Jen Psaki denounces Biden’s attack on Manchin and Sinema ‘voting with my Republican friends’ as an ‘analysis of TV expertise’ – and says it’s not about their defense of the filibuster
- Biden on Tuesday called for ‘two Senate members who vote more with my Republican friends’
- Psaki said it was just ‘a little commentary on TV expertise’
- Trump referred to Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema
- Arizona Democrat Is One Of 11 Senators Missed The Vote
- It failed last week on a vote of 54-35
- Sinema told reporters in Tucson she had a ‘personal family issue’
- She and Senator Joe Manchin had urged Republicans to support the bill
- President Biden called out the two Democrats in Tuesday’s speech
- They have resisted efforts to end the legislative filibuster
- Six Republicans Voted For The Bill But It Didn’t Match The 60 Votes Needed To Overcome The Filibuster
The White House on Wednesday tried to defuse a comment by President Joe Biden that resembled two members of his own party in the Senate — in which he said the president was dealing with “TV expertise.”
Psaki was asked about Biden’s comment in Tulsa, where he said, “I hear all the people on TV saying, ‘Why isn’t Biden taking care of this?’ Well, because Biden only has a majority of basically four votes in the House and a tie in the Senate, with two members of the Senate voting more with my Republican friends.”
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki wanted to retract President Biden’s comment about ‘two members of the Senate voting more with my Republican friends’
The line was widely believed to be a knock on Senate Democrats Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.). Both oppose efforts to end the legislative filibuster — with key Biden agenda items under threat.
“I don’t think he intended to convey anything other than a little commentary on TV expertise,” Psaki said.
She said Biden didn’t taunt the senators himself — and disputed that he knocked them over for their views on the filibuster. Many Senate Democrats fear that without a rule change, Biden’s agenda could explode in June, which Biden says should be a “month of action.”
Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.Va. is a key player for the Biden agenda in the 50-50 Senate
Democratic Senator from Arizona Kyrsten missed a vote on a Capitol riot committee. She says she had a ‘personal family issue’
Psaki was asked if Biden is okay with an independent riot commission fail, even though 54 senators voted for it
“I wouldn’t say his comments yesterday conveyed a new stance on the filibuster,” Psaki said.
She was warned that both senators have supported Biden on important legislation. Manchin has tackled a few high-profile issues, including occasional nominations. He negotiates infrastructure with Republicans.
Psaki also said Biden’s comment was critical of the senators. “It wasn’t, no,” she said. “He considers himself both friends.”
Biden will meet with GOP Sen on Wednesday. Shelly Moore Capito (W.Va.).
Democrats on alert watch GOP attempts to impose new voting restrictions. A bill on Democratic voting rights to be introduced in the Senate within weeks faces a likely Republican filibuster.
Psaki said Biden sees new voting restrictions in Texas legislation as “part of a concerted attack on our democracy.”
Sinema said she missed a vote to create a bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol riot over a “family matter.” That bill fell through amid a GOP filibuster.
Sinema, who sometimes says goodbye to her party leadership, was one of 11 senators who missed the vote.
It failed 54-35 to overcome a Republican filibuster. Senate Leader Mitch McConnell gathered his caucus against the committee. “I don’t believe the additional, outside commission Democratic leaders want would bring to light crucial new facts or promote healing,” he said, after denouncing Trump for “provoking” the uprising.
“I had a personal family issue,” Sinema explains to reporters in her home state.
She had supported the committee and, along with Manchin, had encouraged Republicans to support it just days before missing Friday’s vote.