Joe Manchin says the US is 'not a center-left country' and laments 'a hostile work environment' in the Senate

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) pauses during a press conference on Capitol Hill Monday, November 1, 2021 in Washington AP Photo/Alex Brandon
CNN's Joe Manchin stated Thursday that the US is not a country of center-left.

The West Virginia Democrat isn't 100% behind Biden’s $1.75 Trillion social spending bill.

Manchin also complained that he works in a hostile environment.

On Thursday, Sen. Joe Manchin from West Virginia said that the US is not a "center-left country" and therefore should not be able to support President Joe Biden’s $1.75 trillion social funding package. He also lamented the "hostile work environment" he was working in during an interview on CNN's "New Day."

Manchin played a significant role in getting the ball rolling on tuition-free community colleges, a fee for methane emissions to combat climate change, and extensive paid family leave as part of the massive social spending package. This was a surprise to many of his colleagues. The United States is the only developed country without guaranteed paid parental or family leave.

"We must work together, we cannot go too far left. This is not a country that is either center-left or left. We are a centre, if not a middle-right country. That's what's being shown to us, and we should be able to recognize it," Manchin said to "New Day" anchor John Berman.

"And all my friends from the left are progressives or liberals or whatever. I have always said that I am not. I am a West Virginia Democrat and a responsible citizen. I am fiscally responsible and compassionate. I believe most people in the middle feel this way. Manchin said that he sympathizes with those on the extreme-left and far-right.

Manchin is well-known for his close working relationships and friendships with senators from the other side of each aisle. He also lamented the partisanship of the Senate and portrayed himself as the victim to the atmosphere in Congress.

"You want to know what's wrong? He said, "I go to work every day in a hostile environment."

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"If you are a Democrat, and a Republican is up for election," you should be against the person. Manchin said that Donald Duck is running against this person and you are supposed to donate money from your PAC so the other person can beat the person you have been working with." They'll sometimes say, "Can you run against so-and-so?" We come back on Monday and they'll say, "Can you campaign against so-and-so?"

After the party's disastrous Virginia election loss, Democrats feel more urgently need to pass both parts of Biden's economic agenda. However, Senator Manchin still holds the majority of the Senate cards.

Manchin said Monday that he would not support a bill with this consequence unless he fully understood the effects it would have on the economy, the national debt, and the American people.

The US House could vote in the coming days on the bipartisan infrastructure bill that passed the US Senate in August and the $1.75 trillion plan for economic and social spending.

Nancy Pelosi, House Speaker, announced Wednesday that she had added four weeks of paid vacation to the House's $1.75 trillion package. Manchin claimed it would be "a challenge” to support.

Senator from West Virginia expressed concern about the funding of a paid family-leave program. He told Insider's Joseph Zeballos Roig that he would like paid leave funded through a new payroll tax for employers and workers.

Manchin wants to know more about paid leave. He also wants the whole package to be assessed and scored by the Congressional Budget Office for its impact on deficit before voting on it. This could take several days or even weeks.

Business Insider has the original article.