Sen. Joe Manchin is “intentionally sabotaging” President Biden’s agenda, Sen. Bernie Sanders said Sunday in the latest left-flank blast at Manchin for sinking Democrats’ climate plans.
Democratic efforts to win over the West Virginia senator were dashed last week when Manchin refused to back government investments in clean energy and other steps.
“He has sabotaged the president’s agenda,” Vermont’s Independent senator said of Manchin on ABC’s “This Week.” Approval from Manchin, a conservative Democrat, is key for anything to pass in the evenly divided Senate.
Sanders also took a swipe at Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat from Arizona, who has played a role in frustrating Biden’s agenda on issues including infrastructure.
“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 said.
“And the problem was that we continue to talk [to] Manchin like he was serious. He was not,” he added.
Manchin told a local radio station Friday that he wouldn’t change his stance until he sees the country’s next inflation figures, due in August.
Sanders dismissed his claim as “the same nonsense that Manchin has been talking about for a year.”
“In my humble opinion, Manchin represents the very wealthiest people in this country, not working families in West Virginia or America,” Sanders said in an apparent reference to the West Virginia pol’s campaign contributions from the fossil fuel industry.
New Mexico’s Sen. Martin Heinrich took his frustration with Manchin to Twitter on Friday.
“We have an opportunity to address the climate crisis right now. Senator Manchin’s refusal to act is infuriating,” Heinrich, a progressive Dem, tweeted.
Heinrich said he questioned why Manchin remained chair of the powerful Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.