Fuming Ocasio-Cortez says legislation was already the 'Joe Manchin Build Back Better Act'

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez fumes that Build Back Better had Joe Manchin’s ink ‘all over’ it

Progressive lawmaker argues Democrats bent over backward during negotiations.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., fumed at her congressional colleague Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., because, she argued, Democrats bent over backward to get him on board with President Biden’s Build Back Better bill.

Manchin announced on “Fox News Sunday” he was a firm “no” on the president’s massive social spending package, after having done all he could to warm up to it. Rising inflation, the national debt, and the raging COVID-19 pandemic, among other concerns, helped him make up his mind, he said. His decision drew fire from both progressive politicians and liberal media pundits.

Ocasio-Cortez called it an “egregious breach of the trust of the president” on Monday’s “Morning Joe.” Democrats, she said, have “every right to be furious with Joe Manchin,” particularly after they had negotiated with him and scaled down some progressive provisions in the $1.75 trillion bill. She declared the legislation had turned into the “Joe Manchin Build Back Better Bill.”

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. (Tom Williams/Pool Photo via AP, File)

“This idea that we’re going to refit it to Joe Manchin’s liking, the bill has already been retrofitted to Joe Manchin’s liking,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “Let’s make that extremely clear. The climate ambitions have been reduced because of Joe Manchin.”

She noted that Manchin’s quarrel also caused a “minimization of Medicare expansion.”

“We really need to make it clear that this bill, this framework, was signed off by Joe Manchin,” she continued. “And so this is a Joe Manchin Build Back Better Act. And so this idea that we’re going to go back to the table and give him the pen again for a bill that he already has his ink all over makes very little sense.”

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., gets into a car as he leaves the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Dec. 15, 2021. 
(REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz)

But AOC also took aim at Democratic leadership for giving Manchin such a large say in the legislation, echoing what she had penned on Twitter Sunday.  

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., is followed by reporters as he leaves a caucus meeting with Senate Democrats at the U.S. Capitol Building on Dec. 17, 2021, in Washington, D.C. 
(Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Reps. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., were also among the progressives who took swipes at Manchin following his Sunday announcement, taking turns accusing him of cowardice and being beholden to lobbyists. 

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