Sen. Joe Manchin warned Tuesday that members of the Progressive “Squad” will have an explanation for the American people if they attempt to thwart efforts to pass bipartisan coronavirus legislation.
The West Virginia Democrat’s comments come after he and a bipartisan group of senators hatched a $ 908 billion compromise proposal for the coronavirus boost. The bipartisan group of Senators and House members announced their plan on Tuesday and urged their parties to come in the middle.
“They will have to respond to the public,” said Manchin, DW.Va. to Fox News if the Squad is successful in compromising the legislation. “We came in a bipartisan and bicameral fashion to agree on $ 908 billion. Some would say it is too much. Some will say that is not enough. I don’t know how you make everyone happy but we’ve found something that meets the needs that we think America has done.
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Manchin, a moderate representative and member of the team, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a “Democratic Socialist” from New York, recently traded blows against the Democratic Party leadership.
Manchin told the New York Times that Ocasio-Cortez was “not very active with his bills or in committee. She’s more active on Twitter than anything else. ”
Her comments came after the Bronx, NY, Democrat posted a photo of herself staring at him. She was responding to the fact that Manchin was hitting the “defund the police” movement.
On Tuesday, Manchin called out “extremes” on both sides and said he was a moderate Democrat from West Virginia who was “comfortable in the middle.”
“I don’t know the young woman. I really do not know. Maybe she’s okay – I just don’t know her, ”Manchin told Fox News. “I understand that we have different political positions. And it’s good. ”
Manchin said Ocasio-Cortez is very interested in social media and hopes she recognizes her compromise legislation would help her voters.
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“She’s very astute in the social arena,” Manchin said. “But we just have to do something. And I hope they recognize it. We help everyone in their region, in every district, in every state. ”
In the aftermath of the 2020 election, where several moderate Democrats lost their House seats, Ocasio-Cortez and his fellow team members have taken the blame for defending policies such as Medicare-for-All, a Green New Deal and the elimination of police funding.
“It hurt the brand,” Manchin said.
The senator said the amplified voices of a small minority of people made it difficult for the rest of the Democrats who had to fight the stigma of socialism.
Opponents made sure that “if you had a ‘D’ in your name, you are for socialism,” he said.
“We are not for cutting police funding,” Manchin said. “I don’t know a single Democrat here for disbanding the police. But they’ve all been tagged with it. ”
Manchin also berated Ocasio-Cortez’s “Medicare for all” vision.
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“We can’t even pay Medicare for some,” Manchin said. “Don’t you think we should fix the system we have now?” ”
As for the Green New Deal, Manchin said what is important is that America is independent of energy. “We want a clean environment, but we also want a balance between the environment and the economy. We believe it can be done. You can’t do it if you’re so rigid. ”
Ocasio-Cortez spokeswoman Lauren Hitt did not offer a new response to Manchin’s comments. But she defended Ocasio-Cortez’s legislative record to the New York Times, pointing out that the MP missed fewer votes than Manchin and drafted more amendments than 90% of other freshmen.
“The congressman gained a reputation for being a tough and prepared member in committee hearings,” Hitt told the newspaper.
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Ocasio-Cortez has already hit back at the accusation that the team was the reason Democrats lost seats in the House. She said moderates who blame progressives for their struggling campaigns had the digital campaign’s “horrible execution” during a pandemic and called for year-round organization. She said the swing seat Democrats who co-sponsored the Green New Deal and Medicare for All were re-elected.
“So the whole ‘progressivism is wrong’ argument just doesn’t have any convincing evidence that I’ve seen,” she tweeted after the election.
On coronavirus relief, Ocasio-Cortez advocated for a big package that includes mortgage and rent relief, expanded health care, stopping student loan payments, and $ 2,000 in recurring monthly payments to all families and $ 1,000 per child – regardless of immigration status. She urged the team to play “hardball” to get bigger relief packages.
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In the meantime, she has raised private funds to help voters in her district. Most recently, she raised $ 240,000 in donations to support six eviction advocacy and food relief programs in New York City. Most of the money was raised in a five-hour Twitch live stream by playing the Among Us online game.
Although they represent the opposite ends of the party, Manchin said he was ready to talk to Ocasio-Cortez and get to know her.
” I would be happy to. I talk to everyone, ”Manchin said. “I have no problem – I just never had a chance to sit down and talk to her. ”