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Manchin responds to Pence attacks: ‘This is why Washington sucks’

Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinMcConnell: 'Whoever gets to 60 wins' on immigration Manchin: Senators should sign pledge not to campaign against each other  GOP senators turning Trump immigration framework into legislation MORE (D-W.Va.) and Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceSpace exploration is good for American jobs Trump approves Indiana Medicaid work requirements Democrat Manchin: Pence attacks prove ‘they don't want bipartisanship’ in Trump admin MORE exchanged rhetorical volleys on Wednesday that led to Manchin saying Pence's comments represent "why Washington sucks."

"The vice president's comments are exactly why Washington sucks. I’m disappointed in his comments but will continue to work to make Washington work so West Virginia and our country work," Manchin said in a statement. 

"Last week, I worked in a bipartisan way with Senator [Susan] Collins to end the shutdown, and last night President TrumpDonald John TrumpTillerson: Russia already looking to interfere in 2018 midterms Dems pick up deep-red legislative seat in Missouri Speier on Trump's desire for military parade: 'We have a Napoleon in the making' MORE called for unity and bipartisanship," he said. 

Manchin's comments come after Pence attacked the West Virginia Democrat, who often finds himself breaking with his party in the Senate, for voting against the recent tax-reform bill after Pence lobbied him on the legislation.

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"I was in WV a few months ago & I spoke to the WV Chamber of Commerce. @Sen_JoeManchin was there — & I looked him in the eye and I told him, 'Joe, the people of the Mountain State are counting on you,' so let’s 'get this tax cut done together.' But #JoeVotedNo," Pence tweeted earlier Wednesday.

".@Sen_JoeManchin is going to keep voting against West Virginia & I think Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerGOP lawmaker: Dems not standing for Trump is 'un-American' Trump called for unity — he didn’t even last a week Overnight Defense: GOP plays hardball by attaching defense funding to CR | US reportedly drawing down in Iraq | Russia, US meet arms treaty deadline | Why the military wants 6B from Congress MORE & Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiGOP lawmaker: Dems not standing for Trump is 'un-American' Rep. Gutiérrez: 'Complete betrayal' if Pelosi backs budget caps deal without DACA Senate leaders say they're zeroing in on two-year budget deal MORE are pretty happy w/ the way he votes. But WV needs to let him know that they EXPECT BETTER & they need to let Joe know that WEST VIRGINIA DESERVES BETTER," he added.

Manchin retorted later Wednesday that Pence had pushed legislation "in a divisive and partisan way" and now continued "his partisan attacks" even after President Trump "called for unity and bipartisanship" in Tuesday night's State of the Union address.

"I was shocked that after the Vice President worked for almost a year in a divisive and partisan way to take health care away from almost 200,000 West Virginians, bankrupt our hospitals, and push tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and huge corporations that he would come to West Virginia and continue his partisan attacks," Manchin tweeted.

 

The GOP's tax-reform bill passed the House and Senate last year, and was signed into law in December. The bill did not pick up any Democratic support, and Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerPentagon: War in Afghanistan will cost billion in 2018 K.T. McFarland officially withdrawn as nominee for ambassador K.T. McFarland withdraws as nominee for ambassador MORE (R-Tenn.) defected and voted against the bill as well.