Biden pressured Manchin to back $1.9T stimulus deal during last-minute phone call, book says

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Biden reportedly said during the call, ‘If you don’t come along, you’re really liking me.

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According to an excerpt from a new book by the veteran Washington Post, President Biden issued a stern warning to Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.Va., during a phone call last March ahead of a crucial vote on his $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package. Of. Journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa.

The phone call reportedly took place on March 5, a day before Senate lawmakers voted whether to approve Biden’s “American rescue plan.” At the time, Manchin, a moderate Democrat, was considered an important passage in the relief package after expressing concerns about the scope of unemployment benefits.

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“If you don’t come along, you’re really f—ing me,” Biden said during the call, according to to book, which was quoted by the post.

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Munchkin eventually joined other Senate Democrats and passed the relief package in a 50-49 vote along party lines, handing Biden the first legislative victory of his presidency. The final bill passed when Democrats accepted Munchkin’s last-minute call for a less-than-average version of Biden’s preferred federal unemployment benefits, and included several of the amendments that Manchin supported.

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Woodward and Costa said the book “Peril” was based on interviews with over 200 people.

Munchkin and other moderates have emerged as critical voices in the Senate, where Democrats have a small majority and cannot afford defection. The West Virginia senator could derail Biden’s push for the Senate to approve a $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation plan.

Munchkin has capped the price of the package and indicated he would oppose a Democratic effort to implement a significant overhaul of the corporate tax code. Earlier this month, Manchin said he would not support the $3.5 trillion plan, citing rising debt and inflation. He did not rule out the possibility of a small deal being cleared.


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