Sanders: Let Manchin vote no on Build Back Better ‘in front of the whole world’
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) expressed his frustration with Sen. Joe Manchin after the West Virginia Democrat said Sunday he would not vote for President Biden’s social spending package.
“I think he’s gonna have a lot of explaining to do to the people of West Virginia,” Sanders told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.”
Sanders alleged that Manchin “doesn’t have the guts to stand up to powerful special interests.” The Vermont Democrat said he still wanted the Senate to take a vote on the bill regardless of where Manchin stands.
“We’ve been dealing with Mr. Manchin for month after month after month. But 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,” he added.
During an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Manchin finally gave a decisive answer on where he stands on the bill after months of wrangling among lawmakers to get his crucial vote in a Senate that is split 50-50.
“I cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation. I just can’t. I tried everything humanly possible. I can’t get there,” Manchin told guest host Bret Baier.
Given Manchin’s decision to vote against the Build Back Better bill and his opposition to eliminating the filibuster, Tapper on CNN asked Sanders if President Biden’s agenda was dead. Sanders instead emphasized that Democrats had to focus on passing voting rights legislation, saying that “what is terribly important is that we pass the voting rights bill.”
Manchin’s lack of support of the Build Back Better bill will likely jeopardize Democrats’ plan to pass the legislation through reconciliation, which requires 50 votes.