Thursday, May 26, 2022

Sanders doesn’t rule out backing primary challengers Manchin and Sinema

Sen. Bernie Sanders (Italy) said Sunday he is open to the idea of ​​backing the top Democratic contenders for Senators Joe Manchin (West Virginia) and Kirsten Cinema (Arizona), two Democrats who have joined the Senate. Republicans in blocking major laws.

“Unfortunately, you have two Democrats who prefer to work with the Republicans over the President and who are sabotaging the President’s efforts to meet the needs of working families in this country,” Sanders told host Dana Basch, echoing his disappointment. spoke out about Manchin and Sinema refusing to vote to change Senate rules that would allow Democratic-backed bills like voting rights and social spending to pass.

Asked if he would help campaign against Manchin and Sinema in their next Democratic primary, Sanders did not object to the idea.

Manchin is unlikely to face a progressive opponent who will gain momentum; Donald Trump leads West Virginia by almost 39 percentage points in 2020. But Cinema is facing a different political dynamic: several groups are already raising money for its eventual archrival. Donors threaten to abandon her, and youth activists stage a second hunger strike to protest Cinema’s legislative inaction.

On Saturday, Arizona Democratic Party leaders responded to her reluctance to move the legislation by voting to denounce Cinema, a symbolic condemnation of the woman who won Arizona’s first Democratic Senate election in a generation three years ago. After repeatedly blocking voting rights legislation that Democrats see as essential to preserving democracy, Cinema has become increasingly isolated from many of its party’s most powerful officials and sponsors.

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Sanders on Sunday called the censure “absolutely” appropriate, especially in the context of her role in preventing the Senate from passing a voting rights bill.

Sanders lambasted the two senators last week after they joined Republicans in voting against changing Senate filibuster rules, slamming the door on the Democrats’ latest attempt to pass voting rights legislation. On Sunday, he reiterated his weariness from nearly six months of party talks with Manchin and Sinema that made little to no progress.

“We need to bring important legislation that affects the lives of working families straight to the Senate,” said the Vermont senator. “And if Republicans want to vote against lower prescription drug costs, climate change, home health care, whatever it is – and if Democrats, two Democrats, want to join them, let the American people see what’s going on.”

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