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Manchin Not Ready to Vote ‘Yes,’ Blasts ‘Shell Games’ And ‘Gimmicks’

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Senator Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) slammed House progressives during a Monday press conference for refusing to vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill until he agrees to back President Biden’s proposed reconciliation package.

“For the sake of our country…I am urging my colleagues in the House to vote and pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill,” Manchin said at a press conference. “Holding that bill hostage is not going to work in getting my support of what you want.”

Manchin criticized the high cost of the reconciliation bill, which stands at roughly $1.75 trillion and includes spending on universal pre-school, extended child tax credits, and other measures.

“As more of the real details in the basic outline of the framework are released, what I see are shell games, budget gimmicks that make the real cost of the so-called $1.75 trillion dollar bill estimated to be almost twice that amount,” Manchin said. “This is a recipe for economic crisis.”

Manchin’s remarks came after House Progressive Caucus head Pramila Jayapal (D., Wash.) told reporters that the president “believes” he could get 50 votes in the Senate for the reconciliation bill.

“We now feel like we have what we need. We are taking the president’s word at the fact that he believes he can get 50 votes in the Senate. And I hope that the two senators that we’ve been waiting on these months…understand that this is a leap of faith,” Jayapal said, referring to Manchin and Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D., Ariz.).

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