After Democrats secured razor-thin majorities in both chambers of Congress, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) became an unlikely ally to the GOP because of his moderate views, which is especially helpful given how Democrats seem to continuously attempt to push radically progressive legislation on Americans.
But according to the Washington Examiner, Manchin might not be the moderate that he claims to be, at least not on certain economic issues, as was revealed over the weekend when he seemingly agreed with the “two-track” approach to passing a massive infrastructure deal — one being a traditional “hard” infrastructure package and the other containing the Democrats’ new definition of infrastructure.
His comments came in the wake of President Joe Biden kicking a proverbial hornet’s nest when, after bragging about reaching a bipartisan infrastructure deal, he claimed he wouldn’t sign it unless a “tandem” bill filled with Democrats’ wish-list items — to the tune of another $4 trillion — was also passed.
In a rare development, Biden was forced to issued a statement of clarification after Republicans threatened to sink the entire deal after feeling as though they’d been tricked.
“My comments also created the impression that I was issuing a veto threat on the very plan I had just agreed to, which was certainly not my intent,” Biden’s statement over the weekend read. “I intend to pursue the passage of that plan, which Democrats and Republicans agreed to on Thursday, with vigor.”
Manchin, on the other hand, told This Week with George Stephanopoulos co-host Jonathan Karl on Sunday that he’s interested in pursuing both bills.
“We have two tracks. And that’s exactly what I believe is going to happen. And we’ve worked on the one track. We’re going to work on the second track. There’s an awful lot of need. And everything they talked about is something that we need,” Manchin said.
According to The Hill, on Tuesday, Manchin dug in, revealing that he’s in support of a much larger, Democratic-only infrastructure bill that would be passed through the reconciliation process, allowing Democrats to bypass the 60-vote Senate filibuster obstacle.
“We’re going to have to work it through reconciliation, which I’ve agreed that that can be done. I just haven’t agreed on the amount, because I haven’t seen everything that everyone is wanting to put in the bill,” Manchin said.