President Joe Biden reportedly issued a stern warning to Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin over his reluctance to back a multi-trillion-dollar COVID-19 stimulus package.
According to a new book, Biden called Manchin on March 5, the eve of the Senate’s vote on the package to convince him to join Democrats.
“If you don’t come along, you’re really f***ing me,” the president allegedly told Manchin, according to The Washington Post’s associate editor Bob Woodward and national political reporter Robert Costa, who co-wrote the new book, “Peril.”
At the time, Manchin, a moderate, was considered the key swing vote after he expressed concerns about the high cost of the package.
“On the day of the alleged phone call, Manchin compromised with his fellow Senate Democrats over a disagreement involving an unemployment benefits proposal included in the package,” The Daily Caller reported. “Democrats supported funding $400 of weekly unemployment benefits, while the West Virginia senator supported a proposal offered by Republican Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, that would have only included $300 benefits through July 18.”
Back in May, the House passed a $3 trillion COVID-19 relief package back and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is still trying to pass a $3.5 trillion COVID-19 spending package, according to Forbes.
Biden is set to meet Wednesday with Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) as he tries to win support for the economic plan.
The president will speak separately to Manchin and Sinema, CNBC reported. “Both lawmakers have criticized the proposed $3.5 trillion price tag, and Manchin has called on party leaders to delay votes on the legislation.”
The meetings come at a pivotal point for an agenda that Democrats hope will offer a lifeline to households and stymie Republican efforts to win control of Congress next year. Party leaders gave congressional committees a Wednesday deadline to write their portions of the bill, and they hope to send it to Biden’s desk in the coming weeks.
Democrats have to navigate a political maze before they can pass what they call the biggest investment in the social safety net in decades. While the party does not need a GOP vote to approve the bill through budget reconciliation, a single Democratic defection can sink it in the Senate, giving Manchin and Sinema massive leverage to shape the plan.
Woodward’s new book contains interviews with more than 200 people and is set to be released next week, Fox Business reported. The Post report contained some explosive claims.
“Two days after the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, President Donald Trump’s top military adviser, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, single-handedly took secret action to limit Trump from potentially ordering a dangerous military strike or launching nuclear weapons, according to “Peril,” a new book by legendary journalist Bob Woodward and veteran Washington Post reporter Robert Costa,” said the article. “Woodward and Costa write that Milley, deeply shaken by the assault, ‘was certain that Trump had gone into a serious mental decline in the aftermath of the election, with Trump now all but manic, screaming at officials and constructing his own alternate reality about endless election conspiracies.’”
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