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Manchin says bipartisan coronavirus relief bill will be unveiled Monday

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) said Sunday that the bipartisan Gang of Eight will release a short-term coronavirus relief package Monday.

“The plan is alive and well, and there is no way we’re going to leave Washington without taking care of the emergency needs of our people,” Manchin said on “Fox News Sunday.” “We’ll have a bill produced for the American people tomorrow, $908 billion.”

“The bottom line is there’s a lot of parts to this. … You can’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good,” he added. “We’re trying to get through the toughest first quarter of our country that we’ve ever faced. We’ve got people without nutrition, without shelter. We’ve got people without paychecks that are unemployed. We have health care workers. We have schools that need to be attended to. This covers all of that. This is strictly an emergency measure.”

Manchin acknowledged that “there’s no guarantee” that the measure will pass Congress, adding that “there’s 535 people that have to vote. … I can’t guarantee they’re all going to vote for it and pass it, but I can tell you one thing: What’s the alternative?”

“We’ve done everything we can to put an all-inclusive product together,” he added. “In an emergency situation, we need this legislation.”

During an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) said there was “real optimism” surrounding the measure.

“We should not leave for the holidays until we have adopted that $908 billion framework to give a next round of relief to the millions of Americans who are facing eviction, hunger, unemployment, disease. It includes funding for vaccine distribution and $300 billion for small businesses to keep them afloat or help them reopen,” he said.

Fox’s Chris Wallace also asked Manchin if any of President-elect Joe Biden’s Cabinet nominees “give you heartburn,” noting that Manchin had opposed Vivek Murthy, Biden’s nominee for surgeon general, when he served in the Obama administration.

“I think a president ought to put their team together unless that person has done something wrong or runs totally amok of what I believe,” Manchin responded.  “I’m going to look at each one of them. There might be some that I don’t agree with. We haven’t done the personal interviews yet before we confirm. I look forward to that.”

Tags Chris Coons Chris Wallace Coronavirus Joe Biden Joe Manchin Vivek Murthy

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