Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) warned fellow Democrats on Tuesday against pushing through a CCP virus relief bill with no input from Republicans and promised that his colleagues across the aisle would be involved as the legislation is drafted.
“We’re going to make this work in a bipartisan way. My friends on the other side are going to have input. And we’re going to do something that we agree on. I’m not just going to do it just down the lines of, just saying party-line vote,” Manchin told Fox News in response to a question on whether he would vote for a Democratic-only $1.9 trillion relief bill.
Manchin, who opposes the $15 minimum wage mandate that’s part of the package proposed by President Joe Biden, also said the lawmakers have spent too much time working out a bipartisan deal to abandon the cooperative process now. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that a federal $15 minimum wage mandate would result in the loss of 1.3 million jobs.
“If it’s out of the realm that makes sense and what we’ve worked on together, we’ve built too much trust up among each other to allow this to fall apart. So they can count on me to make sure that we do everything to make this bipartisan,” Manchin said.
Democrats hold a tiebreakers majority in the Senate, which is currently split 50-50, and need Manchin’s vote should they attempt to ram through a Democratic-only relief proposal by using the budget reconciliation process. The White House has said that Biden prefers a bipartisan process but sees the reconciliation route as a means to achieve the results he wants.
Republicans have proposed a $600 billion stimulus package for dealing with the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus. In a meeting with Republican lawmakers at the White House, the president pointed to several areas the GOP proposal does not address.
“The President remains hopeful that we can have bipartisan support moving forward. I will only support proposals that will get us through and end the pain of this pandemic,” Manchin said in a statement on Tuesday.
“For the sake of the country, we must work together with laser focus to defeat the COVID-19 crisis, support our neighbors and communities who continue to suffer and get back to a more normal life as quickly as possible.”