West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin said he was not notified by the White House about VP Kamala Harris’ TV appearance last week in his state and it was not the way to work together.
“I saw [the interview], I couldn’t believe it. No one called me [about it],” Manchin said, according to WSAZ. “We’re going to try to find a bipartisan pathway forward, but we need to work together. That’s not a way of working together.”
Harris did interviews with two local television stations on Thursday in West Virginia and Arizona, two states with moderate Democratic senators whose support President Biden needs to pass the COVID -19 relief bill now that bipartisan support for the measure appears to be dwindling.
“In West Virginia, one in seven families is describing their household as being hungry, one in six can’t pay their rent, and one in four small businesses are closing permanently or have already closed, so it’s a big issue in West Virginia and across the country,” Harris told WSAZ. “And that’s why the president and I are offering the American Rescue Plan.”
The White House said the interviews are part of a strategy to make their case to the American people across the country.
“We met [Pres. Biden’s] economic team and they put out what they wanted. We said, ‘Just show us the figures.’ Because people need to know. We want to help everybody that needs help,” Manchin said. “But if a person is making $250,000 or $300,000, I don’t think they’re in much as need as a person making $40,000 or $50,000. We’re going to target it.”
On Sunday, ten Republican senators led by Susan Collins and Bill Cassidy release their own COVID relief plan, paring down Biden’s $1.9 trillion proposal to $600 billion.