Politics

Pence Slams Manchin Over Votes on Tax Reform, Health Care

(Updated)

Vice President Mike Pence / Getty Images

Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday rebuked Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) for voting against the recently passed tax reform legislation before castigating some of his other votes on health care and immigration.

Pence said that he spoke to Manchin back in August at the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting about tax cuts and told him, "Joe, the people of the Mountain State are counting on you." He went on to say, "Let's get this tax cut done together."

"I was in WV a few months ago & I spoke to the WV Chamber of Commerce. @Sen_JoeManchin was there – & I looked him in the eye and I told him, ‘Joe, the people of the Mountain State are counting on you,' so let's ‘get this tax cut done together.' But #JoeVotedNo," Pence tweeted.

He went on to say that Manchin's "no" vote was against hard-working families keeping their hard-earned money and that he did not support tax cuts for job creators.

"Joe Manchin voted NO to letting hard working families keep more of their hard-earned money. Joe voted NO on TAX CUTS for job creators. #JoeVotedNo," Pence tweeted.

Pence then pointed out how Manchin's votes on Planned Parenthood, Obamacare repeal, and the border wall were all against the will of West Virginians.

"When the time came to repeal & replace the disaster of Obamacare, Joe voted NO. When we empowered West Virginia to defund Planned Parenthood, Joe voted NO. And when it comes to securing our Southern border, Joe said, "I’m not voting for the wall, either." #JoeVotedNo," Pence said.

Pence said that West Virginians need to let Manchin know how they feel about his voting record, adding that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) are "pretty happy" with his votes.

Manchin responded to Pence in a statement, saying the vice president's attacks are why "Washington sucks."

"I am shocked that after the vice president worked for almost a year in a divisive and partisan way to take health care away from almost 200,000 West Virginians, bankrupt our hospitals, and push tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and huge corporations that he would come to West Virginia and continue his partisan attacks," Manchin said.

"Last week, I worked in a bipartisan way with Senator Collins to end the shutdown, and last night President Trump called for unity and bipartisanship," the senator continued. "The vice president's comments are exactly why Washington Sucks. I'm disappointed in his comments but will continue to work to make Washington work so West Virginia and our country work."

Manchin, who generally portrays himself as the most conservative Democrat in the Senate, told colleagues last Tuesday that he intended to run for reelection. While he told Schumer that "this place sucks," referring to the Senate, he signaled that he would be filing the paperwork before the deadline last Saturday.

Pence's tweets hitting Manchin occurred as he was scheduled to make two speeches in Greenbrier County, West Virginia, according to the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

At 4 p.m., Pence is scheduled to speak at Worldwide Equipment Inc. in White Sulphur Springs. U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., will join Pence, according to an advisory from the vice president's office.

This evening, Pence will speak at a gathering of Republican members of Congress at The Greenbrier resort. Trump is scheduled to speak Thursday at the resort, which is owned by the family of West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice.

UPDATED Thursday, 12:37 P.M.: This story was updated to include Manchin's statement.