Sanders defends vote against USMCA: 'Not a single damn mention' of climate change

Sanders defends vote against USMCA: 'Not a single damn mention' of climate change
© Getty

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOvernight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Study finds Pfizer vaccine almost 91 percent effective for 5 to 11 year olds The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Manchin, Sanders in budget feud; Biden still upbeat Democratic frustration with Sinema rises MORE (I-Vt.) released a video on Friday explaining his vote Thursday against the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement trade deal (USMCA), saying that it included "not a single damn mention" of climate change. 

"There is not one reference to the words climate change," Sanders said in the video posted to Twitter. "Here you have a major trade agreement which in fact will make it easier for the large oil companies to destroy our planet."

He also repeated his concerns that it could result in U.S. jobs being outsourced to "low-wage" countries. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Sanders, who was one of only 10 senators to oppose the deal that overwhelmingly passed the Senate on Thursday, had previously expressed concerns about it, including during Tuesday night's presidential debate. 

"Every major environmental organization has said no to this new trade agreement because it does not even have the phrase 'climate change' in it," he said. "And given the fact that climate change is right now the greatest threat facing this planet, I will not vote for a trade agreement that does not incorporate very, very strong principles to significantly lower fossil fuel emissions in the world."

Sanders split on the issue with fellow progressive candidate Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenSinema's office outlines opposition to tax rate hikes The CFPB's data overreach hurts the businesses it claims to help Runaway higher ed spending gains little except endless student debt MORE (D-Mass.), who expressed support for the deal during the debate, saying that "it will give some relief to our farmers."

The Democratic senators who joined Sanders in opposing the agreement on Thursday included Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerDemocratic frustration with Sinema rises Schumer endorses democratic socialist India Walton in Buffalo mayor's race Guns Down America's leader says Biden 'has simply not done enough' on gun control MORE (N.Y.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Kamala Harris (Calif.), Ed Markey (Mass.), Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), Jack Reed (R.I), Brian Schatz (Hawaii). Also voting "no" was GOP Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyBlack women look to build upon gains in coming elections Watch live: GOP senators present new infrastructure proposal Sasse rebuked by Nebraska Republican Party over impeachment vote MORE (Pa.).