Manchin accuses White House staff of ‘inexcusable’ actions
Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, has said that “inexcusable” behavior by White House staffers has caused negotiations on President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better spending plan to stall.
“It’s not the president. It’s the staff. They drove some things that are absolutely inexcusable,” Manchin told the ‘MetroNews’ radio program in West Virginia on Monday.
The Senator did not specify what “inexcusable” actions he was referring to, but insisted that “they know what it is, and that’s it.” He also said he’d reached his “wit’s end” in negotiations with the White House.
Democrats have expressed outrage at Manchin since he revealed to Fox News on Sunday that he is a firm ‘no’ on the massive $2-trillion spending package. Supporters of the plan argue it is essential infrastructure spending, as well as offering needed financial assistance for Americans, while critics argue the plan is far too expensive.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) claimed “democracy is on the line” in a series of tweets targeting Manchin, and the White House released a scathing statement, accusing him of making an “inexplicable” decision in changing his support.
We, as always, are here to fight for this agenda. What matters most to us is that it gets done. But we cannot just shrug our shoulders and accept this as some Charlie Brown moment.Our entire democracy is on the line. So we need to get back in there & get this sh*t done. Period— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) December 19, 2021
Manchin’s support is needed to help the Build Back Better plan pass the Senate, though the moderate Democrat shocked many on Sunday when he expressed that he has no plans to support the plan. He also did not indicate whether changes could make him support the plan, saying only it would need to go through committees first.
The senator said he opposes Democrats acting “as if you have 55 or 60 senators that are Democrats, and you can do whatever you want.”
Manchin described himself as a “Washington Democrat” and said if there is no place for him in the current party, then “they ought to push me where they want me.”