The West Virginia lawmaker is one of the few Democrats who have voiced opposition to Joe Biden’s massive “Build Back Better” bill. The $1.75 trillion package covers a range of issues from housing, education, and healthcare to family paid leave and the environment.
A group of demonstrators have besieged Joe Manchin’s car over his opposition to a bill proposed by the Biden administration. Videos posted online appear to show a group of people surrounding the Democrat’s car in a parking lot, while chanting “pass climate change bills” and “we want to live”.
Other videos posted online were captioned with a statement that Manchin reportedly tried to run the protesters over. It is unclear who was driving the vehicle, but the footage posted online shows the car moving at a very slow speed with its horn blaring.
John Mejia, national spokesperson for the Sunrise Movement, whose aim is to stop climate change, said activists also tried to block the exit from the parking lot. Mr Mejia said the Democratic senator walked away without answering the protesters.
The development comes a month after Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) faced a similar protest at an airport in Virginia as well as on the Arizona State University campus, with demonstrators following the senator into a bathroom.
Both Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin oppose the Biden administration’s proposed “Build Back Better” bill. The massive $1.75 trillion social spending package covers a range of issues, including measures to combat climate change. According to local media, the bill contains $555 billion for clean energy investments as well as a plan to halve greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 levels by 2030 in order to achieve net zero by 2050.
Manchin voiced opposition to a family paid leave programme included in the bill as well as the targets to reduce emissions. In addition, Manchin expressed concern about the economic impact of the spending package on the “national debt, our economy, and most importantly, all of our American people”.
Senator Sinema didn’t explain why she opposes the bill, with her spokesman saying that she mentioned the reasons in private conversations with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and President Joe Biden.
“While we do not negotiate through the press – because Sen. Sinema respects the integrity of those direct negotiations – she continues to engage directly in good-faith discussions with both President Biden and Sen. Schumer to find common ground”, spokesman John LaBombard said in a statement last month.
Republicans have indicated that they will not support the spending package, leaving Democrats with no choice, but to pass it in the Senate using the procedure called budget reconciliation. For this they need 50 votes, which will require all Democrats to vote in favour of the bill.