Friday night certainly had some drama to when it comes to President Joe Biden's Build Back Better agenda, after Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) penned an op-ed in the Charleston Gazette-Mail, which is located in Sen. Joe Manchin's (D-WV) state.
GAZETTE-MAIL EXCLUSIVE: @SenSanders says "We need every Democrat," calls for Manchin to support Build Back Better Bill. Read the op-ed ??https://t.co/2PW3TbtvrF pic.twitter.com/FTFNLAJ7Ax— Gazette-Mail (@wvgazettemail) October 15, 2021
In it, Sen. Sanders writes that the "$3.5 trillion Build Back Better bill [is] supported by President Biden and almost all Democrats in Congress."
He also makes a plea to readers as he tries to equate West Virginia and Vermont:
The United States, and states like West Virginia and Vermont in particular, are seeing their populations age. The result: more and more older Americans and people with disabilities need home health care. They would much prefer to be around their loved ones at home rather than be forced into expensive nursing homes. This bill greatly expands home health care and makes sure that these jobs are adequately paid.
Ultimately, Sanders calls Manchin out by name, with original emphasis:
Poll after poll shows overwhelming support for this legislation. Yet, the political problem we face is that in a 50-50 Senate we need every Democratic senator to vote "yes." We now have only 48. Two Democratic senators remain in opposition, including Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.
This is a pivotal moment in modern American history. We now have a historic opportunity to support the working families of West Virginia, Vermont and the entire country and create policy which works for all, not just the few.
Sen. Manchin did not take too kindly to that. He issued a response over Twitter on Friday night, in a quoted retweet to the outlet promoting Sanders' op-ed.
https://t.co/iU96GLGzsT pic.twitter.com/ly944dr2dE— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) October 15, 2021
Spicy a reaction as it is, Manchin's points aren't exactly new. "To be clear, again, Congress should proceed with caution on any additional spending and I will not vote for a reckless expansion of government programs," he reminds everyone, going on to call out Sen. Sanders. "No op-ed from a self-declared Independent socialist is going to change that."
It's not just how Manchin ends his statement that's noteworthy, but also how he begins it. "This isn't the first time an out-of-stater has tried to tell West Virginians what is best for them despite having no relationship to our state."
While the senator doesn't mention specifics, it's possible he's referring to Vice President Kamala Harris.
As Beth reported in late January, when the Biden administration had just barely begun to subject us to its incompetence, Harris gave an interview with local outlet WSAZ-TV to try to sell the American Rescue Plan. The state had voted to re-elect Donald Trump by 68.6 percent. And, it's where Biden has his highest disapproval ratings.
Harris also really offended Manchin. "I saw [the interview], I couldn’t believe it. No one called me [about it]," he told WSAZ-TV. "We’re going to try to find a bipartisan pathway forward. I think we need to but we need to work together. That’s not a way of working together, what was done."
As Matt mentioned just a few days later, Harris actually referred to the state's coal mines as "land mines."
The senator who Manchin aptly refers to as "a self-declared Independent socialist" seems to be particularly fired up. As Landon reported earlier tonight, he ranted in a statement and over Twitter, blaming the media for how not enough people know about the $3.5 trillion spending plan.
Why is that? There are a number of reasons, but at the top of the list is the reality that the mainstream media has done an exceptionally poor job in covering what actually is in the legislation.— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) October 15, 2021
The foundations of American democracy are threatened not only by extremism, but by ignorance and lack of knowledge. It is hard to ask people to have faith in their government when they have little understanding of what their government is trying to do.— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) October 15, 2021
Build Back Better is an enormously important piece of legislation. The American people have a right to know what's in it.— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) October 15, 2021
Sen. Sanders could very well have just irked his colleague from West Virginia strongly enough to make him even more resistant about this agenda.
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