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In an interview at the U.S. Capitol with Bret Baier of Fox News, Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia responded to scathing criticism earlier this week from Missouri Rep. Cori Bush.
“I would just say the congresswoman doesn’t know me,” Manchin said of the Democrat. “She doesn’t know me, and I’m happy to talk to her. I think maybe she’ll have a different opinion. Go home to West Virginia, and ask people. I think you’ll get a different opinion.”
“This is a shame when we start this war of words,” Manchin said, according to Mediaite. “I’m not gonna speak ill about any of my congressional friends and colleagues on the House side or the Senate side.”
“We can have a difference of opinion, but the rhetoric around here has gotten so harsh and so toxic that you can’t agree to disagree anymore,” he continued. “You can’t sit down and say, ‘Okay, I disagree with you, Bret.’ You’re gonna say, ‘Okay, Joe, do we agree on the same problem?’ I say, ‘Yeah, let’s start working. Tell me what you think you would fix it.’”
The senator said he feels both parties are not working toward the good of the country but are instead focused on what is better for them and for the 2022 midterm elections.
As previously reported, Rep. Bush issued a statement via email to the press and on Twitter blasting Sen. Manchin, who, along with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, have been holding up President Joe Biden’s $1.75 trillion spending package in his signature Build Back Better plan.
The Build Back Better social bill would guarantee universal preschool for 3- and 4-year-old children, expand Medicaid and Medicare, and dedicate significant funds to clean energy and climate change.
“Joe Manchin does not get to dictate the future of our country,” Bush wrote in her statement.
“I do not trust his assessment of what our communities need the most,” she maintained. “I trust the parents in my district who can’t get to their shift without childcare. I trust the scientists who have shown us what our future will look like if we fail to meaningfully address the climate crisis. I trust the patients and doctors crying out for comprehensive health coverage for every person in America.”
Bush said she promised voters who sent her to Capitol Hill that she would “actually deliver change that our community can feel.”
“Joe Manchin’s opposition to the Build Back Better Act is anti-Black, anti-child, anti-woman and anti-immigrant,” Bush contended. “When we talk about transformative change, we are talking about a bill that will benefit Black, Brown and Indigenous communities. Those same communities are overwhelmingly excluded from the bipartisan infrastructure bill. We cannot leave anyone behind.”
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