Joe Manchin, a Democrat, has upset his party in the past and is currently acting very evasively in interviews.
Sen. Charles Schumer, the Senate majority leader and a senator from New York, was negotiating a budget reconciliation package when Manchin put the brakes on it earlier this month, saying that it “has to be cleansed much better” because inflation had risen to 9.1 percent.
He told reporters on Wednesday, “We know what we can pass is basically the drug pricing, OK? — on Medicare.” Do we have any other options? I don’t know, but I am extremely cautious, according to The Boston Herald.
When discussing the high inflation data from June, he stressed that it was important for negotiators to go slowly and with caution.
“Basically, take your time and make sure we do it and do it right. We can’t afford mistakes in the highest inflation we’ve seen in the last 40 years,” he remarked.
Democrats want the bill to be passed before the August break, but Manchin wants it done by September 30.
He indicated that it will depend on how it is paid for whether a clause that would continue to subsidize health insurance plans is included or not.
The senator stated, “It depends on if we can look at things and find a pathway forward that is not inflammatory.”
But he wants to keep the bill’s spending in check to avoid further harming the economy.
“Anything that can be inflationary right now with 9.1 percent should be a red herring because we cannot inflame this inflationary position we have right now with the hardship it has on everybody in the country, especially in my state,” he said.
On “Meet The Press” on Sunday, host Chuck Todd made an effort to pin Manchin down.
“Do you hope Democrats keep control of the House and Senate?”
The host enquired about Manchin’s outlook personally.
The senator remarked, “I think people are sick and tired of politics. I really do. I think they’re sick and tired of Democrats and Republicans fighting and feuding and holding pieces of legislation hostage because they didn’t get what they wanted, or something or someone might get credit for something.
Why don’t we start doing something for our country? Why don’t we just say, ‘This is good for America?’ I’ve always said the best politics is good government. Do something good, Chuck. But I’m not going to predict what’s going to happen,” he continued.
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Todd tried to redirect the question.
“I’m not asking you to predict,” the host said. “What result do you want? Do you want the Democrats to keep control of the United States Senate and the House of Representatives?”
The senator again avoided saying that he supported the Democrats.
“You know, I’m not making those choices or decisions on that,” the senator said. “I’m going to work with whatever I have. I’ve always said that. I think the Democrats have great candidates that are running. They’re good people I’ve worked with. And I have a tremendous amount of respect and friendship with my Republican colleagues. So I can work on either side very easily.”