West Virginians Rally in DC Demanding Manchin Support Build Back Better
by Tyler Kruse
October 21, 2021
What the majority of Americans are supporting in Build Back Better is not unreasonable. We want a healthy planet for our kids to grow up in, to make sure our loved ones can get the care they need when they get sick or hurt, and good quality union jobs that allow everyone to put food on the table.
WASHINGTON D.C. – This afternoon, West Virginians brought together by CPD Action, Greenpeace USA, Race Matters West Virginia, Young West Virginia, Rise Up West Virginia, Black By God West Virginia, and Call to Action for Racial Equality West Virginia, joined forces on land and sea around Joe Manchin’s yacht to demand that he support much-needed investments into healthcare, climate action, and jobs in the Build Back Better Act.
A few weeks ago, after constituents kayaked for days to try to talk to him, Manchin emerged on the deck of his yacht saying “we’re on the same page” while inviting a few West Virginians to meet with him. His actions paint a very different story. Last Friday, the New York Times reported that Manchin told the White House that he is “firmly against a clean electricity program,” which is a key tenet of President Biden’s climate plan. Earlier this week, Axios revealed that Manchin also wants to cut all but one of an expanded child tax credit, paid family medical leave, or subsidies for child care.
During the rally, Greenpeace USA unrolled a massive 36’x17’ banner from a building overlooking Manchin’s yacht which read, “MANCHIN: WHO WILL YOU THROW OVERBOARD? Climate Citizenship Families Healthcare.” While allies from CPD Action, joined by Race Matters WV, Young WV, Our Future WV, Rise Up WV called on Manchin to support the bill on the wharf and in the water.
John Noël, Senior Climate Campaigner at Greenpeace USA said:
“Manchin lives on a yacht. He should be more than familiar with the saying a rising tide lifts all boats. What the majority of Americans are supporting in Build Back Better is not unreasonable. We want a healthy planet for our kids to grow up in, to make sure our loved ones can get the care they need when they get sick or hurt, and good quality union jobs that allow everyone to put food on the table. Manchin has the opportunity to deliver on all of these, but instead, he’s trying to pit the needs of the people against each other. We aren’t throwing anyone overboard. We’re here with people from human rights, justice, environment, and labor movements to tell Manchin to pass the Build Back Better Act.”
Katonya Hart of Race Matters WV said:
“West Virginians like me should not have to come all the way to our Senator’s yacht in DC to be heard. This bill is popular and needed across our state and across political parties, but Senator Manchin is still blocking it. We’re tired of feeling like we’re on a battlefield against our own representative. We need healthcare, childcare, affordable prescriptions, environmental justice — everything in the Build Back Better Act. He needs to get out of the way and do what we, his constituents, have long been demanding. Pass the full bill, Joe Manchin.”
Greg Whittington, President of West Virginia Family of Convicted People said:
“West Virginia is watching you, Joe Manchin. We came all the way to DC because you weren’t listening to us at home. Many of us traveled round-trip in one day, because we can’t afford to take all that time off. We need paid leave, we need childcare, we need the Child Tax Credit, we need healthcare, we need the full Build Back Better Act. And we need our Senator to step off his yacht, and listen to the voters who put him in his seat. Because we won’t keep doing that if he doesn’t act on our behalf.”
Kristin Mink, Senior Legislative Organizer, CPD Action said:
“While we’re outside Senator Manchin’s yacht listening to the stories of West Virginians dying from lack of healthcare, their struggle to afford childcare, and the impossibility of finding good-paying jobs, Manchin is busy obstructing a bill that would address these issues. We’ll keep coming back until he listens to his constituents and passes the full Build Back Better Act.”
Link to photos and videos: https://media.greenpeace.org/collection/27MDHUWYPZWC
Tyler Kruse, Senior Communications Specialist, Greenpeace USA:
[email protected], 808-741-2791