West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin was the talk of #politicsTwitter after doing the rounds on the Sunday morning interview shows and saying he will not vote for President Biden’s $3.5 trillion spending legislation, which Democrats hope to pass through the reconciliation process.
Speaking with CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union,” Manchin dug in to his position that the financial price of the ambitious bill is too high for his liking, and that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer knows where the moderate Democrat stands.
“He will not have my vote on $3.5 [trillion], and Chuck knows that.”
You can watch the entire interview above, but after declaring he’s a “No” vote on the full bill, Manchin did suggest there is a number that he would be comfortable voting for. “It’s going to be $1, $1.5 [trillion]. We don’t know where it’s going to be. It’s not going to be at $3.5 [trillion], I can assure you,” he said after being asked by Bash what’s a dollar amount that could change his mind. Manchin has been vocal on opposing the bill due to his concerns over the financial impact, and has even urged a slowdown to the process, something House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has dismissed.
Manchin’s resistance to the Democrats’ reconciliation bill was sharply criticized by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders during his appearance on the show a short time later. Sanders, chairman of the Budget Committee, pointed out that Manchin was part of the team that worked hard to get Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan passed, but said progressives have compromised enough on the $3.5 trillion legislation. He also cautioned that blocking the larger bill could potentially jeopardize the bipartisan infrastructure bill. Watch the interview clip below:
Sen. Bernie Sanders says Sen. Joe Manchin preferring $1 trillion to $1.5 trillion for the reconciliation bill is "absolutely not acceptable."
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) September 12, 2021
Manchin was also grilled by Bash about accusations made by New York Congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez that he is in the pockets of lobbyists for the fossil fuel industry.
CNN: Do you meet with your fossil fuel dark money donors like Koch once per week?
CNN: Every 10 days?
MANCHIN: Not exactly.
CNN: Every 2 weeks?
MANCHIN: Texas natural gas is not fossil fuels.
CNN: Huh? pic.twitter.com/DeziBbZY98
— Puesto Loco™ (@PuestoLoco) September 13, 2021