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

Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinDemocratic unity starts to crack in coronavirus liability reform fight Stakes high for Collins in coronavirus relief standoff The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Surgeon General stresses need to invest much more in public health infrastructure, during and after COVID-19; Fauci hopeful vaccine could be deployed in December MORE (D-W.Va.) and Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceGOP governors jockey to elbow out North Carolina as convention host North Carolina requests 'written plan' from GOP on coronavirus safety for convention Pence press secretary returns to work after recovering from coronavirus 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 TrumpJustice says it will recommend Trump veto FISA bill Fauci: Nominating conventions may be able to go on as planned Poll: Biden leads Trump by 11 points nationally 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 SchumerThe Democrats' out-party advantage in 2020 Democratic leaders say Trump testing strategy is 'to deny the truth' about lack of supplies Trump slams Sessions: 'You had no courage & ruined many lives' MORE & Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMcCarthy urges Democrats to pull surveillance bill The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Major space launch today; Trump feuds with Twitter How lawmaker ties helped shape Fed chairman's COVID-19 response 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 CorkerRomney is only GOP senator not on new White House coronavirus task force McConnell, Romney vie for influence over Trump's trial RNC says ex-Trump ambassador nominee's efforts 'to link future contributions to an official action' were 'inappropriate' MORE (R-Tenn.) defected and voted against the bill as well.