“The problem was that we continued to talk to Manchin like he was serious. He was not.”
By Nick Visser | HuffPost via PrideNation
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) slammed Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) on Sunday, saying the centrist Democrat had effectively sabotaged President Joe Biden’s agenda after he torpedoed his party’s spending plans to address the growing threat of climate change.
Sanders spoke to ABC News’ Martha Raddatz on Sunday, unleashing his fury at his colleague for effectively stringing Democrats along for months before abruptly walking away last week. The negotiations were widely seen as Democrats’ last major shot at passing legislation to address carbon emissions and climate change before the midterm elections in November.
“When Manchin sabotages climate change, this is the future generations what’s going on right now,” he continued. “In the West, all over the world … This is an existential threat to humanity.
Sanders’ comments came after Manchin told his party leaders that he wouldn’t support any funding for climate or energy programs as part of a scaled-down economic package, upending months of negotiations and giving the White House a major defeat in its effort to pass meaningful climate legislation. His vote is essential as Democrats hold just a 50-50 majority in the Senate with Vice President Kamala Harris as the tie-breaking vote.
Democrat had spent months negotiating with Manchin, abandoning key elements of the initial, $2 trillion Build Back Better Act that had been a prime focus of Biden’s agenda.