During an appearance on “CBS This Morning” on Wednesday, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) was pressed on recent comments in which he said that he will only vote on President Joe Biden’s COVID relief bill if it has bipartisan support.
“It would be nearly impossible for Senate Democrats to pass any relief package along party lines without support from Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia. The Democrats’ vote is essential given that there is a 50/50 split in the chamber,” Tony Dokoupil said, as reported by Newsbusters.
“There’s been some objection among Republicans to the overall size of the package, $1.9 trillion. You said repeatedly and you’ve told the President that you want this to be bipartisan. My question is, is that bipartisan comment a red line for you? In other words, if there are no Republican votes for the final package, will you not vote for it?” asked Dokoupil.
Manchin said that he did not draw a “red line” and that he will have to look at all the facts.
“Well, it’s not that. That’s not the red line. The red line is are we going to have an open amendment process and look at everything and basically take the facts that we have?” said Manchin.
Dokoupil, however, stressed that “time is of the essence.”
“Senator, since time is of the essence and people want this relief, the question I think becomes how long are you going to give the bipartisan negotiation process before you say, ‘Okay, Democrats, we just have to do this?'” pressed Dokoupil
“Well, no, no, no. The votes will go quickly, Tony. The bottom line is this process moves. But they just have to have an open process so amendments can be made,” said Manchin.
During an appearance on Fox News Tuesday, Manchin said that he made it “very clear” to the president and his colleagues that he wants a bipartisan deal on the relief package.
“What I have told everybody, I made it very clear, from the president of the United States to all of my colleagues, we’re gonna make this work in a bipartisan way,” Manchin said told Fox News host Bret Baier. “My friends on the other side are going to have input, and we are going to do something we agree on.”
“It has to make sense,” he continued. “If it’s out of the realm of what makes sense, of what we’ve worked on together, we’ve built too much trust up to allow this to fall apart. So they can count on me to make sure I do everything to make sure this is done bipartisan.”
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