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Growing Number of People Join Flotilla at Joe Manchin’s Yacht

by Tyler Kruse

September 30, 2021

"We stand with West Virginians and people across this country in calling on Senator Manchin to Build Back Better and deliver healthcare, home care, housing, pathway to citizenship, union jobs, and climate justice. Time to close the deal."

© Sarah Silbiger / Greenpeace

WASHINGTON D.C. – The flotilla near Joe Manchin’s yacht continues to grow as it concludes day three. Kayakers and boaters – many making the journey from West Virginia to DC – set out for another day on the water to show their support for much needed investments into healthcare, climate action, and jobs in the Build Back Better Act. More gathered on Recreation Pier to chant and drop banners reading “Don’t Sink Our Bill” and “We Can’t Wait” as the crowd on the water cheered.

On Wednesday, when asked about the flotilla protest, Sen. Manchin ignored the demands of his constituents on the water and only replied, “it’s good boating season.”  Sen Manchin continues to try and drop anchor on this critical deal to protect his own fossil fuel and corporate interests. It’s time to put the interests of working class Americans, for whom this important investment in roads, bridges, health care, safe drinking water, and clean energy is a matter of life or death, first.

Loretta Young, Executive Director of Race Matters WV said:

“So far, it seems that Senator Manchin is listening to Big Money instead of constituents like us. Nearly 80% of West Virginians want Democrats to pass the full Build Back Better agenda. And we know he knows many of us came all the way to DC about this. Yet he continues to block the reconciliation bill. West Virginia is bleeding jobs, and the bill funds a transition to clean energy that’ll bring thousands of union jobs. It’ll deliver vision, dental, and hearing coverage and expand healthcare access. It’ll allow elderly and disabled community members to get the home care they need to age at home with their families. It’ll extend the overwhelmingly popular Child Tax Credit. What more can we do to get Manchin to simply pass the Democratic agenda? Senator, what will get you to listen to the people who put you in office?”

Takeiya Smith, Executive Director of Young West Virginia said:

“When we saw what a roadblock our Senator was being to a bill we all want to see passed in West Virginia, a bunch of us decided we had to head up to DC and try to get his attention. And there’s been more of us arriving every day. We’ve been out at his yacht in these little boats and kayaks, and people on his yacht have filmed us, but he’s acting like he doesn’t know. This reconciliation bill is paid for by taxing the rich and big corporations and letting Medicare negotiate drug prices, yet Senator Manchin just keeps talking about a price tag. It makes no sense. A clear, bipartisan majority of us in West Virginia want to see Build Back Better passed in full. We’re hurting, and we don’t have time to wait.”

John Noël, Senior Climate Campaigner at Greenpeace USA said: 

“Manchin needs to realize that the fossil fuel industry is about to keel over and we refuse to let it drag the rest of us down with it. Congress cannot fall for big oil’s false choice between a healthy economy and a healthy planet. The truth is with fossil fuels we get neither. Climate-fueled disasters cost the global economy $150 billion in 2019. Fossil fuels killed 8.7 million people globally in 2018. The Build Back Better Act is a prime opportunity to kickstart a clean energy future and stop sending billions of our tax dollars to fossil fuel companies.”

Jen Epps-Addison, Co-Executive Director at CPD Action said:

“Manchin is not doing his state any favors by bowing to the dying fossil fuel industry, regardless of the personal profit it may currently be bringing him. Millions voted to give Democrats the Senate, the House, and the Presidency. Now is the time for them to act on that mandate. We stand with West Virginians and people across this country in calling on Senator Manchin to Build Back Better and deliver healthcare, home care, housing, pathway to citizenship, union jobs, and climate justice. Time to close the deal.”

CASA Member María Brito said: 

“My home country of Guatemala is drying up and my family is being pushed from one place to another, trying to continue farming. If we aren’t careful, the same thing will happen in the United States. People like Senator Manchin need to be leaders at this moment. This reconciliation package will be the difference between people protected by citizenship and climate justice and leaving people — people like me — out in the cold.”

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Link to photos: https://media.greenpeace.org/shoot/27MDHUWVGTYE

For videos please reach out to Tyler Kruse.

Media contact:
Tyler Kruse, Senior Communications Specialist, Greenpeace USA:
[email protected], 808-741-2791

Tyler Kruse

By Tyler Kruse

Tyler Kruse is a senior communications specialist with Greenpeace USA covering climate and energy.

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