UPDATED 4:10 PM PT – Sunday, March 7, 2021
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) faced criticism for voting to pass the controversial stimulus bill after he opposed it in public statements. On Sunday, reports found the West Virginia senator said in the past he would not support any bills based exclusively on his party affiliation.
He also claimed to oppose partisan politics and called for a new era of bipartisanship. However, on Saturday, Manchin voted in favor of the $1.9 trillion bill, which passed the Senate in a 50-to-49 vote along party lines.
Manchin tried to defend his hypocrisy. He was asked, “Do the Democrats now have to cater to Joe Manchin’s agenda?” during a recent interview with ABC News. In response, Manchin stated:
“Not at all, no. I didn’t lobby for this position. I’ve never changed, Martha. I’m the same person I have been all my life and since I’ve been in the public offices, I’m the same. I’ve been voting the same way for the last 10 years. The common sense that comes with the moderate middle is who I am.”
Reports have also found Manchin allegedly only voted to support the stimulus package because the bill was changed to his liking and due to political pressure by the Biden administration.