Manchin Spent $70K for Security Over Opposing Biden’s BBB Act: Report

Manchin Spent $70K for Security Over Opposing Biden's BBB Act: Report Manchin Spent $70K for Security Over Opposing Biden's BBB Act: Report

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

By Charles Kim | Monday, 31 January 2022 07:03 PM

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., spent more than $70,000 in November on security as people on the left protested and threatened him for effectively blocking President Joe Biden's $1.7 trillion Build Back Better budget reconciliation bill in the Senate.

According to The Hill, the West Virginia senator spent more than $70,000 in November 2021 alone for security after activists protested and threatened him to fall in line supporting Biden's signature bill that expands the social safety net and battles climate change.

A source close to Manchin told The Hill that the senator and his family received ''specific threats'' while in Washington and at his home in West Virginia.

Manchin and fellow centrist Sen. Krysten Sinema of Arizona were the two Democratic holdouts opposing the bill, which contains a wish list of spending to expand healthcare, childcare and several provisions to address climate change.

Democrats moved the bill as part of the budget reconciliation process so that it could pass with a simple majority vote of 51 in the Senate, avoiding the 60-vote minimum to overcome a filibuster.

Democrats need all 48 Democratic votes in the upper chamber as well as the votes of the body's two independent senators to allow Vice President Kamala Harris to cast the tie-breaking 51st vote in favor of the bill.

After a series of negotiations and an attempt by the Biden administration to reduce the cost of the bill in the fall, Manchin said in December that he would vote against it, stopping the measure in its tracks.

Manchin's stance, however, has brought out protests and threats by members who are angry that he will not stand with the Democratic president and the Democratic majority in the House that passed the bill in the fall.

Left-wing activists paddled kayaks to the senator's houseboat on the Potomac River in October to persuade Manchin to fall in line voting for the bill, the Daily Beast reported at the time.

''It's become insanity to us,'' Angi Kerns, one of the West Virginia activists who confronted Manchin from a kayak on the Potomac outside the senator's houseboat, told the Daily Beast. ''We've done everything we can do in West Virginia — collected stories, amplified voices, thousands of people are calling a day. He doesn't care. The only option we have at this point is to make ourselves be heard.''

Such activism and threats led Manchin to hire an Atlanta security firm, Allied Universal Executive Protection & Intelligence Services, paying the company more than $70,000 in November, Federal Election Commission filings show.

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