Manchin warns of Democratic-only coronavirus relief bill


His. Joe manchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinProgressives Target Manchin, Sinema With New PAC Manchin Warns Democrat-only Coronavirus Relief Bill On The Money: Biden Calls Dems, Urges Big COVID Bill | Biden’s choice for the SEC shelved as GameStop drama unfolds | Bezos to step down as CEO of Amazon READ MORE (DW.Va.) on Tuesday warned his party against pursuing a Democratic-only coronavirus relief bill, vowing Republicans would have a say when lawmakers draft the legislation.

“I said it very clearly … we are going to do this work in a bipartisan way. My friends on the other side are going to have a say. And we are going to do something that we agree on. I” I’m not just going to do it right down the lines, just saying the party line vote, ”Manchin told Fox News’ Bret Baier, asking if he would vote for a 1.9 bill. trillion dollars only Democrat.

Manchin added that the final coronavirus bill must “make sense” and warned that senators had spent too much time trying to render bipartisan coronavirus relief to go it alone now. Each of the five previous coronavirus bills has been passed along bipartite lines.

“If it’s outside of the realm that makes sense and that we’ve been working on together, we’ve built too much trust with each other to allow it to break down. So they can count on me to make sure we do everything. to make this bipartisan, ”Manchin said.

Manchin is one of the more centrist members of the Senate Democratic caucus and a key vote as the party leadership uses reconciliation to pass relief from the coronavirus. The budget tool allows Democrats to bypass the legislative obstruction of 60 votes in the Senate and pass a back-up plan with Democrats-only support.

His warning against a partisan relief bill comes after he signaled more indirectly earlier on Tuesday that he wanted the end product to be bipartisan.

“For the good of the country, we must work together with laser focus to defeat the COVID-19 crisis, support our neighbors and our communities who continue to suffer and return to a more normal life as quickly as possible,” Manchin said in a statement. statement Tuesday afternoon, calling Biden a “hope” that the coronavirus relief bill will be bipartisan.

Democrats and Biden say they want the final coronavirus relief package to be bipartisan, but they are also laying the groundwork to try and pass it on to their own absent GOP support.

To pass a coronavirus relief bill without Republicans, Democratic leaders will need the support of all members of the Democratic Senate caucus. This means that Manchin, if he believes the process has been partisan or that Republicans have been excluded, could effectively kill the bill or demand changes in order to gain his support.

Manchin is expected to vote for the budget resolution this week, but said in the Fox News interview that he had told Democratic leaders “I will vote bipartisan.”

Democrats are using Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion proposal as the framework for their legislation. Biden’s bill included a stimulus check of $ 1,400, an increase in the minimum wage to $ 15 an hour, increased state and local assistance, and an unemployment benefit of $ 400 per week.

Manchin told The Hill earlier on Tuesday that he did not support raising the minimum wage to $ 15 an hour and told Fox News on Tuesday evening that he did not think he would abide by the obscure rules of the Senate which determine what can be adopted within the framework of the reconciliation.

“I don’t think it’s going to be successful because it doesn’t fit into… the Byrd rule,” Manchin said.

He also predicted that the final amount of state and local aid in the congressional bill would end up being significantly less than the $ 350 billion requested by Biden. States and cities, which have seen their tax bases dry up due to the coronavirus pandemic, have warned that without help, they may have to cut essential services just as more and more people are using them.

“I think it’s a lot higher. From everything I’ve seen, it’s extremely high. But with that, we want to make sure that the states that have really been hit the hardest have shortages. of income because of the kind of economy they have. relief, ”Manchin told Fox News.

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