Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) claimed Sunday that fellow Senator Joe Manchin did not “have the guts” to support President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Act.
Sanders joined CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” to discuss Manchin’s opposition to the bill — which he had publicly promised to vote against just minutes earlier on “Fox News Sunday” — and Sanders suggested that his colleague lacked the courage to “stand up to powerful special interests.
If Joe Manchin does not have the guts to stand up to the powerful special interests, he’s going to have to explain that to the people of West Virginia who are hurting and hurting badly. pic.twitter.com/U5OeNlk6ea
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) December 19, 2021
“So Senator Manchin says this is this is a no. What is your reaction?” Tapper prompted.
“He’ll have a lot of explaining to do to the people of with West Virginia,” Sanders began. “To tell them he doesn’t have the guts to take on the drug companies to lower the cost of prescription drugs, why he is not prepared to expand home health care …”
Sanders went on to argue that the people of West Virginia would not be happy with Manchin if he failed to take action on climate change and other pressing issues.
“I’ve been to West Virginia a number of times, and it/s a great state, beautiful people but it is a state that is struggling. He’s going to have to tell the people of West Virginia why he rejects what the scientists of the world are telling us, that we have to act boldly and transform our energy system to protect future generations from the devastation of climate change,” he added.
He went on to suggest that lobbyists and special interests were the only reasons Manchin might oppose the provisions of Build Back Better — despite Manchin’s statements suggesting his concerns had more to do with inflation and the overall cost of the package.
“I hope we will bring a strong bill to the floor of the Senate as soon as we can and let Mr. Manchin explain to the people of West Virginia why he doesn’t have the guts to stand up to powerful special interests,” Sanders continued.
“You want a vote no matter what, even if …” Tapper pressed.
“Absolutely. Absolutely. The American people have got to know what is at stake. For decades now, what Congress has been doing, giving tax breaks to the rich, not standing up to the drug companies so that we end up paying the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs, ignoring climate change. The President of the United States and almost every Democrat is trying finally to address these issues,” Sanders said.
“Did you know this was coming?” Tapper interrupted.
“Mr. Manchin doesn’t want to support us — we’ve been dealing with Mr. Manchin month after month after month. If he doesn’t have the courage to do the right thing for the working families of West Virginia and America, let him vote no in front of the whole world.”