Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont
Bernie Sanders said Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema have “sabotaged” Biden’s agenda.
Sanders unloaded on two of his fellow Senate Democrats for opposing parts of Biden’s economic plan.
His criticism comes at a time when Democrats are increasingly pessimistic about passing even parts of Biden’s agenda.
Sen. Bernie Sanders unloaded Sunday on Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, calling out the pair of centrist Democrats by name and arguing that they have “sabotaged” President Joe Biden’s agenda.
“You got two members of the Senate, Sen. Manchin and Sen. Sinema, who have sabotaged what the president has been fighting for,” Sanders told NBC’s Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press.”
Todd responded that “sabotage” was a “strong word” to use, but Sanders doubled down on his criticism of his Democratic colleagues. Sanders, a Vermont independent who caucuses with Senate Democrats, also serves on Senate Democratic leadership with Manchin.
“You got 48 members of the Senate who wanted to go forward with an agenda that helped working families, that was prepared to take on the wealthy and the powerful,” Sanders said. “You got a president who wanted to do that. You had two people who prevented us from doing it.”
—Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) May 15, 2022
Sanders and Manchin have tussled publicly before, but this latest round comes as progressive Democrats express increasing exasperation with Manchin and Sinema. The two senators have opposed passing parts of Biden’s sweeping climate and spending plan once known as “Build Back Better” into law.
Manchin snapped at Sanders in January when the former presidential candidate hinted that the West Virginia Democrat should potentially face a primary challenger.
“Well, Senator Sanders is not a Democrat,” Manchin said at the time, adding that Sanders’ ideology was “not what I think the majority of Americans represent.”
There is hope that a slimmed-down version of the once $3.5 trillion proposal can still pass, but Democrats are increasingly running out of time as the midterm election approaches. Both Manchin and Sinema have repeatedly expressed concern over rising inflation as prices spike to their worst point in 40 years. Their inflation-related fears have only added to skepticism about even small pieces of Biden’s plan becoming law.
The White House has also teeded off on Manchin in the past, a move that reportedly led Manchin to effectively kill Build Back Better late last year. Since then, Biden and his team have been careful not to publicly question Manchin’s loyalty.
The most recent example of this was this past week when Manchin joined Senate Republicans in blocking Democrats from passing federal abortion protections into law. Manchin told reporters that he supports codifying Roe v. Wade, but he argued that Democrats’ proposal goes too far. Biden released a statement attacking Senate Republicans for opposing the bill, but Manchin’s name or even a mention of his opposition was nowhere to be found.
Politics, Bernie Sanders, Joe Manchin, Kyrsten Sinema, Democratic Party, Congress, Senate Democrats, White House, Joe Biden
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