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Sanders accuses Manchin of ‘intentionally sabotaging’ Biden’s agenda by opposing Build Back Better

​Sen. Bernie Sanders accused Sen. Joe Manchin of “intentionally sabotaging” President Biden’s agenda after the West Virginia Democrat pulled his support from legislation that included initiatives to battle climate change and raise taxes on corporations and wealthy individuals.

“He has sabotaged the president’s agenda,” Sanders (I-Vt.) said Sunday on ABC News’ “This Week.”

“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,” he told host Martha Raddatz, referring to Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema.

The exchange was prompted after Raddatz said that Manchin, a moderate Democrat, “abruptly pulled the plug” on the party’s attempt to pass the pared down Build Back Better Act that had already been stalled for months.

“No, Martha, he didn’t ‘abruptly,’” Sanders said about Manchin, whose opposition stymied the ​original version of Biden’s ​spending plan in December.

The ABC News host replied that Manchin had been “negotiating for a while.”

The exchange was prompted after ABC’s Martha Raddatz said that Manchin, a moderate Democrat, “abruptly pulled the plug” on the party’s attempt to pass the pared down Build Back Better Act.
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File

That’s when Sanders accused Manchin of thwarting Biden’s legislative agenda.

“And 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.

Manchin scuttled the Build Back Better Act on Friday when he told a West Virginia radio station that he could only support the legislation if it cut drug prices instead of adding new environmental regulations and tax hikes, citing record-breaking inflation numbers.​

On Wednesday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the annual rate of inflation has risen to 9.1% in June, the highest level since November 1981.​​
On Wednesday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the annual rate of inflation had risen to 9.1% in June, the highest level since November 1981.​​
Bandar Aljaloud/Saudi Royal Palace via AP

“Inflation is absolutely killing many, many people. They can’t buy gasoline. They have a hard time buying groceries. Everything they buy and consume for their daily lives is a hardship to them. Can’t we wait to make sure we do nothing to add to that?​” Manchin said on West Virginia Metro News.​

Sen. Bernie Sanders blames Manchin for sabotaging Biden's agenda.
Sen. Bernie Sanders blames Manchin for sabotaging Biden’s agenda.
ABCNews/This Week/Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images/AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File

“I can’t make that decision on taxes of any type and also on the energy and climate — because it takes the taxes to pay for the investment in clean technology that I’m in favor of. I’m not going to do something and overreach that causes more problems​,” he said. ​

On Wednesday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the annual rate of inflation has risen to 9.1% in June, the highest level since November 1981.​​

Sen. Bernie Sanders blames Manchin for sabotaging Biden's agenda.
Sen. Bernie Sanders blames Manchin for sabotaging Biden’s agenda.
ABCNews/This Week

Raddatz played the comments Manchin made on the radio show and mentioned that Manchin has said he is looking out for the people of West Virginia. 

“Look, that’s the same nonsense that Manchin has been talking about for a year,” Sanders said, calling West Virginia “one of the poorest states in this country.”

“You ask the people of West Virginia whether they want to expand Medicare to cover dental, hearing and eyeglasses. You ask the people of West Virginia whether we should demand that the wealthiest people and large corporations start paying their fair share of taxes. Ask the people of West Virginia whether or not all people should have health care as a human right, like in every other country on Earth. That’s what they will say​,” Sanders went on.​

“​In my humble opinion, you know, Manchin represents the very wealthiest people in this country, not working families in West Virginia or America​,” he said. 

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