Manchin: I Will Not Vote for COVID Bill on Party-Line Vote, I Oppose $15 Minimum Wage, and Think State and Local Gov’t Number ‘Way High’

On Tuesday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “Special Report,” Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) criticized the minimum wage increase and funding for state and local governments in President Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief proposal and said that he will not vote for a coronavirus relief package on a party-line vote.

Manchin said, “I don’t think that’s [a minimum wage increase to $15] going to make it in. Because it doesn’t fit within…the Byrd Rule. The only thing we can do during this reconciliation is anything that comes within the financial realms of what we’re dealing with. It’s called a budget reconciliation. It has to be within the budget lines. That does not come within that at all. And it really needs to be debated. It doesn’t work in — different states are different. Some states already have $15. I think anybody that goes to work in the morning and works 40 hours a week and works 50 weeks a year, that’s 2,000 hours, should be above, a family of three, above the poverty guidelines. And that’s not $15.”

Manchin also stated, “We have to look at” the funding amount for state and local governments and that the $350 billion figure in Biden’s proposal is “way high. From everything I’ve seen, that’s extremely high.”

He further added, “We’re going to make this work in a bipartisan way. My friends on the other side are going to have input. And we’re going to do something that we agree on. I’m not going to do it just down the lines of just saying party-line vote. It has to make sense.”

Manchin also said, “We’re not going to blow it down the line. They can’t do it down the line. … I will vote in a bipartisan way.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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