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Furious AOC says Manchin has no authority to speak on climate ‘for the rest of our term here’

The congresswoman’s remarks come on the heels of Manchin putting climate negotiations on hold until after more inflation numbers come out.

Eric Garcia
Tuesday 19 July 2022 18:31 BST
(Getty Images)

Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York criticised Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia on Tuesday for his call to pause discussions on climate negotiations, saying he has no authority to discuss climate change.

Mr Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer had been negotiating a smaller social spending bill last week that Democrats hoped to pass through budget reconciliation. That would have allowed Democrats to sidestep a Republican filibuster and pass the legislation on a strict party-line vote, with all 50 Democrats voting for it and Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie.

But Mr Manchin also said last week that he wanted to pause negotiations after the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that inflation increased 9.1 per cent in the past year. He said he wanted to wait until inflation numbers for the month of July were released.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez has since slammed Mr Manchin’s remarks.

“Manchin has paused all action for the United States to act on climate for the last four years”, she told The Independent. “So I don't think he has any authority to speak on climate for the rest of our term here.”

Ms Ocasio-Cortez, the main author in the House of the Green New Deal, also said she was optimistic about President Joe Biden potentially declaring a climate emergency, which The Washington Post reported could happen this week.

“Declaring a national emergency provides the president broad authorizations to act on climate”, she said. “I think it's an essential step. And we also need to hear what he plans to do with that.”

A source has since told the Associated Press that Mr Biden will hold off on the emergency declaration.

Mr Manchin, for his part, said to wait for congressional action: “Let’s see what the Congress does. The Congress needs to act.”

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