Joe Manchin has come under heavy criticism, particularly from his West Virginia constituents, in the wake of his decision to support a scaled-down version of the Democratic-backed spending bill. To adopt the bill – officially called the Inflation Reduction Act – a simple majority was required. According to Fox News, a number of Senate aides described in more detail the anxiety Manchin has about the backlash. The aides preferred to remain anonymous to avoid any type of retaliation and because of the sensitivity surrounding the negotiations of the rewritten legislation. One Senate aide noted what they portrayed as Manchin’s forehead dripping with sweat during his appearances when pressed on the controversial bill, as reported.
WATCH Manchin dodge questions on video:
“He is clearly defensive in his TV interviews, and he’s getting blasted pretty hard in West Virginia,” another Senate committee member stated, pointing to the repeated media appearances of Mr. Joe Manchin, during which he has been heavily criticized for his inconsistent support. An infuriated aide went as far as accusing Joe Manchin of “telling lies” in his television appearances. The backlash over Manchin’s announcements started after he showed his support to the new, scaled-down version of the bill. His Republican colleagues in the Senate are also voicing outrage at what they perceive to be a betrayal of his reversal. These senators include Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who has referred to the Manchin-Schumer bill as an “awful bill” that will result in higher energy costs.
An additional reason for Manchin’s headaches is that his secret dinners with Schumer designed to reach a deal on the bill did not include extensive outreach to fellow Democrats to secure the unity behind the deal. In fact, the communication office of Manchin himself made panicked pleas to reporters earlier this week to refrain from calling the inflation reduction bill a lighter version of “Build Back Better” in their articles. Krysten Sinema, Democratic senator-elect from the state of Arizona, who similarly objected to certain sections of the original “Build Back Better” bill, has made clear that she wanted changes to the bill and signaled her support for the proposal of Manchin. Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema were spotted talking privately on the Senate floor for more than 10 minutes. After the meeting ended, the only thing the two mentioned is that they had “a nice conversation.”
That happened after the tax break on carried interest, which would benefit hedge funds and other investment managers, was removed from the bill. Earlier Manchin stated that he would not support the original bill pushed by the administration of Joe Biden. Before Sinema signed the bill, a senior official in a Senate office told Fox News, “They say Sinema’s legislative director is going on vacation in Italy and that trip has not been canceled.” Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. has also voiced his dissatisfaction with the scaled-back bill. He previously criticized Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema for their opposition to the original bill. A Senate aide noted, “Sanders is trying to make the bill as unappealing as possible to progressives.”