Manchin yells at reporter: ‘You’re bull—-‘
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) vented his anger with the media in the wake of a report that he wants to drop the child tax credit, a popular program, from President Biden’s expansive climate and social spending package.
“This is bullshit. You’re bullshit,” Manchin yelled at Arthur Delaney, a reporter for HuffPost Politics, who asked him to confirm the report that the child tax credit has become a major sticking point in talks with the White House.
“I’m done, I’m done,” Manchin fumed, his voice rising, after Delaney asked whether the senator could support continuing $300 monthly payments to families with young kids.
The testy exchange followed another contentious back-and-forth between Manchin and a group of reporters, including CNN’s Manu Raju.
Raju reported that talks between Manchin and Biden were not going well because Manchin wants to cut the child tax credit out of the bill.
Manchin denied the report and said members of the media are hearing “a lot of bad rumors.”
“I’m not opposed to child tax credit, I’ve never been opposed to child tax credit,” he insisted.
Manchin also made clear that he’s getting sick and tired of being grilled about his position in the negotiations with Biden.
“Guys, I’m not negotiating with any of you all. You can ask all the questions you want. Guys, let me go. This is bullshit. You’re bullshit,” he told Delaney in the Capitol subway, grumbling “God almighty” as he walked away.
Tensions are rising as the Christmas deadline for passing the Build Back Better Act is just over a week away and Senate Democrats aren’t anywhere close to clinching a deal.
Several Democratic senators said they expected to get guidance from Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) at a chairmen’s lunch scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.
But that lunch meeting was abruptly canceled at the last minute, even though a long table had been nicely set for a mealtime discussion in the Lyndon Baines Johnson Room just off the Senate floor.
Any proposal to strip the child tax credit from the Build Back Better Act would likely be met with strong opposition from other Democratic lawmakers.
Democratic senators say frustration with Manchin is rising, and many of them are fed up with his refusal to sign off on Biden’s signature domestic social spending proposal.
Some Democrats, including Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.) and Senate Democratic Conference Vice Chairwoman Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), want Schumer to schedule a vote on Build Back Better before Christmas.
But Schumer doesn’t seem inclined to risk the bill failing on the Senate floor because of a “no” vote from Manchin.
Democrats had been expecting Schumer to lay out the next steps for the bill at the canceled chairmen’s lunch.