West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin is going after his party again.
West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin is going after his party again. During an interview on MSNBC, host Stephanie Ruhle tried pushing Manchin on why he won’t support radical proposals. Ruhle kicked the segment off by asking Manchin: “When is the last time you spoke to Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Progressive members of the Senate to work on this?”
After saying he speaks to them every Monday on a conference call, Manchin said: “I am not a liberal by any stretch of the imagination, and not a conservative, ultra-conservative. I tell people, I am fiscally responsible and socially compassionate. Put me anywhere you want in the political spectrum, I am centrist in the middle where most are, pragmatic enough to figure I understand, you identified the need on this side.”
“We already spent how many trillions of dollars attending to a lot of the needs. How much more can we afford? You want more debt. I looked this morning, we’re at $28.5 trillion of debt. How much more can we add on and pass on to your children, the next generation? We’ve always said, we’re writing checks our kids can’t cash and it is a shame to put on the burden. Let’s consider that,” Manchin added.
Ruhle then doubled down again and asked about Democrats accusing him of “standing in the way of President Biden’s agenda.”
She was trying to bait Manchin into saying he’d support Democrats’ radical bills, but he didn’t fall for it.
“I hear from as you said, I hear from everybody, I get attacked from different sides. Also, we get some praise from different sides trying to take a pragmatic, centrist approach. People are concerned about the debt, but nobody is speaking about the debt. We have a tremendous amount of debt that could cause inflation,” Manchin said.
“Now we’re not able to meet demand by supplying what the economy wants. The demand says give me more workers, more products. We’re having a hard time. If you do another 2, 3, $4 trillion, we may have a hard time with the tax code, adjustments I believe need to be made. I didn’t vote in 2017 for the tax code, I thought it was weighted for the wealthy,” he added.
Manchin concluded: “I didn’t think the average working person got their due share. Let’s make some adjustments. On the other hand, we’re in a global market, not isolationist, and never going to be isolationist. We have to be in the global market and lead the world. If you’re going to do that, you better be competitive.”
Late last month, Manchin slammed Biden and Democrats for being too one-sided, saying they “started wrong” and that Biden is going in the wrong direction by being “too partisan.”
“We started wrong, And I think that Joe Biden’s advisers have led him wrong to start out in a strictly partisan direction,” Manchin began. “We should have found something that we could have voted on bipartisan first and then gone down this lane when we hit a roadblock, and they didn’t do that, but that’s fine, we’re going to start this, I’m determined to make it bipartisan because if we go off the rails and there’s no bipartisan, you ain’t coming back for two years.”
Manchin also vowed to defend the Byrd rule, which restricts the kinds of provisions that can be rammed through with reconciliation.
“If they think they want to jam things down people’s throat? No,” Manchin said. “If we can’t get one or two or three Republicans to vote with things that we should be doing in a bipartisan [way] … I’m not going down that path and destroy this place. I’m not going to let the Byrd rule be decimated.”
Manchin, one of the only moderate Democrats in the party, has also stated that he will not let his party eliminate the filibuster in order to ram through Biden’s leftist agenda.
The Senate filibuster is a rule that requires 60 members to end debate on most topics and move to a vote.