Jul 17, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Joe Manchin's scuttling of climate agenda action slammed by Democrats

Democrats continued to voice their opposition on Sunday to Sen. Joe Manchin's (D-W.Va.) apparent decision last week to close the door on a climate and energy package.

Why it matters: The failure to produce a package expanding clean energy and electric vehicle investments will make it more difficult for the U.S. to meet its climate change targets.

  • Manchin tempered his stance during an appearance on a popular West Virginia radio show on Friday, saying that he simply wants more time and to see how the Federal Reserve responds to the latest inflation numbers before agreeing to a spending package to fight climate change.

What they're saying: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) disputed the notion that Manchin's decision was abrupt during an appearance on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday, telling host Martha Raddatz, "He didn't abruptly do anything. He has sabotaged the president's agenda."

  • "If you check the record, six months ago I made it clear that you have people like Manchin — Sinema to a lesser degree — who are intentionally sabotaging the president's agenda, what the American people want, what the majority of us in the Democratic caucus want. Nothing new about this," Sanders added, referring to Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.).
  • "The problem was that we continued to talk Manchin like he was serious, he was not. This is a guy who's a major recipient of fossil fuel money, a guy who has received campaign contributions from 25 Republican billionaires."

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) called Manchin's actions "really disappointing, not surprising" during an appearance on MSNBC's "Velshi" on Sunday.

  • Omar added that she "doesn't know why" Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) still allows for Manchin to chair the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
  • "I think we ultimately have to come to terms that what we are doing at the moment, and the way that we are dealing with Manchin isn't working in advancing the Democratic agenda and the president's agenda. So we must change course."

The big picture: Democrats have publicly voiced their anger and disappointment in the wake of Manchin's decision.

  • "We're going to have to get two more Democrats — real Democrats — who will actually help us to implement the president's agenda and not obstruct it," Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), the chair of the House Progressive Caucus, told reporters on Friday.
  • "Sen. Manchin’s refusal to act is infuriating,” Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) tweeted Friday.
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