Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin insisted on Sunday that he “tried everything humanly possible” to continue with President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda, but he just couldn’t. News that the West Virginia senator was a ‘no’ on the “mammoth” piece of legislation had the White House and liberal media pundits seething.
Amid the Democratic blowback from his Sunday announcement, Manchin joined Hoppy Kercheval on his West Virginia radio program to explain his decision.
Does he still belong in the party, Kercheval wondered.
“I would like to hope that Democrats feel like I do. I’m fiscally responsible and socially compassionate,” Manchin answered. “Now if there are no Democrats like that, they ought to push me where they want me.”
Noting that he’s “far apart philosophically” from Democratic leadership on the legislation, Manchin said Majority Leader Chuck Schumer knew months ago where he stood on issues like means-testing and work requirements for the child tax credit, among other issues.
He argued Democrats need a bigger majority if they want to pass such sweeping legislation like Build Back Better.
“This is a 50-50 Senate," Manchin noted. "You all are approaching legislation as if you had 55 or 60 senators or Democrats, and you can do whatever you want. Well, you know what, we’re all a little bit diverse. I said, ‘I’m not a Washington Democrat.'"
Manchin says Dems thought they could could pressure him into a deal and miscalculated that he would hold out against the BBB bill— Burgess Everett (@burgessev) December 20, 2021
"Guess what, I'm from West Virginia"
"I just got to the wit's end. And they know the real reason" things fell apart, Manchin says. He says staff "put some things out that are inexcusable. And they know what it is"— Burgess Everett (@burgessev) December 20, 2021
Doesn't sound great between Manchin and WH
Asked if he wants a smaller bill, Manchin says his party needs to put new legislation through committees. This is exactly McCain's rationale for opposing Obamacare repeal/Graham Cassidy— Burgess Everett (@burgessev) December 20, 2021