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

Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinLabor head warns of 'frightening uptick' in black lung disease among miners Labor leader: Trump has stopped erosion of coal jobs Overnight Energy: States fight Trump rollback of Obama lightbulb rules | Greens seek hearing over proposed rule on energy efficiency tests | Top Dem asks GAO to investigate climate threat MORE (D-W.Va.) and Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceDozens of graduates walk out in protest of Pence address Trudeau on tariff deal: Canadian and US businesses can get back to 'working constructively together' Congress has a duty to go through with the impeachment and public trial of President Trump 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 TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget GOP presses Trump to make a deal on spending Democrats wary of handing Trump a win on infrastructure 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 SchumerSchumer wants investigation into Chinese-designed New York subway cars Getting serious about infrastructure Schumer calls on McConnell to hold vote on Equality Act MORE & Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget GOP presses Trump to make a deal on spending Democrats wary of handing Trump a win on infrastructure 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 CorkerJeff Daniels blasts 'cowardice' of Senate Republicans against Trump Corker: 'I just don't' see path to challenge Trump in 2020 Ex-GOP Sen. Corker: Trump primary would be 'good thing for our country' MORE (R-Tenn.) defected and voted against the bill as well.