Sanders aide calls Manchin ‘phony’ on drug prices

Tensions are heating up over action (or lack thereof) on drug pricing.

A top aide to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Tuesday called Sen. Joe Manchin
(D-W.Va.) a “phony” after the West Virginia senator called for action to lower drug prices.


Warren Gunnels, Sanders’s staff director for the Senate Budget Committee, tweeted that Manchin’s call for drug pricing action was empty given the senator opposed President Biden’s Build Back Better package, which included measures to lower drug prices.


“What a phony. THE reason we failed to keep our promises to seniors is because @Sen_JoeManchin sabotaged the Build Back Better Act & refuses to end the filibuster,” Gunnels tweeted. “In Joe’s world, protecting the filibuster is more important than protecting seniors. No wonder billionaires love him.”


Gunnels was responding to a tweet from Manchin after the senator met with AARP’s West Virginia branch that read: “By allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, capping the cost of insulin at $35 per month, and allowing the importation of drugs from Canada, we can lower prescription drug prices in America. We must take action & keep the promises we’ve made to our seniors.”


Signs of hope on a package: Manchin, speaking at the AARP event on Tuesday, gave some hope to Democrats eager for a deal.


“Drug pricing is something we all agree on,” Manchin said. “If we do nothing else this year — I think we can do a lot more — but if we do nothing more this year, that’s the one thing that must be done.”