Sen. Bernie Sanders harshly criticized Sen. Joe Manchin, telling ABC News' "This Week" on Sunday that the West Virginia Democrat is "intentionally sabotaging" the president's agenda by announcing that he would not back legislation focusing on climate change and tax changes.
The Vermont senator charged that Manchin is harming future generations when he derails climate change, because it "is an existential threat to humanity," insisting that he is sabotaging not only the president's agenda, but "what the American people want, what a majority of us in the Democratic caucus want."
Sanders said there is "nothing new about this," dismissing Manchin's stated concerns about the legislation's effects on inflation by stating that this is the "same nonsense that Manchin has been talking about for a year."
Democrats have been attempting to pass major legislation promised by President Joe Biden on a series of social issues since narrowly taking control of Congress in the last election, but Manchin, along with Arizona's Kyrsten Sinema, have repeatedly defied the rest of the Democratic caucus and largely prevented those efforts, according to ABC News.
Sanders slammed Manchin for representing "the very wealthiest people in this country, not working families of West Virginia or America."
Sanders also told "This Week" that Biden should not have visited Saudi Arabia due to the kingdom's human rights record, stating: "You have a leader of a country who was involved in the murder of a Washington Post journalist [Jamal Khashoggi]. I don't think that type of government should be rewarded with a visit by the president of the United States."
He added, "If this country believes in anything, we believe in human rights; we believe in democracy. And I just don't believe that we should be maintaining a warm relationship with a dictatorship like that."
When asked if Biden's talks with the Saudi leadership made sense in an effort to help bring down high gas prices, Sanders said that argument was mistaken, because "one of the things we've got to look at is the fact that while Americans are paying $4.50, $4.80 for a gallon of gas, the oil company profits in the last quarter have been extraordinarily high. And I happen to believe that we've got to tell the oil companies to stop ripping off the American people. And if they don't, we should impose a windfall profits tax on them."
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