When the White House had Vice President Kamala Harris call a West Virginia television station to spread the word about doling out checks to the American people, someone was surprised — Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin.
And Manchin — a moderate West Virginia senator who has made a career of going his way regardless of party doctrine — was not pleased.
“I saw it [the interview]; I couldn’t believe it. No one called me [about it],” Manchin said, according to WSAZ-TV, the Huntington station that conducted the Harris interview.
“We’re going to try to find a bipartisan pathway forward … but we need to work together. That’s not a way of working together,” he said.
Joe Manchin dings WH over Kamala Harris interview in WV. “I saw it. I couldn’t believe it. No one called me,” he said. “We’re going to try to find a bipartisan pathway forward. I think we need to, but we need to work together. That’s not a way of working together, what was done.”
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) January 30, 2021
That’s not how White House press secretary Jen Psaki saw it.
“Vice President Harris was making those calls because we want to make the case to the American people across the country. And obviously she’s not traveling to those states and holding big events or even events with, you know, not big crowds, but some crowd. And so this was a way to do exactly that,” Psaki said, referring to calls Harris made to outlets in West Virginia and Arizona, according to a White House transcript.
Biden’s coronavirus relief plan would give $1,400 checks to Americans, on top of the $600 ones approved in December and $1,200 checks sent last spring.
Manchin has been cool to a new onslaught of money coming out of Washington.
“We met [President Biden’s] economic team, and they put out what they wanted. We said, ‘Just show us the figures.’ Because people need to know. We want to help everybody that needs help,” Manchin told WSAZ.
He made it clear that “needs” is the key word.
“But if a person is making $250,000 or $300,000, I don’t think they’re in much as need as a person making $40,000 or $50,000. We’re going to target it,” Manchin said.
Earlier this month, he pushed back on a round of checks.
“How is the money that we invest now going to help us best to get jobs back and get people employed?” he said in a comment picked up by Fox Business Network. “And I can’t tell you that sending another check out is gonna do that to a person that’s already got a check.
“I don’t know where in the hell $2,000 came from,” Manchin said, according to The Washington Post. “I swear to God I don’t. That’s another $400 billion.”
Manchin said the first priority needs to be getting people vaccinated, not sending checks.
“If they can direct money and they say, ‘This will help stimulate the economy,’ hell yeah, I’m for it,” Manchin said. “But basically right now, you better get them vaccinated.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
ARTICLE SOURCE: thefederalistpapers.org