Democrat Senator Joe Manchin (WV) said he decided against President Biden’s Build Back Better Act because White House staff drove him to his “wit’s end.”
“It is not the president. This is staff,” Manchin said in a local radio interview. “And they drove some things, and they put some things out, that was absolutely inexcusable. They know what it is.”
“I’m always willing to work and listen to try. I just got to the wit’s end and they know the real reasons what happened,” he continued.
Over the weekend, Manchin had publicly announced during a Fox News interview that he would be voting “no” on the “mammoth piece of legislation” and that he had “reservations” on the bill since he had first heard about it “five and a half months ago.”
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In response to Manchin’s announcement, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki released a lengthy statement claiming that Manchin’s comments were “at odds with his discussions this week with the President, with White House staff, and with his own public utterances. Weeks ago, Senator Manchin committed to the President, at his home in Wilmington, to support the Build Back Better framework that the President then subsequently announced. Senator Manchin pledged repeatedly to negotiate on finalizing that framework ‘in good faith.’”
Psaki additionally claimed that “If [Manchin’s] comments on FOX and written statement indicate an end to that effort, they represent a sudden and inexplicable reversal in his position and a breach of his commitments to the President and the Senator’s colleagues.”
In response to Psaki’s statement, Manchin explained that Democrats thought they could bully him into supporting the bill because he is just one person.
“They figured surely to God we can move one person. We surely can badger and beat one person up. Surely we can get enough protesters to make that person uncomfortable enough that they’ll just say, ‘OK I’ll vote for anything,’” he said. “Well, guess what? I’m from West Virginia. I’m not from where they’re from and they can just beat the living crap out of people and think they’ll be submissive, period.”
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