OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Democrat Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders is furious that President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better spending agenda has been delayed again and he is targeting the two senators he blames for it.
The Vermont senator took aim at West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin and Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema for, what he said is, their “arrogance,” The Daily Mail reported.
“’I respect other people’s points of view, but I do not respect the arrogance of any member of the senate who says, ‘You know what? I’m going to torpedo this entire bill, supported overwhelmingly by the American people…,’” he said to MSNBC host Chris Hayes.
“You’ve got two people saying, ‘You know what? Hey, if you don’t do it my way – I don’t care what the president wants, I don’t care what 48 of my colleagues want – it’s my way or the highway.’ And that, I regard as arrogance,” he said.
“’You have 48 people in the Democratic caucus who are prepared, and a president of the United States prepared to think big. And you have two Democrats who, in my view, are kind of acting like Republicans,’” he said.
.@BernieSanders on Build Back Better: "You’ve got two people saying…I don’t care what the president wants, I don’t care what 48 of my colleagues want—it’s my way or the highway. And that I regard as arrogance…You fight for your ideas. But you don’t say my way or the highway" pic.twitter.com/uEWaOgcFTH
— All In with Chris Hayes (@allinwithchris) December 17, 2021
He did not mention the two senators by name but it is no secret which two Democrat senators have been a roadblock to President Biden’s agenda.
And if Sen. Sanders does the math, and as a socialist he may not be a fan of math, those two senators in addition to 50 Republican senators makes a majority of 52, not a minority.
His comments came after President Biden admitted that it was not likely that the $1.75 trillion social spending bill would be done by the end of the year.
“We will advance this work together over the days and weeks ahead; Leader Schumer and I are determined to see the bill successfully on the floor as early as possible,” the president said.
“We will – we must – get Build Back Better passed, even in the face of Republican opposition. At the same time, we must also press forward on voting rights legislation, and make progress on this as quickly as possible,” he said.
West Virginia Sen. Manchin was asked about voting on the agenda before Christmas to which he appeared not confident.
“We haven’t even gotten anything back from the parliamentarian, so just procedurally we have nothing to vote on,” he said.
Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Sinema (D-Ariz.) possess the party’s key votes to pass the Build Back Better bill – and without their support, the legislation fails.
Manchin has repeatedly disagreed with fellow Democrats on the legislation’s cost, warning a high spending package would be ‘fiscally irresponsible’ due to rising signs of inflation.
Sinema opposes abolishing the filibuster, according to Mediaite, which requires 60 votes to begin and end debate on most bills.
On Thursday, Hayes questions Manchin’s motives for holding back the bill.
“I guess there’s two ways to interpret it,” the host said. “One is, Joe Manchin is essentially acting in bad faith and kicking the can until it can die. And the other is, the fact he’s still talking, the fact he’s still engaging on details means that there’s an actual negotiation ongoing.’”
Other progressive Democrats are furious with the Build Back Better agenda not being passed.
“God bless Sen. Manchin, but he does love to keep everyone guessing until the very end,” Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal said.”
“I put my reputation on the line to make it clear that if we want to deliver the entire, much-needed, and long overdue Biden agenda, we must not undermine our power as a government nor the power of the people by placing the fate of Build Back Better at the feet of one Senator: Joe Manchin,” Rep. Cori Bush said.