Harris has been applying pressure on Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema by granting local news outlets in West Virginia and Arizona interviews that push Mr. Biden’s agenda items, specifically his administrations America Rescue Plan and moving the bogged-down stimulus legislation.
In Harris’ interviews she explained the “urgency” of passing the Bien administration’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan. The proposed plan would return an additional $1,400 in taxpayer funded stimulus checks to the American people, expand unemployment insurance, and increase the child tax credit.
Manchin, in particular, has indicated that he believes any taxpayer dollars spent on a stimulus initiative should only go to those truly in need, directly contradicting Mr. Biden’s spendthrift wishes. Manchin’s position aligns him with Republicans in Congress who have proposed limiting the checks to those making less than $75,000.
Is the Left’s message of unity falling flat? Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) calls out VP Harris for going behind his back on COVID-19 relief.https://t.co/zI1iIW03sS
— Jordan Sekulow (@JordanSekulow) February 1, 2021
Harris’ attack on Manchin went further to include an end-around appeal to the coal miners of West Virginia.
Without coming out and directly saying that West Virginian coal industry workers would have to take a hit in Mr. Biden’s agenda, Harris said the administration wanted to work to help them “transfer their job skills.”
“All of those skilled workers who are in the coal industry and transferring those skills to what we need to do in terms of dealing with reclaiming abandoned land mines,” Harris told a local West Virginia news outlet.
“What we need to do around plugging leaks from oil and gas wells; and, transferring those important skills to the work that has yet to be done that needs to get done.”
In remarks about Harris’ directly circumventing Manchin and Sinema in their home states, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said, “We want to make the case to the American people across the country…This is a way to do just that,” Psaki said.
Sen. #JoeManchin, a key swing vote in the #Senate, said he was frustrated by VP #KamalaHarris giving an interview in his home state of #WestVirginia, saying he was not notified by the #BidenAdministration beforehand. https://t.co/2o9EWbSKBe
— The Epoch Times (@EpochTimes) February 1, 2021
Manchin, for his part, said he was frustrated by Harris going behind his back to give an interview in his home state, saying he wasn’t even given the courtesy of being notified by the Biden administration beforehand.
“I saw [the interview], I couldn’t believe it. No one called me [about it],” Manchin told reporters. “We’re going to try to find a bipartisan pathway forward, but we need to work together. That’s not a way of working together.”
Psaki added that Harris would be doing more regionally and locally targeted interviews in other states as the need to move agenda legislation arose.