Bernie Sanders Comes Out Swinging Against Manchin and Sinema
‘Two Senators Do Not Have the Right to Sabotage What The American People Want’
After months of negotiations with Democratic Senators there remain two holdouts that have demanded concessions without a counter offer. The bill may go down to one third of what the initial proposal is. While on the surface everything seemed calm senators are getting increasingly annoyed at Senators Manchin and Sinema. While Sinema has been running away from reporters, Manchin really put his foot in his mouth. In an interview Joe Manchin recently called a once in a ten year investment in children, college students, green collar jobs and that he’s afraid of creating an “entitlement mentality”.
Wow. I can’t think of anything more insulting to working class Americans who’ve struggled throughout the great pandemic to hear a Senator in a yatch bitch about “entitlement mentality”. Kind of ironic when he receives $500,000 a year from one of the dirtiest coal plants in West Virginia with connections to his family. I guess that’s not an entitlement.
After hearing about this Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee Bernie Sanders couldn’t hold back any longer. He held a press conference and asked what exactly he meant by that and to be more specific about what he wants in the reconciliation bill. He called on the two Senators to tell them what they want. And then he did what the corporate media hasn’t done, correctly linked their opposition to corruption and money in politics.
“Senator Manchin the other day talked about the United States becoming ‘an entitlement society’…The time has come to tell us with specificity what exactly he wants.”
“Let me tell you who’s vigorously opposed to this legislation and I think it’s important that the American people understand that. Because this is the corruption of American politics. The Pharmaceutical Industry is currently spending hundreds of millions of dollars on lobbying, on campaign contributions…to oppose this bill.”
“The coal companies and oil companies are spending millions of dollars” despite the fact that climate change is leading the the destruction of our planet.
“We are taking on some of the most powerful special interests in this country in order to prevent us from what we should be doing: protecting the needs of working families, the elderly, the children, the sick, and the poor, and protecting this planet for future generations.”
“It is not fair that one or two people think they should stop what forty eight members of the Democratic caucus want, what the American people want, what the President of the United States wants.
Senator Manchin…has a right to get some compromises, he’s a member of the senate. But two people do not have the right to sabotage what forty-eight want, and what the President of the United States wants. That to me is wrong.”
That’s pretty striking considering he’s been mum about his criticism of both senators for weeks. But he’s largely right. Political lobbying legalized by the Supreme Court has increased the revolving door of corruption in politics. Joe Manchin has connections to a coal industry in West Virginia with $500,000 from coal stock dividends, and Senator Sinema received over three-quarters of a million from big pharma since taking office in 2019.
And to make a point the budget chair said he could pull the same stunt as Manchin and stubbornly refuse to vote for the package unless it includes a Medicare for All provision. But as he explained that would be unfair to his forty eight other colleagues and the American people. When asked about Sinema he said she hasn’t spoken to him but he’s read that she is against allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices. The budget chair also talked about the provisions in the reconciliation package that are popular with Democrats and Independents.
While Senator Sanders didn’t call either Senator out by name, he alluded to the fact that both of his colleagues changed their mind because lobbying groups bought their vote. Kyrsten Sinema should be asked to explain to her constituents why she’s against letting Medicare negotiate for lower drug prices when 65% of Arizonans support it? Or ask why Joe Manchin doesn’t support it when 80% of West Virginians support the same policy?
The two holdouts are holding our middle class tax cuts, our investment in public works, our kids, and our future hostage. They shouldn’t be allowed to call the shots after reneging on a deal with the Progressive Caucus that they would pass their bill at the same time as the reconciliation bill. It’s time for them to be the adult in the room, suck it up, and vote with what their constituents and the American people want not their donors.