Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia tried explaining why he voted against President Donald Trump’s tax reform law during a cringe worthy interview on Fox News Wednesday.
Host of “America’s Newsroom” Bill Hemmer asked Manchin if he had made a promise to support the tax reform bill during it’s inception. Manchin pivoted from the question and talked about former President Ronald Reagan instead.
“I made a promise to the vice president and to the president that I would work as an honest broker trying to get a tax reform I thought was long overdue. We needed it. Hadn’t been done since our friend Ronald Reagan, President Reagan did it back in 1986. I thought it was long overdue,” Manchin said.
“No one has worked more than me,” he added. “I put four different proposals in front of [Trump] and basically had 21 meetings and brought 12 together at the Library of Congress. But when it was decided by Mitch or the leadership or combination of the White House and leadership to use the budget reconciliation which needs 51 votes and both sides have used it wrongly, I believe.”
Hemmer continued to push on taxes, reminding Manchin of his impending re-election and how his state went for Trump.
“There had to be something in that tax bill that you could support. You represent a state that went for Donald Trump by 40 points,” Hemmer said. “What was in that tax bill that you couldn’t say, okay yes I’ll go for it?”
Manchin claimed he would have voted yes, but was unhappy about the repeal of the Obamacare individual mandate and said it “broke the camel’s back.”
“The thing that broke the camel’s back, the straw is when they went ahead, it didn’t come from the House — the Senate threw in the repeal of the mandate. We had a fix for the mandate which has been laying on Mitch’s desk for two months with Democrats and Republicans,” Manchin replied. “That was a bridge too far and they knew that and they threw that in from the Senate side.”
Hemmer quoted a Politico article calling Manchin a “moderate in name only” and Manchin laughed it off and said he is an independent representative who votes his own way.
“Look at the record,” Manchin concluded. “Who has voted more times in a centrist way than me. I’m 54 or 58 percent of the time voting with my colleagues on the Republican side. No one controls my vote. No one tells me how to vote.”
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