Ocasio-Cortez: Manchin rationale for opposing Biden’s bill ‘a farce’
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) blasted Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) on Monday, arguing that his reasoning for opposing President Biden’s Build Back Better Act falls flat.
Manchin, in announcing his opposition on Sunday, argued he could not explain supporting the bill to his constituents in West Virginia, a GOP-tilting state that voted overwhelmingly for former President Trump in the 2020 presidential election.
Ocasio-Cortez, who represents one of the nation’s most densely populated areas in New York City, called that rationale “a farce” during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“It’s a farce in terms of plain democracy,” she said. “Because, you know, I represent just as many or more people than Joe Manchin does.”
Rep. @AOC (D-NY) on Sen. Manchin’s no on BBB Act:
“The idea that Joe Manchin says he can’t explain this back home to his people is a farce … I represent just as many or more people than Joe Manchin does.” pic.twitter.com/F9W1Ex8epU
— The Recount (@therecount) December 20, 2021
West Virginia, which like every state has two senators, has a population of less than 1.8 million. Manchin and fellow West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R) represent all of them. Ocasio-Cortez’s district in New York has around 700,000 people.
Ocasio-Cortez and progressives in the House have battled with Manchin throughout 2021, and had already seen the Build Back Better social spending and climate bill cut back based on demands from the West Virginia senator.
They also saw the bipartisan infrastructure bill, sometimes called the BIF, pass through the House on the promise that the Build Back Better bill would follow.
“The Senate must reconvene immediately and bring BBB to a vote regardless of Manchin’s statement,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a tweet after Manchin’s announcement on Sunday. “If they forced folks to go on record with BIF, they can force the Senate to go on record with BBB. We can take it up again next year too.”
In announcing his decision on Sunday, Manchin cited his commitment to his constituents in West Virginia as his guiding principal when deciding which pieces of the president’s agenda to support and vote for.
“Despite my best efforts, I cannot explain the sweeping Build Back Better Act in West Virginia and I cannot vote to move forward on this mammoth piece of legislation,” he said in a statement released Sunday.