of the reconciliation spending bill.
Asked by anchor Martha Raddatz about Manchin’s move to “abruptly” block the spending bill, Sanders answered that Manchin had not done anything “abruptly.” Martha, let me disagree with you. He didn’t abruptly do anything,” Sanders said. “He has sabotaged the president’s agenda.”
Sanders continued, “No, look, 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, what a majority of us in the Democratic Caucus want. Nothing new about this.”
Sanders went on to point out Manchin’s reluctance to back the climate and energy investments may have to do with Manchin’s personal interests in the fossil fuel industry. “ … The problem was that we continue to talk to Manchin like he was serious. He was not. This is a guy who is a major recipient of fossil fuel money, a guy who has received campaign contributions from 25 Republican billionaires,” Sanders said.
For his part, Manchin has defended his decision to hold off on agreeing to the climate and energy investment bills because he wants to review the July inflation figures before making any policy decisions.
“Can’t we wait to make sure that we do nothing to add to that?” Manchin said to West Virginia’s MetroNews radio. “I can’t make that decision basically on taxes of any type and also on the energy and climate because it takes the taxes to pay for the investment in the clean technology that I’m in favor of. But I’m not going to do something and overreach that causes more problems.”
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