(FreedomJournal.com)- Vice President Kamala Harris angered Joe Manchin last week, but the White House on Monday called the Democratic Senator from West Virginia a “key partner” for the Biden administration.
Last week, Harris made an appearance on a local television station in Manchin’s home of West Virginia. She was discussing the “critical” coronavirus economic relief plan put forth by President Joe Biden. She gave two of these interviews last week — one in West Virginia and one in Arizona.
Manchin was upset with the interview because he said no one from the Biden administration let him know that Harris was going to be appearing on a local TV station in his state.
Manchin told local station WSAZ-TV last week:
“We’re going to try to find a bipartisan pathway forward, but we need to work together. That’s not working together.”
On Monday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Manchin is a “key partner” of the administration’s, saying officials have “been in touch with him.”
At Monday’s press briefing, Psaki said:
“We’ve been in touch with Senator Manchin as we have been for many weeks and will continue to be moving forward. Not only is he a key partner to the president and to the White House on this package, but on his agenda. We will remain in close touch with him.”
One of the reasons why the White House is now backtracking and making sure to say how much they like Manchin is that the 73-year-old Senator can sometimes act on his own and break from the party. If the Democrats want to pass their progressive economic relief package by using the obscure reconciliation procedure, they’ll need everyone from the party on their side.
Either party can use reconciliation to pass a bill in the Senate with only a simple majority, rather than the normally required 60 votes needed to avoid a filibuster. That would mean Biden would need all 48 Democratic Senators plus the two independent ones who traditionally vote with Democrats — Angus King from Maine and Bernie Sanders from Vermont.
If any one of those Senators decides to vote against the reconciliation process, then the measure would likely be completely dead. That would force the Biden administration to negotiate with Republicans on a bipartisan bill that is unlikely to come close to the $1.9 trillion total liberals are trying to push forward.
During her TV interviews, Harris expressed the “urgency” of Biden’s massive economic recovery plan. Included in it is an increase to the child tax credit, an expansion of unemployment benefits as well as additional direct stimulus checks to many American in the amount of $1,400.
Manchin, though, has at least initially expressed some hesitation about another round of stimulus checks. He told WSAZ:
“We want to help everybody that needs help. 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.”