Manchin’s About-face on the Build Back Better Act Is Self-serving and a Betrayal of People’s Needs

Published Dec 20, 2021

WASHINGTON (December 20, 2021)—After working with the president and congressional leadership for months, it is unconscionable that West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin suddenly declared that he cannot support the Build Back Better Act, according to Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) President Johanna Chao Kreilick. The legislation would substantially reduce heat-trapping emissions that cause climate change, address racial injustices and expand important social safety net programs.

Below is a statement by Kreilick.

“Senator Manchin, along with half of the Senate, is squandering the narrow window left to avert a climate catastrophe. These members of Congress are choosing to put their heads in the sand knowing full well that climate-fueled wildfires, heatwaves, droughts, and flooding keep getting worse. If we maintain our current course, climate change will take more lives, exact untold harm to public health and devastate the economy. Instead, now is the time to embrace a clean energy future with all the economic and health benefits it will bring.

“Shame on Senator Manchin for his about-face. Like the rest of the country, communities in West Virginia are being hit hard by climate change, with some of the highest flood risk in the nation. If he succeeds in killing this bill, his constituents, many of whom are struggling, wouldn’t see social safety net programs, such as childcare and Medicare coverage, expanded. Given the senator’s financial stakes in coal, this is perhaps an indication of where his true allegiances lie.

“The Build Back Better Act is a critical step to tackling climate change, addressing long-standing environmental injustices and ensuring that working people and families across the nations are treated fairly. Senator Manchin and the Senate need to get this done.”