Manchin backtracks on $2k stimulus checks after stocks fall, yet remains hesitant on sending relief

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is backtracking on previous statements regarding a $2,000 stimulus check after stocks fall from record highs. Manchin previously stated “absolutely not” to sending many Americans a stimulus check for $2,000.

President-elect Joe Biden’s plans and framework for providing Americans more relief are likely to include a $2,000 stimulus check, something that Manchin appeared to object because it might cost about $400 billion to provide Americans with that relief.

However, the stock market dropped and a spokesperson representing Manchin appeared to be walking back the “absolutely not” statement regarding the checks for higher amounts.

Sahil Kapur, a National Political Reporter for NBC News, posted the following Twitter thread of information about Manchin’s updated stance on $2k checks, with the information coming from a Manchin spokesperson:

Manchin’s spokesperson tells me he isn’t drawing a red line against $2K checks, that he’s open to hearing Biden admin’s case for new payments but believes vaccine distribution should be a higher priority; he does prefer relief that’s targeted to those who’ve lost their job.

As Manchin’s office tells it, his “absolutely not” quote was meant as a response to whether $2,000 checks should be the #1 priority now; he’s not with Schumer on that part, but doesn’t promise to vote against more direct cash either.

Sounds to me like a walk-back or a misunderstanding for Manchin. Either way it wouldn’t be the first time.

Sen. Manchin has addressed the next round of relief when he stated the following, in contrast to his previous “absolutely not” statement: “If the next round of stimulus checks goes out they should be targeted to those who need it.

Manchin was pressed on the $2,000 relief again by CNN’s Jake Tapper, who asked if he would support various Democratic legislative priorities. Manchin suggested “that’s not a yes or no question” and said “[S]ending checks to people who already have a check … that’s not who we are. We have done an awful lot of that.”

Manchin appears to be hesitant to send Americans an extra round of relief checks, even if the amount of the relief totals $2,000, compared to sending a separate check for $2,000.

WATCH a recent report regarding Sen. Manchin and the proposed stimulus checks: