Tags: Trump Administration | Trump Tax Reform | manchin | gop | swayed | democrats | tax bill

Manchin: GOP Could Have Swayed Dems on Tax Bill

Image: Manchin: GOP Could Have Swayed Dems on Tax Bill
(AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 19 December 2017 10:25 AM

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said Tuesday that he and his fellow Democrats could have supported the Republican tax bill if the GOP had "just made an effort."

"I was an easy pick up. Very easy pick up," Manchin said on Politico's "Off Message" podcast. "And I had a couple — two or three other Democrats who would have been very easy pick-ups if they just made an effort."

Manchin also said that President Donald Trump repeatedly asked him, during and after the transition, for the senator to switch parties.

"I said, 'You need more Democrats like me, you don't need Republicans.'"

The senator later revealed that he believes the president is willing to work with Democrats, but is pushed into partisanship.

"When he says he's not a politician, I agree. I understand that," Manchin said. "But he's allowing politicians to set an agenda that he ought to let his gut set. He is more comfortable wanting to do a bipartisan deal than he is wanting to do a partisan deal, I can tell you. I can feel it, OK? But he gets pushed right into this partisan rhetoric: 'Democrats are all bad.'"

Manchin also recalled a conversation with Trump about the tax bill, in which the president said: "'Hey, Joe, I want you to know this is not going to be a tax cut for the wealthy and rich like me. This is going to be for the working people that got left behind.' I said, 'Mr. President, that's perfect. That's a wonderful starting point. That's where we should be.'"

The senator then noted that although Manchin's office worked with Trump's own alma mater, the Wharton School, to draft an alternative proposal, they never heard back from the White House about it.

"It shows you where their values are. Their choices were that the corporations get the greatest cuts, the wealthiest get the greatest benefits, and on top of that, theirs is all permanent. The people that get the least amount and the unknown is, the people that get the temporary are the people that needed it the most," Manchin said.

"So I said, 'Guys, wait a minute. Aren't we off-base a little bit here?'"

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Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said Tuesday that he and his fellow Democrats could have supported the Republican tax bill if the GOP had "just made an effort."
manchin, gop, swayed, democrats, tax bill
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2017-25-19
Tuesday, 19 December 2017 10:25 AM
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