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White House press secretary Jen Psaki issued a scathing statement Sunday calling on Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., to “be true to his word” and reconsider his opposition to President Biden’s Build Back Better Act after the senator revealed on Fox News that he couldn’t support the multitrillion-dollar legislation after months of party negotiations.
“Senator Manchin’s comments this morning on FOX are at odds with his discussions this week with the President, with White House staff, and with his own public utterances,” Psaki said, tweeting out a link to her official statement on Manchin. “Weeks ago, Senator Manchin committed to the President, at his home in Wilmington, to support the Build Back Better framework that the President then subsequently announced. Senator Manchin pledged repeatedly to negotiate on finalizing that framework ‘in good faith.’”
Sen. Joe Manchin closes the door of an elevator after a Democratic policy luncheon at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Dec. 16, 2021. (REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz)
“If his comments on FOX and written statement indicate an end to that effort, they represent a sudden and inexplicable reversal in his position, and a breach of his commitments to the President and the Senator’s colleagues in the House and Senate,” she continued. “Just as Senator Manchin reversed his position on Build Back Better this morning, we will continue to press him to see if he will reverse his position yet again, to honor his prior commitments and be true to his word.”
Manchin said earlier on “Fox News Sunday” that he has spoken with Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., but could not reach an agreement on the $1.9 trillion bill.
Press secretary Jen Psaki during the daily briefing at the White House on July 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
“When you have these things coming at you the way they are right now … I cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation,” Manchin said, stating that if he cannot explain it to his constituents, then he cannot vote for it.
“What we need to do is get our financial house in order, but be able to pay for what we do and do what we pay for,” he added.