Eric Douglas Published

Poor People’s Campaign Seeking Action From Manchin On ‘Build Back Better’ Legislation

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Economist Jeffrey Sachs spoke at a public forum Monday in Charleston, sponsored by the Poor People’s Campaign, discussing poverty in West Virginia.

Sachs is a noted international economist who studies poverty issues.

The purpose of the forum was to debate the Build Back Better program, a social infrastructure plan currently being debated in the Congress.

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin isn’t supporting the program and the group wanted to discuss why, and encourage him to change his mind.

Manchin has questioned the size of the social spending program. Sachs criticized Manchin for fighting against taxes on the rich but then questioning if the country can afford to pay for Build Back Better.

“You know what this package is right now, after it’s been cut and cut and cut?” Sachs asked. “It’s not even one percent of our income in this country.”

Sachs says he reached out to Manchin’s office, but never got a response. The Poor People’s Campaign is sending a letter directly to President Joe Biden to try to get some attention.

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Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, one of the co-chairs of the Poor People’s Campaign, addressed the attendees at Monday’s public forum.

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, one of the co-chairs of the Poor People’s Campaign, said 42 percent of the people in West Virginia are poor or low wealth.

“That’s why we’re challenging Senator Manchin. We don’t understand what in the world is going on with him,” Barber said. “He should be championing the Build Back Better plan.”

West Virginia Public Broadcasting reached out to Sen Manchin’s office for comment, but didn’t receive a response by our deadline. This story will be updated with any response.