[WATCH] POTUS Calls Out Manchin and Sinema In Speech
President Joe Biden appears have to singled out the two most moderate Democratic Senators as obstacles to passing parts of his agenda.
While he discussed the For the People Act voting rights bill during remarks commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa race massacre in Oklahoma on Tuesday, President Biden referenced the voting records of Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.
Though he didn’t mention them by name, the President referred to “two members of the Senate who vote more with my Republican friends” while talking about the bill.
Manchin and Sinema have drawn frequent criticism from their fellow Democrats for their opposition to getting rid of the filibuster, a legislative hurdle that has stopped Democratic legislation on gun control, LGBTQ rights, and immigration reform. To overcome a filibuster to get a bill to a vote, Democrats need the support of at least 10 Republicans, which has led to a lot of stalled bills in the early months of Biden’s presidency. The Senate is split 50-50 between Republicans and Democratic caucus members.
But according to fact-checkers at the Associated Press, it only seems like Manchin and Sinema are crossing the aisle as much as the President is suggesting. While Manchin and Sinema have indeed been more likely than other Democrats in either the Senate or House to cross party lines, it’s not true they vote more often with Republicans than with fellow Democrats. And they haven’t done so during Biden’s presidency; so far, they’ve aligned with President Biden 100% of the time.
In 1963, when LBJ was advised against using his limited political capital on voting rights, he responded: “What the hell’s the presidency for?”
Biden, what the hell's the presidency for if not to stop our slide toward authoritarianism?
Make Manchin and Sinema fall in line. pic.twitter.com/tP876n0RZA
— Robert Reich (@RBReich) June 2, 2021
Manchin voted against his party’s majority 38.5% of the time last year, while Sinema did so for 33.1% of the votes. Democratic Sen. Doug Jones of Alabama, who lost his reelection race in November to Republican Tommy Tuberville, was third at 32.2%.
Biden calling out Manchin and Sinema for their nonsense is the summer hit that I hope gets a lot of radio play.
— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) June 1, 2021
The White House insisted the President was not being critical of them. You can watch “Morning Joe”‘s panel discussion about his remarks, below.