Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) on Tuesday pushed back at the notion that he signed off on the framework for a $1.75 trillion Build Back Better plan before the White House announced it last week.
“No, the White House knew exactly where I stood,” Manchin told reporters. “There was a couple of concerns that we had that we needed to work through.”
“I’ve been here long enough to know that when you say you signed off on things, you ought to keep your word,” he continued. “And I’m not going to be a liar or make anyone else a liar, so that’s why I hadn’t because there’s a few things that needed to be more directly worked on.”
Manchin then argued that the public has not paid enough attention to the areas in which Democratic senators and the White House are in agreement. He listed provisions on child care, pre-K and home care as areas of agreement.
“We’re working in climate — very progressive, I think, in a good way,” he continued. The reconciliation package’s climate policies have been one area in which Manchin has caused headaches.
“We’ll get this back on track,” Manchin added.
“We’ll see what they do. They need to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill,” he said, seemingly referring to House Democrats. “That shows good faith.”
Manchin’s comments come a day after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Congressional Progressive Caucus chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) said that they are ready to vote on both infrastructure bills, and after the centrist senator held a press conference in which cited a host of vague concerns about the reconciliation package, including its price and its supposed impact on inflation.
Jayapal has said multiple times that progressives are counting on President Biden to get Manchin to come around to the reconciliation package.