Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) seems to think he’s the big man on campus since he’s a centrist Democrat in a 50-50 Senate, but pressure from his state has forced him to back down on his demand for a bipartisan coronavirus relief bill.

Manchin has repeatedly warned that he would not support his own party’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package, which West Virginia desperately needs since it’s one of the poorest states in the nation. Even Republicans in the state are begging him to vote for the bill as Senate Republicans seek to block it. The situation there is just that dire.

This has forced Manchin to back off his previous threats, and he will apparently now vote to move the bill through reconciliation.

“I will vote to move forward with the budget process because we must address the urgency of the COVID-19 crisis,” Manchin said in a statement. “But let me be clear — and these are words I shared with President Biden — our focus must be targeted on the COVID-19 crisis and Americans who have been most impacted by the pandemic. I will only support proposals that will get us through and end the pain of the pandemic. For the sake of the country, we must work together with laser focus to defeat the COVID-19 crisis, support our neighbors and communities who continue to suffer and get back to a more normal life as quickly as possible.”

However, Manchin, who is a wealthy man, suggested he would still not support raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, believing that West Virginia workers only deserve $11 an hour instead. Republicans and Mnachin will likely argue that minimum wage hikes can’t be passed through reconciliation, a process for bills that affect the federal budget.

But raising the minimum wage would have a great impact on the budget since it would boost tax revenues and help Americans get off government aid programs.

It’s quite an insult to West Virginia residents that Manchin doesn’t think they deserve higher wages, and demonstrates that Joe Manchin does not belong in the Democratic Party or Congress and is not in touch with the struggles and needs of his constituents.

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