Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Manchin: Who Will You Throw Overboard?

West Virginians brought together joined forces on land and sea around U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin's (D-W.Va.) yacht in Washington, D.C. to demand that he support the full Build Back Better Act. (Photo: Tim Aubry/Greenpeace)

'Who Will You Throw Overboard?' Manchin Targeted for Trying to Sink Democratic Agenda

West Virginians gathered at the senator's yacht to demand that he stop blocking the "popular and needed" Build Back Better package.

Jessica Corbett

Already under fire from fellow Democrats and progressive activists for his ongoing efforts to weaken the Build Back Better Act, U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin on Thursday faced fresh pressure from his constituents, who traveled from West Virginia to rally at his Washington, D.C. residence—a houseboat named "Almost Heaven."

"We're tired of feeling like we're on a battlefield against our own representative."

"West Virginians like me should not have to come all the way to our senator's yacht in D.C. to be heard," said Katonya Hart of Race Matters West Virginia in a statement. "This bill is popular and needed across our state and across political parties, but Sen. Manchin is still blocking it. We're tired of feeling like we're on a battlefield against our own representative."

"We need healthcare, child care, affordable prescriptions, environmental justice—everything in the Build Back Better Act," Hart declared. "He needs to get out of the way and do what we, his constituents, have long been demanding. Pass the full bill, Joe Manchin."

Because Democrats are trying to use the filibuster-proof budget reconciliation process to advance the package—which contains several pieces of President Joe Biden and his party's agenda—every single senator in the caucus must support the bill. Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) continue to hold up its passage with efforts to water down the legislation that could invest up to $3.5 trillion into climate action and social programs over the next decade.

"While we're outside Sen. Manchin's yacht listening to the stories of West Virginians dying from lack of healthcare, their struggle to afford child care, and the impossibility of finding good-paying jobs, Manchin is busy obstructing a bill that would address these issues," said Kristin Mink, senior legislative organizer at CPD Action. "We'll keep coming back until he listens to his constituents and passes the full Build Back Better Act."

CPD Action joined with 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 to bring together Manchin's constituents for the event.

"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 lives on a yacht. He should be more than familiar with the saying a rising tide lifts all boats," said Greenpeace USA senior climate campaigner John Noël. "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," he added. "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."

Along with rallying on the wharf, toting signs that told Manchin, "Don't sink our healthcare" and "Prove you give a damn about WV," demonstrators unveiled a banner on a nearby building that asked the senator, "Who will you throw overboard?"

"West Virginia is watching you, Joe Manchin," warned Greg Whittington, president of West Virginia Family of Convicted People. "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 child care, we need the Child Tax Credit, we need healthcare, we need the full Build Back Better Act," he added. "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."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Dems Threaten to Subpoena FTI Consulting Over 'Blanket Refusal' to Provide Info on Fossil Fuel Work

"FTI's refusal to cooperate with this congressional inquiry shows that they have something to hide, which will reveal the dangerous ways agencies like theirs have promoted fossil fuel greenwash and misinformation," said the Clean Creatives campaign's leader.

Jessica Corbett ·


Bad Day for DeSantis as 'Stop WOKE Act' Hit With Injunction, Lawsuit

"If Florida truly believes we live in a post-racial society, then let it make its case," a federal judge wrote in blocking part of the controversial law. "But it cannot win the argument by muzzling its opponents."

Brett Wilkins ·


US Judge Says Mar-a-Lago Affidavit 'Can Be Unsealed' With Redactions

"This is going to be a considered, careful process, where everybody's rights, the government's and the media's, will be protected," declared U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart.

Jessica Corbett ·


Federal Judge Orders Starbucks to Rehire Fired Union Organizers in Memphis

"It was a ruling in favor of what's right," said one member of the Memphis Seven. "We knew from day one that we were going to win this, it just took time."

Brett Wilkins ·


Activists Arrested While Protesting 'Dirty Pipeline Deal' Outside Schumer's Office

"Sen. Schumer is sacrificing frontline communities and our clean energy future, all to placate a coal baron," said one organizer, referring to the majority leader's side agreement with Sen. Joe Manchin.

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo